Asia Media International Founder Tom Plate was interviewed Friday Nov, 4 by the Associated Press of Australia about the coming U.S. national elections Tuesday. The key question was, obviously, the probable effect of a Trump victory as compared to a Clinton victory.

Said Plate, a columnist for the South China Morning Post as well as Loyola Marymount University’s Distinguished Scholar of Asian and Pacific Studies: “I decided to formulate my responses tongue-in-cheek. This election has been notable for excessive non-authoritative commentary, among other annoying things. I chose not to contribute to that depressing trend … well, t least to the extent possible.”

Question from the AP:  Prof. Plate – what will be the effect on the U.S. Australia relationship should Donald Trump win the election, or Mrs. Clinton?
Answer: “Does Trump have a hotel or golf course in Australia? That would be a major determinant of his bilateral policy, probably….
“Seriously, for Australia, the most important single outcome of the U.S. presidential election is its net effect on US-China relations over the next four years.  If tensions increase, Canberra could be put between a rock and a hard place, facing uncomfortable choices.  If it evens out and opens up, Australia — with its conspicuous U.S. Marine guests — would be an important player at the table….
“As for China, it is wary of both Mrs Clinton’s hard line as well as of Trump’s trade-gap demagoguery. So Beijing really doesn’t have a particular dog in this race, unlike the Russians.”
Question:  In Australia there is sentiment for Mrs. Clinton over Mr.Trump. What do you think of that?

Answer: “What Australian leaders think of U.S. candidates does not have much weight with the American public, for worse or for better.

“In 2007, then PM John Howard’s knocks on candidate Obama  stood out because as an staunch backer of the Iraq War, your PM’s credibility for sagacity seemed rather on the low side; and of course your former PM was white and Obama was not and Howard had not won many popularity contests in nearby Indonesia, toward which the then-Democratic candidate had a special warm history.  I think I wrote a column decrying his unwanted comments….

“For all that, Aussies are extremely popular with the America public and other than one by one executing its lovable Koala bears ISIS style on Australian Broadcasting Corp. TV, probably could do little to undermine that well-earned popularity.”

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