This column originally appeared in the South China Morning Post on January 4, 2023. CLINICAL PROFESSOR TOM PLATE WRITES – Is it conceivable that the risk-taking pilot of the Chinese Navy J-11 fighter that flew within metres of a US Air Force RC-135 over the South China Sea two weeks ago…Full Article JAPAN: AMID US-CHINA TENSIONS, JAPAN MUST CHOOSE DEFT DIPLOMACY, NOT TOP GUN TOMFOOLERY, TO ENSURE PEACE
CLINICAL PROFESSOR TOM PLATE WRITES – Today’s US-China relations are more akin to a rugby match than an elegant balletic pas de deux. Nothing illustrates this better than the Nancy Pelosi Taiwan caper. Sure, when it comes to the moralism of the average American politician, sensitivity to other political cultures…Full Article US-CHINA RELATIONS: IF PELOSI REALLY WANTS PEACE TO PREVAIL IN TAIWAN, SHE’LL STAY AWAY
CLINICAL PROFESSOR TOM PLATE WRITES – You might well be starting to believe that the calibre of today’s political leadership isn’t what it used to be. Suddenly, the global field of play is cluttered with stunning individual wreckage. Political uncertainty rules, a war sparked by an invasion reveals our current…Full Article WORLD: ASIA NEEDS LEADERS OF THE CALIBRE OF SINGAPORE’S LEE KUAN YEW TO NAVIGATE A MESSY WORLD
CLINICAL PROFESSOR TOM PLATE WRITES – An unexpected invitation came via email last week that will prove either of no more import than any of the other stuff in my inbox, or instead a tea leaf to be read and analysed with care and an open mind. It was an…Full Article CHINA-US RELATIONS: A THAW IN CHINA-US DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS? WE CAN ONLY HOPE
CLINICAL PROFESSOR TOM PLATE WRITES – Major participants in the Russia-Ukraine war, whether involved directly or by proxy, lack agreement about when and how it must end. These varying perspectives result in an unseemly policy scrum, adding more confusion to this humanitarian tragedy. This obscene war, despite the many ways…Full Article RUSSIA-UKRAINE WAR: NO ONE, CHINA INCLUDED, WANTS TO SEE THE UKRAINE WAR GOING NUCLEAR
CLINICAL PROFESSOR TOM PLATE WRITES – It’s just possible that a favorable diplomatic wind is forming that could alter the trajectory of the storm of war raging over Ukraine, the second-largest country in Europe. Pushing this war out to sea might help clear the gathering clouds of world economic collapse.…Full Article U.S.-CHINA RELATIONS: WHY U.S. ARROGANCE, NOT THE RUSSIA-CHINA RELATIONSHIP, IS THE BIGGEST BARRIER TO PEACE IN UKRAINE
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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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