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 — In its quixotic quest for certainty about China – mortal threat or mere robust competitor? – the American consensus now claims to have taken the measure of China and is not in doubt. It would be better if it were. A fictive western mind may be creating…Full Article CHINA: BUT HOW CERTAIN CAN WE BE?
TOM PLATE WRITES — There are always concerns about Japan, with its background of not only brilliant accomplishments but also unforgettable aggressions; but now that Japan is in the foreground again, if with cheerless Olympics, historic debt and China rise, who can be sure what’s next? Recall that the geopolitically…Full Article JAPAN: WHY IT SHOULD PLACE PRIORITY ON MAKING FRIENDS AND MONEY
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 — It was quite a good romp. There in square five was Elliott, who helped run the college student newspaper way back then, now a professional psychotherapist. A few zoom squares away was lifelong friend, author and noted screenwriter Aaron. Then there was John, zooming in to the…Full Article CHINA’S RISE: US MUST BE A BETTER VERSION OF ITSELF TO ACCOMMODATE THE RE-EMERGENCE OF A MAJOR POWER
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 — It is still true, even in this speed-freak era of AI and machine-learning, that international diplomacy needs governments to station quality representatives in foreign capitals, and for international organisations to listen and learn, soak up the ineffable atmosphere, and interact with real people, especially those with “issues”,…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: A GOOD-VERSUS-EVIL WORLD VIEW DOES NO ONE ANY GOOD
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 — 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 — 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 — There’s often little more than a thin line between admirable principle and annoying stubbornness, and that line is not always easy to identify. Lost in the miasma of mutually exclusive righteousness, each side says the other is wrong or evil or both. The tragic consequence is that…Full Article Hong Kong: WHEN THE ‘PRINCIPLE’ OF THE THING IS THE PROBLEM OF THE THING
TOM PLATE WRITES — There are a few, though not yet many, Republicans openly furious with beleaguered President Donald Trump for seemingly asking Beijing to join his reelection campaign, in effect, by actively degrading a leading Democratic opponent. The target – former Vice President Joe Biden son’s alleged business activities…Full Article CHINA-US RELATIONS: TWO SILOS BUMPING HEADS UNWITTINGLY
SCMP’S KINLING LO WRITES — Disappointed commenters flooded China’s social media on Thursday with complaints that the on-air debate between an American and a Chinese news anchor on the trade war was too “mild” and too “short” – and that the “rude” Fox Business host Trish Regan kept interrupting CGTN’s…Full Article CHINA-U.S. TV FACE-OFF: ‘TOO MILD, TOO SHORT, TOO RUDE’
PROF TOM PLATE WRITES – It’s not easy being a superpower, and whoever would imagine such might be the case? Sometimes one almost feels an odd twang of sympathy for the leaders of China and the U.S. Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown of the superpower. Could any…Full Article HONG KONG: UNEASY LIES THE HEAD THAT WEARS THE CROWN OF THE SUPERPOWER