China’s high-speed trains will not eat America’s lunch

(Originally published here by the South China Morning Post on February 15, 2021) US President Joe Biden was doing so well on the China front.  He reassured allies that Washington is back on their team. He laid down all of the markers clearly for President Xi Jinping (Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Taiwan). He made clear that while cooperation with Beijing is necessary, [...]

The mundane reality of Marjorie Taylor Greene

(Originally published here by the South China Morning Post on February 1, 2021.) Less than two weeks into US President Joe Biden’s administration, he is leading a country closing in on half a million Covid-19 deaths, burdened by a chaotic vaccine roll-out that has left federal officials scrambling to locate millions of doses and struggling to shore up [...]

What a White House reporter’s demotion tells us about the Trump years

(Originally published here by the South China Morning Post on January 18, 2021.) Picking quarrels and provoking trouble”, the catch-all charge often invoked by the authorities in Beijing to stifle dissent, was used against citizen journalist Zhang Zhan last month, sending her to prison for four years for her reporting on the coronavirus pandemic. The move prompted [...]

Pompeo and the “Hong Kong 12”

(Originally published here on January 5, 2021 in the South China Morning Post.) The sparkling wine was just starting to chill on New Year’s Eve when we received 2020’s final jab against China by the Trump administration. With extreme diplomatic eloquence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assailed Chinese authorities for the way they doled out justice to the “Hong [...]

For Ted Cruz, Hong Kong democracy protesters have only ever been a stage prop

(Originally published here on December 21, 2020 by the South China Morning Post.) US Senator Ted Cruz’s heart has bled so profusely for those suffering under the wrath of a Hong Kong government unable and unwilling to address demands for democratic reform that most of us eventually had to tune out the drama like it [...]

Watching the high wire act that threatens to bring down the tent we’re all in

(Originally published here on December 8, 2020 in the South China Morning Post.) As the United States endures death on the scale of a 9/11 attack every two to three days, President Donald Trump is taking heavy flak for focusing on what amounts to his 2024 presidential election campaign. Who can blame him? Why dwell on something [...]

Donald Trump is accidentally right in saying the US shouldn’t fear Covid-19

(Originally published here by South China Morning Post on October 13, 2020) Donald Trump had a point about Covid-19 when he told Americans not to fear the disease, a remark that sparked an immediate backlash and accelerated the rapid worsening of his re-election odds. Although there’s no scientific evidence that the pathogen itself is mutating into [...]

If economic gains are reason enough for Americans to look past the Trump administration’s flaws, why would this not be the case for Chinese?

(Originally published here on September 15, 2020 in South China Morning Post.) Don’t expect Beijing to roll over when it is collared with the same leash it puts on diplomats posted to China. Conflating one-upmanship and reciprocity as readily as US President Donald Trump portrays America’s Covid-19 disaster as a public health policy success, Chinese Foreign Ministry [...]