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
TOM PLATE WRITES — Perhaps no gloomier assessment of the China-US relationship can be made than to note that, were it to sink yet another notch or two, there would be no relationship at all. Like a Japanese garden so minimalist that removing one stone might vitiate its existence, the…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: GROWING PERIL OF WAR OVER TAIWAN WOULD BE FOOLISH AND COSTLY
TOM PLATE WRITES — The late George Kennan became a diplomatic legend for advocating, while stationed in Moscow, a singular foreign policy idea that famously worked. It was called “containment”. Its steadfast observance by the US and its allies undoubtedly helped lead to the welcome collapse of the Soviet Union.…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: POINTILLISM IS THE WAY TO GO
TOM PLATE WRITES — The truth about the swelling importance of the People’s Republic of China in the Asia-Pacific is that without America’s corresponding help, unintended as it was of course, the reversal of position would not have happened as quickly. Perhaps it all began in 1997, with the collapse…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: BEIJING CAN BE A CONTRIBUTOR TO PEACE AND PROSPERITY
TOM PLATE WRITES — The way it is going now, I might have been wrong. The professor had written a good book but (in my mind) smudged it with an ethically snarky title: Destined for War. A few critics (okay, mainly me) pointed out that the addition of a simple question mark (Destined for…Full Article INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: DUMPED BY TRUMP?
TOM PLATE WRITES — Australia has a China problem, and it’s not clear that anyone can help it out of the box it’s in. Yes, it’s a China box: The ground underneath the Asia-Pacific is starting to shake, and the incipient foreign-policy shakeout ‘Down Under’ may well tell those of…Full Article AUSTRALIA AND CHINA: DESTINED TO FIGHT OVER THE ‘LITTLE CHILDREN’ OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC?
TOM PLATE WRITES – How best to make beautiful music? Loud or soft? Fast or slow? How best to compose a new world order – loud or soft? Fast or slow? In orchestral history, in 1962, superstar tensions surfaced at New York’s Carnegie Hall. The egos of rising pianist-powerhouse Glenn…Full Article HONG KONG: SCMP COLUMNIST MAKES CASE ‘BERNSTEIN-GOULD’ PRECEDENT COULD MAKE BEAUTIFUL MUSIC IN SINO-US RELATIONS
ASIA MEDIA WRITES == ‘New’ PM Mahathir nearly covers the South China Sea waterfront in skillful exclusive interview quite rightly showcased in print and digital by influential SCMP newspaper in Hong Kong – arguably print journalism’s leading Beijing-watcher. See: http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/geopolitics/article/2151451/nothing-fear-china-says-malaysias-mahathir-mohamad-lopsidedFull Article HONG KONG: SCMP NAILS SCOOP INTERVIEW WITH MALAYSIAN PM ON CHINA AS OPPORTUNITY VERSUS THREAT