Before the United States and India can consummate their nuclear pact, a major hurdle remains: The guidelines of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) prohibit nuclear export to countries that, like India, lack full-scope safeguards. Many expected that, at Washington’s behest, the NSG would rubber stamp an exception for India — until Beijing hinted again this week that it might block such a rules change. The Nuclear Suppliers Group, a cartel of 45 nuclear fuel producing countries that coordinate export controls to non-nuclear-weapon states, is little known outside of nonproliferation circles but plays a critical role in limiting access to uranium […]

Editor’s Note: Rights & Wrongs is a weekly column covering the world’s major human rights-related happenings. It is written by regular WPR contributor Juliette Terzieff. CHINA’S ID PLAN — Beginning this month, the more than 12 million residents of the Chinese city Shenzen will be required to carry identity cards fitted with powerful computer chips including not only their names and address, as with previous identity cards, but also data on their work history, education, religion, ethnicity, police record and even personal reproductive medical history. Chinese authorities have ordered all large Chinese cities to phase in similar high-tech residency card […]

HONG KONG — Just as growing numbers of newly affluent Chinese are planning to buy the status symbol they seek most, along comes a spoilsport government with a plan to limit the number of cars on the roads. Beijing today, Shanghai and other cities tomorrow? The central government is enforcing a test run this week of a plan to take more than 1 million cars off Beijing’s roads. The object is to see how effective it will be in cleaning the capital’s filthy air for China’s “green” Olympics in August next year. It’s a desperate measure in a country that […]

NEW YORK — Traveling across Southeast Asia, one regularly hears that the United States is losing its foothold in Southeast Asia, and squandering away the goodwill it has enjoyed for decades in most of the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The U.S. administration, say many in the region, is consumed with diplomatic and military fights in the Middle East, and has neither the time nor the interest to look at Southeast Asia. At the same time, thanks to its growing economic power, China is steadily expanding its sphere of influence by providing all manner […]