CLINICAL PROFESSOR TOM PLATE WRITES – I submit for your consideration an American political figure named Jerry Brown. He turns 84 this week but is somehow still flamboyant and relevant, if sometimes slightly annoying. I have not only grown to admire him but come to feel this lifelong politician is…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: NEED ‘PLANETARY REALISM’ TO AVOID GEOPOLITICAL AND ECOLOGICAL APOCALYPSE
TOM PLATE WRITES — The Chinese tilt towards Russia is understandable enough. It is immensely satisfying to be able to tell American leaders that China will do what it wants to do, whether the arrogant West likes it or not. China is the big deal now – or so goes…Full Article UKRAINE CRISIS: IS CHINA’S TILT TOWARDS RUSSIA IN BEIJING’S BEST LONG-TERM INTEREST?
TOM PLATE WRITES — Power is not always angelic. When the power to do something exists, it often gathers like a storm, ready to be unleashed. Power is also agnostic; it can be used for evil as well as for good. One thing is for certain. Without concentrations of power, not…Full Article POWER GAME: UKRAINE’S FATE WILL BE SHAPED BY DECISIONS FROM RUSSIA, CHINA AND AMERICA
TOM PLATE WRITES — Do dead sculptures tell no tales? Perhaps they still do. Recently the Pillar of Shame statue in Hong Kong, long displayed, was removed from the University of Hong Kong campus by the powers that be. The sculpture had shaped the famous Tiananmen Square incident in terms…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: CRUMBLING US HAS NO BUSINESS TELLING OTHERS WHAT TO DO WITH THEIR STATUES
TOM PLATE WRITES — Can it be that fresh air is being permitted to enter the closed casket of American foreign affairs thinking? The other day, a critique of U.S. policy toward China flat-lined on my computer screen that raised my hopes: it amounted to a reasoned plea for exactly…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: ALL HOPE IS NOT LOST DESPITE THE TENSIONS AND TEPID VIRTUAL SUMMIT
TOM PLATE WRITES — If fine oratory is a valuable art form, it is nonetheless becoming a lost one. Beware the mere glitter of charisma alone. In a politician, it is often no more than wrapping paper around a thin gift box of costume jewellery, but true orators can move…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: HOW BARACK OBAMA CAN HELP AND HEAL THE RELATIONS
TOM PLATE WRITES — International peace and stability, more vital to survival than ever before in our enervating epoch of pandemic-proliferation and climate-deterioration, requires a collaborative community of responsibility. What is needed – urgently, obviously — is a global ethic of helping-out and digging-in for the common long haul rather…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: START BY RECOGNIZING ITS ANIMAL NATURE
TOM PLATE WRITES — US foreign policy since the September 11 attacks looks rather like an animal caught in the headlights of fast-moving contemporary history that won’t slow down for anyone or anything. If we can agree on this general picture, then we must also agree that no one American, whether…Full Article UNITED STATES: FOREIGN POLICY NEEDS A SCRIPT REWRITE UNDER ANTONY BLINKEN AND JOE BIDEN
TOM PLATE WRITES — Frustrations come with any occupation, and writing columns about Asia and America, as I have without stop for 25 years, is no exception. Asia is powerful and dynamic, and one size does not fit all. But, for me, no one subject has proven more elusive and…Full Article NORTH-SOUTH DIVIDE: ONLY KOREANS THEMSELVES CAN FIND A WAY OUT OF THE IMPASSE
TOM PLATE WRITES — According to newspaper reports, on arrival in Washington Mr Qin Gang’s public tone seemed sort of chipper; and further, in the wake of his initial greet-and-meet with US officials, there surfaced simmering new communications between the US and China. Given the alarm with which many westerners…Full Article SINO-US RELATIONS: IS THE EUPHORIA OVER CHINA’S NEW WASHINGTON AMBASSADOR JUSTIFIED AMID THE DREARY DIPLOMATIC REALITIES?
TOM PLATE WRITES — The agony in Afghanistan makes for many sorrows. Beyond the scenes of chaos at Kabul airport is the unseen anguish of all those US veterans back home who are dealing with various psychological and physical traumas and are now especially unproud of their country; of families…Full Article AFGHANISTAN AND BEYOND: CHINA MUST LEARN FROM US HUBRIS AND BLUNDERS
TOM PLATE WRITES — Maybe the United Nations – fumbling, hopelessly bureaucratic, partly-corrupt – is in fact beyond redemption. Just forget about it: Let it career down the slippery slope of mediocrity and geopolitical irrelevance and splash ignominiously into New York’s East River — like some waterside condo with a…Full Article UNITED NATIONS: PERHAPS CHINA, NOT THE U.S., CAN SAVE THE WANING ORGANIZATION
TOM PLATE WRITES — Given the relentless Western media verdict about “China’s increasing assertiveness,” it might seem surprising that across Asia doubts about America’s own continental conduct proceed apace. Yet this goes little reported back in the U.S. Nonetheless, within some government and policy circles in Indonesia, Japan and Singapore –…Full Article AMERICA’S KNEE-JERK REACTION TO CHINA: JUST SHOOT THE BAD GUY
TOM PLATE WRITES — A new report from a respected US think tank at least tries for a fair and sensible analysis of the China challenge. For this alone, given the almost rancid mood in the US about China these days, President Xi Jinping and his government are not going to…Full Article SINO-U.S. RELATIONS: WHY AMERICA CAN’T AFFORD TO OVERHYPE THE CHINA THREAT
TOM PLATE WRITES — We patriotic Americans usually call it Memorial Day weekend, but sometimes the barbecues and beer throw memory off base, as if the holiday on the last Monday of every May signifies no more than the winding down of a 72-hour party. On the Saturday of Memorial…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: AN AMERICA ALL TOO EXPERIENCED IN WAR MUST TAKE STOCK
TOM PLATE WRITES — Marvellously, sharp streaks of sunshine are starting to break through America’s Covid-19 cloud cover, but the fog over US foreign policy seems heavy. It involves India, China and Russia. Let’s start with India and employ the British poet W.H. Auden’s words – “the gates of hell are…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: FOREIGN POLICY AIMED AT OBSTRUCTING CHINA WON’T SUCCEED