Finding the footpath through an incinerated forest

(Originally published here on November 7, 2022 in the South China Morning Post.) No US State Department or National Security Council press briefing is complete these days without an attempt to get confirmation that Joe Biden and Xi Jinping will meet in person as presidents for the first time at the G20 summit in Indonesia this month. [...]

More U.S. lawmakers in Taiwan may be just what our planet needs

(Originally published here in the South China Morning Post on August 2, 2022.) Devastating weather events, breakthrough climate legislation, economic warning signs and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Asia-Pacific itinerary dominated the US news cycle last week. As the death toll from record flash flooding rises in Kentucky – which was still recovering from a once-in-a-century barrage of tornadoes that killed [...]

Slam America for its gun problem, but don’t equate it with Xinjiang

It should be no surprise that the Chinese government has called attention to America's gun problem, given the condemnation it faces for any number of its hard-line domestic policies, including mass incarceration of Uygurs and other religious minorities in Xinjiang for vocational training or cultural genocide, depending on whose version you believe.

The GOP’s Putin lovers can’t cheer him publicly, so watch out Beijing

(Originally published here on May 24, 2022 in the South China Morning Post.) The oil might be flowing from Russia to China, but Vladimir Putin should take note that the lifelines he was counting on from the US, arguably as valuable, are disintegrating. And the implications for Beijing are more serious than they might first [...]

A US senator about to be replaced by a MAGA stalwart makes national security hope look like fantasy

(Originally published here in the South China Morning Post on May 10, 2022.) US President Joe Biden’s appearance at an Ohio manufacturer of metal alloy parts last week with Republican Senator Rob Portman offered hope for American politics – or was it fantasy? The evolution of American political discourse during the past decade would seem [...]

The straight, white, Christian, married suburban mom who nailed the Democratic message

(Originally published here on April 26, 2022 in the South China Morning Post.) America’s culture wars came to a head last week when Republican firebrand Rick DeSantis signed into law a bill revoking the Walt Disney Company’s special district status in his state and a Democrat landed on a message that finally sparked signs of [...]

The MAGA-China-Russia alignment deepens

(Originally published here on April 12, 2022 in the South China Morning Post.) The Western world is cheering the fortitude of a Ukrainian population that has remained defiant in the face of continued Russian aggression, encouraged by another US-led rebuke of Moscow at the UN General Assembly last week. Even countries that abstained or rejected the proposal [...]

A generation was taught that inclusion was good. The idea is now under assault

(Originally published here on November 9, 2021 in the South China Morning Post.) The US state of Virginia has a new governor-in-waiting, and the world has a better understanding of the extent of America’s racial divisions. Many Democrats had watched hopefully as the state’s northeastern region grew more integrated with Washington DC, where Black Lives Matter [...]

Attn Democrats: contempt is Bannon’s strategy, not your victory

(Originally published here in the South China Morning Post on October 26, 2021) The American Democratic Party just handed its opponents another victory in the battle for control of the US government. The US House of Representatives voted last week to hold Steve Bannon, a strategist in the Trump administration, in criminal contempt of Congress for refusing [...]

Grassley’s leap, Bannon’s irony, and why traditional Republicans are like BLM at the NRA

(Originally published here on October 12, 2021 in the South China Morning Post.) The dominoes are falling fast in the American Republican Party. The latest one to tumble under former US president Donald Trump’s influence is Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, the formerly traditional conservative who now appears to have joined the most dangerous of the [...]