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 future is not always all that tough to predict: “Should both Pacific powers remain frozen in stereotype, high-level diplomacy may yield next to nothing, or worse”. That was my fearless view last month. It remains the view today in the aftermath of the Alaska summit where…Full Article ALASKA SUMMIT: US AND CHINA MUST RETHINK THEIR DIPLOMACY
TOM PLATE WRITES — Minari is both the name for a celery-like herbal plant and the title of a wonderful new Korean-American movie that is stealing people’s hearts and winning major recognition. The plant is also a symbolic plot point that is as rich in the movie as the real-life…Full Article KOREAN PENINSULA: KEY ROLE FOR AN OUTSIDE (LADY) MEDIATOR?
TOM PLATE WRITES — America must understand that China is different, emphasised the late Lee Kuan Yew when some 25 years ago I asked Singapore’s iconic modern founder whether my new newspaper column on Asia, then in the Los Angeles Times, might possibly do some good. His counsel was to…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: COLD WAR CONTAINMENT OBSESSION MUST BE DITCHED
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 — It’s embarrassing. Like some televangelist preacher caught with his pants down at an out-of-town house-of-pleasure, America has been caught with its democracy down. Point one: a scary but also confused and confusing coup d’etat – another to come? Point two: A Republican president who should never…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: HOW BEIJING CAN LEAD AFTER THE CAPITOL CHAOS
TOM PLATE WRITES — You have to wonder how well (if at all) General Secretary Xi Jinping and President Joseph Biden are going to get along. Imagine such a splendid scene as this! With TV cameras broadcasting live around the world you see the leader of the Peoples Republic of…Full Article TENSE CHINA-US RELATIONS: DO BIDEN AND XI HAVE THE ANSWER?
TOM PLATE WRITES — The filling of key policy positions in the incoming Biden administration proceeds apace. But so far, none of the announced or expected top-level appointees proffer particular savvy or expertise about Beijing. The designated Biden secretary of state is Antony Blinken, whose dedicated career competence and sensible style…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: BIDEN’S AMERICA & XI’S CHINA MUST EVOLVE BEYOND MUTUAL DEMONISATION
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
KISHORE MAHBUBANI WRITES (courtesy of The Straits Times) — The first American president to enter my personal consciousness was John F. Kennedy. It wasn’t his stirring rhetoric that reached me as a child in Singapore. It was the news of his assassination. The sense of loss was globally palpable. History…Full Article CHINA-US TENSIONS: BIDEN SHOULD PRESS THE ‘PAUSE BUTTON’
TOM PLATE WRITES — There was always something of the Goliath versus David, if you framed such a thesis/antithesis picture: of Ruth Bader Ginsburg up against Donald J. Trump – the diminutive versus the hulk, the thinker versus the non-thinker, the caring versus the uncaring. But someone of stature had…Full Article US: CAN JUDGE RUTH BADER GINSBURG’S PASSING PUSH FOR A FINAL CHANGE?
TOM PLATE WRITES – This column seeks to contrast and compare Richard Falk, Henry Kissinger and Donald Trump with the outlook of young people we teach at universities. Don’t think that’s so easy to do! Our young students get plenty of lectures. Consider nuclear apocalypse. Princeton University emeritus professor Richard…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: HOW TO TEACH CHINA-US RELATIONS AS TENSIONS BETWEEN THE TWO SUPERPOWERS SOAR
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 – I wouldn’t mind being 20-Something again. It was the only time in my life that I had not yet made blunders of which I was aware, and – as best as I can recall – it was the only time I felt sure I knew just…Full Article HONG KONG: YEARS OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY
TOM PLATE WRITES — Lockdown. Many of us have just been through it; others of us are still stuck in it. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the term usually meant the kind of harsh confinement that befall inmates of a penal institution in the wake of a prison riot. Slight…Full Article TRUMP AND XI: THE ERA OF NON-MAGICAL THINKING
COLUMNIST TOM PLATE WRITES – The decline of the coherence and acumen of American foreign policy would appear to present Beijing with the potential for a century of anything and everything but humiliation. To be sure, historically, the U.S. has demonstrated Olympian bounce-back ability from near-death experiences (from bad economies…Full Article DEAR BEIJING: IS THIS THE BEST YOU CAN DO?