TOM PLATE WRITES – International relations gets advertised and promoted by international-relations theorists as it were insanely complicated. But simply saying so doesn’t make it so. Sometimes it is all quite simple, and not in the least insane. For those who live in a neighborhood of nations with those allegedly…Full Article LOS ANGELES: A COLUMNIST DECONSTRUCTS THE ‘COMPLEXITY’ OF THE CHINA-U.S. RELATIONSHIP
AMI FOUNDER TOM PLATE WRITES – Last week the 45th President of the United States paid proper tribute to the People’s Republic of China – which, by the way, would have been a whirlwind week for the Trump Administration even without the big-deal dinner for leader Xi Jinping. And though…Full Article CHINA-US: A COLUMNIST’S VIEW OF THE SUMMIT
TOM PLATE WRITES – Indian MP and former high UN official Shashi Tharoor is easily one of the most graceful, intelligent and accessible writers well known to the public-policy world. For my rupees, his 2012 book ‘Nehru: The Invention of India’ might well be the best short political biography in…Full Article INDIA: NEW BOOK BY BRILLIANT SHASHI THARO0R ON COLONIAL BRITAIN’S DEEP RACISM AND AMORAL CYNICISM
TOM PLATE WRITES – Not far down the freeway from my own university is the University of California Irvine, for years the faculty home of one of the West Coast’s better-known China-watchers/worriers. He is the controversy-prone professor Peter Navarro, of the Paul Merage School of Business. For the foreseeable future,…Full Article HONG KONG: KEEP THE PEACE
Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating (1991-1996, pictured right) offers a crystal-clear vision of China’s rise in Asia in a deeply thought-provoking interview with Kerry O’Brien, one of Australia’s most respected journalists. The hour-long radio session with the highly informed, forward-thinking Keating, now 72, covers a valuable range of topics,…Full Article AUSTRALIA: THE WAY TO DEAL WITH CHINA
The following summary (or ‘Abstract’) of an invaluable study titled “…China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign” arises from exemplary research by Xi Lu and Peter L. Lorentzen of the University of California, Berkeley. Their study comes at an especially helpful time: Scholars (not to mention journalists and Western government officials) have been endlessly…Full Article UC BERKELEY: IS CHINA’S PRESIDENT XI SINCERE IN HIS ANTI-CORRUPTION CAMPAIGN?
One of the most popular writers in English living in Southeast Asia is Christopher G. Moore. His ‘Vincent Calvino’ novels in particular crashed one bestselling list in Asia after another. A video on his work, on the ‘dark but rich’ side of Bangkok, and the life of the expat in…Full Article BANGKOK: THE ROMANTIC EXISTENCE OF THE EXPAT IN MYSTERIOUS THAILAND
TOM PLATE WRITES – Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong suffered a scary spell during his deliverance of the annual National Day speech, but after fast work by an emergency team and a brief rest, returned to the microphone to soldier on. And this is very good news indeed. Lee,…Full Article SINGAPORE: SCARY MOMENT FOR THE PM
America has used so-named drones against enemies abroad (real or misidentified) far more extensively than it has thought through the complex implications of such usage. Now come a mid-course thought-correction, as it were, in the form of a nearly 400-page book that takes on the ethical, political and international law…Full Article LOS ANGELES: PREVENTIVE FORCE, PREVENTIVE THINKING
One of the most interesting, and politically pivotal, newspapers left on the face of the earth is the South China Morning Post. Located in southernmost China – in the special administrative district of Hong Kong – the SCMP has stood proudly as a stubborn and delightful outpost of honest, non-ideological…Full Article HONG KONG: HOT SPOTLIGHT ON ONE OF ASIA’S BEST NEWSPAPERS
TOM PLATE WRITES – Win some – lose some. The Obama administration was shocked and rocked: “We recommend that the United States bring its [raised tariffs against China] into conformity with its obligations.” That, just two years ago, was the sharply worded ruling from an international body whose judgment Beijing…Full Article CHINA: SEA-ING INTO THE FOG OF WAR
I don’t know about you, but when I travel to Asia and lodge in one of its great cities, such as Tokyo, probably the first print item I reach for after the magnificent Japan Times newspaper is TIME OUT TOKYO. This worldwide chain of urban guides offers the traveler unbelievably…Full Article TOKYO: TIME OUT FOR CATS!
TOM PLATE WRITES: A long time ago, it seems like a thousand years now, I worked in the State Department, however briefly, with the honor of a formal security clearance. In that role, as a backup speechwriter (I was quite young, but loved the experience, totally respected the careerists there),…Full Article PACIFIC PERSPECTIVE COMMENTARY: THIS MEMO IS NOT CLASSIFIED!
TOM PLATE WRITES: Stumped by Trump? Horrified by Hillary? Apprehensive about America? As a therapeutic aid, dear distinguished reader, this column proposes to examine – and even appreciate – a totally different style of public leadership: the low-key. Yes, that kind. Remember the old days? Remember Hu Jintao, the predecessor…Full Article CHINA VERSUS AMERICA: THE TRUMPET OF THE DON
The Brexit outcome was a complete surprise only to those well insulated in the corridors of power and the economic and political elite. And our summer of discontent is anything but played out yet. Great Britain has voted (52-48%) to disengage from the European Union, and while the U.S. had…Full Article A PACIFIC PERSPECTIVE COMMENTARY: THE BRUTAL REALITY OF THE BREXIT VOTE