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 — 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 – In coming months look for broad gripes and bright anti-red stars over the land of the free, not to mention the home of the brave. The “Committee on the Present Danger: China” – cliché bombs bursting in the media air – begins its anti-communist show in the…Full Article HONG KONG: SO WHEN WILL CHINA’S ‘WORLD DOMINATION TOUR’ COMMENCE?
TOM PLATE WRITES – When President Donald J. Trump abruptly folded his diplomatic tent in Hanoi and flew back to Washington without a de-nuclearization/sanctions-relief deal with North Korea, the temperature in the Vietnamese capital had been pleasantly upper-70s (F). But on landing, the American capital seemed much, much colder in…Full Article HONG KONG: THE VERY THOUGHT OF TRUMP’S IMPEACHMENT STARTS TO SHAKE UP THE WORLD
TOM PLATE WRITES – Fragile ceasefires are not the sharpest knife in diplomacy’s kitchen drawer but are several cuts above abandoning a firefight and allowing it to roar on. The tariff war that President Trump ignited on the hefty kindling of China’s self-styled “socialism with Chinese characteristics” has been put…Full Article HONG KONG: CHINA’S THINK TANKS AND THE NEW ‘CONTAINMENT POLICY’ FOR TARIFFS
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
TOM PLATE WRITES – It is a commonplace that China’s system disdains consequential elections. But in a sense this is only strictly true in national practice. Whether leaders and peoples accept it or hate it, this is the age of continuous globalization. It is not a matter of choice –…Full Article CHINA AND THE AMERICAN ELECTION: THE SERIOUS STAKES FOR BEIJING
TOM PLATE WRITES – Hong Kong is exceptional, of course. It is an object of desire worldwide — a known global gem, a gold-medal metropolis. It attracts not just business people but holiday seekers. It has glamor. It has an amazing film industry. It probably has more raging shopaholics per…Full Article HONG KONG: XI JINPING GOVERNMENT MAKING THE WRONG ENEMIES
WRITES TOM PLATE – In the pantheon of American movies, the 1985 flick ‘Back to the Future’ does not rank at the top of temple Hollywood, as do canonical masterpieces such as ‘Casablanca’, ‘Gone With the Wind,’ ‘Lawrence of Arabia” and others. Yet the movie title alone enriched American argot,…Full Article HONG KONG: US-CHINA RELATIONS – BACK TO THE FUTURE?
TOM PLATE WRITES – Recent U.S. presidents, at least in public, would speak of China only after the vetting of practically every word, as if an errant one might prove seriously chancy. The bilateral was too complex, the stakes too high, the relationship freighted with too many tensions to have…Full Article ONE COLUMNIST’S VIEW: INSIDE THE ‘MIND’ OF DONALD J. TRUMP
WRITES BHAVAN JAIPRAGAS OF THE SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST — The eldest son of Lee Hsien Yang – the estranged younger brother of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong – has defied an official order by the Singapore government’s lawyers to issue a public apology for a Facebook post about…Full Article SINGAPORE: STRAIGHT FROM FACEBOOK TO FAMILY FEUD CONTINUED
TOM PLATE WRITES – How sad is the ongoing family quarrel in otherwise brilliant Singapore? On my first trip to Singapore, as a Los Angeles Times columnist, which featured my first interview with Lee Kuan Yew, then titled senior minister, I returned home feeling I had seen something special and…Full Article A COLUMNIST’S VIEW FROM LOS ANGELES ON THE SAD SINGAPORE SCANDAL
TOM PLATE WRITES – The rude acidity of the Trump administration’s slap-down of the largely symbolic Paris Climate Accord has stung eyes and optimisms around the world. We move from having a U.S. president known for “leading from behind,” as the Obama hyper-caution was termed, to a successor who proposes…Full Article LOS ANGELES: COLUMNIST PARSES GROWING CHINA AND HONG KONG TENSIONS
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
TOM PLATE WRITES – There is not the slightest doubt that the emotional mentality of the West Coast versus the East Coast of the U.S. on a vital East-West issue such as the China relationship is different. The reason for bringing this up has to do with our currently besieged…Full Article A COLUMNIST’S TAKE: TRUMP AND HIS MAR-A-LAGO