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Author Archive | Tom Plate

SEOUL: WHAT THE UNNERVING DARK CAR-WINDOW SYNDROME REVEALS

THIS ESSAY BY L.A.-BASED BUSINESSMAN AND PHILANTHROPIST SPENCER H. KIM IS REPRINTED FROM THE INFLUENTIAL SEOUL-BASED NEWSPAPER JOON-GANG DAILY, WITH PERMISSION: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – I couldn’t figure out why, but it really bothered me. Why are there so many cars in Korea with dark windshields? The occupants drive around shut off from the eyes […]

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Cult of Xi

HONG KONG: SO WHO IS XI JINPING?

TOM PLATE WRITES – Begin with the unpretentious wisdom of the late Yogi Berra, a notably inarticulate Hall of Fame baseball player celebrated for memorable ‘Yogi-isms’: “It’s tough to make predictions,” one went, “especially about the future.” But the wish for the better can parent premature thoughts; the caring media always wants to believe that […]

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US-KOREAN ALLIANCE: TRUMPTED BY A NEW ISOLATIONISM?

Professor Moon Chung-in of Yonsei University Writes (courtesy of JoongAng Ilbo, April 9, Page 27) — “The Anglo-Portuguese Alliance survived 600 years, and the U.K.-U.S. alliance continued for more than 100 years,” Yoichi Funabashi, former editor-in-chief of the Asahi Shimbun, told me a few years ago. “I believe the U.S.-Japan alliance should survive a century,” […]

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orville

CHINA: A PESSIMISTIC VIEW OF XI JINPING

ASIA MEDIA WRITES – Orville Schell has been writing about China for decades and is not viewed in the West as a China-basher by any means. But in the current New York Review of Books, the former dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism offers a rigorous recounting and astute analysis of recent […]

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Stella Cheng

MACAU: ODDS TURN AGAINST THE HOUSE

STELLA CHENG WRITES – How fortunes change! In 2013, Macau’s gambling industry was seven times bigger than Las Vegas’. While Sin City was lucky to make $6.5 billion, Macau, the only location in China where gambling is legal, raked in $45 billion. But the “Gold Rush in the East” seems to be slowly drying up. […]

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Ristian Atriandi Supriyanto - DSC_0871

INDONESIA: NO MORE ‘MR NICE NATION’? BETTER WATCH OUT, CHINA

INDONESIAN SCHOLAR RISTIAN ATRIANDI SUPRIYANTO WRITES (courtesy of The Diplomat) – Yet another incident involving a Chinese coastguard vessel and an Indonesian patrol boat has occurred in the vicinity of Indonesia’s Natuna Islands in the South China Sea. Unlike the previous incidents, this time the Chinese coastguard vessel almost intruded into Indonesia’s 12-nautical mile territorial […]

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Kishore

SINGAPORE: BEHIND THE TRUMPET OF THE PESSIMISTS

COURTESY OF THE WORLD POST, KISHORE MAHBUBANI WRITES FROM SINGAPORE — The rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in American politics has shocked the world. America has consistently projected itself as the country that could be trusted for political predictability and stability. While extremist or fringe movements might emerge in other countries, American political […]

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BEIJING: THE QUESTION OF CHINA’S IMAGE

TOM PLATE WRITES – I have been traveling to Asia and writing about it in various newspapers and journals for two decades, and I have visited China enough times to know it closely. My observation about China is substantially different from most of the written accounts I read or video-view back home in the United […]

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MALAYSIA: MAYBE MAHATHIR IS RIGHT?

TOM PLATE WRITES – When “Conversations with Mahathir,” the second of four volumes in the Giants of Asia series, was published a few years ago, some of my friends and colleagues were utterly aghast. How could you ― gullible American author ― dignify this vulgar man with such semi-reverential treatment? My gosh, what a sleazy […]

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FLOWER POWER 2

BANGKOK: THE FLOWERING OF THE NOIR ARTIST

TH FOLLOWING COURTESY OF THE NATION NEWSPAPER IN BANGKOK- Chris Coles, the American expressionist painter who’s spent so many years in Thailand that every evening stroll becomes a neon nightmare, has suddenly gone all flowery. Faced with the predicament of having no paintings that his mother back in Maine would be proud to show her […]

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Pope-Francis

CHINA AND THE POPE: HEAVEN ON EARTH?

TOM PLATE WRITES — You don’t have to be a saint to be a great and effective leader, but you do have to be audacious. So when an audacious leader comes along that a good many admirers suspect to be a saint, you probably have got something special in front of you. May we presume […]

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