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 [...]

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 [...]

Coronavirus crisis? Trump’s bromance with Xi is going strong and he can blame everything on the Democrats anyway

(Originally published here on March 3, 2020 in South China Morning Post.) US President Donald Trump is absolutely correct to push back at critics who faulted him for the travel restrictions that the immigration authorities put in place a month ago. But to hear Trump tell the story, it was his political opponents from the Democratic Party [...]

By violating US judicial norms, Donald Trump might be putting himself and China in a lose-lose situation

(Originally published here on February 17, 2020 by South China Morning Post.) Asserting that Donald Trump feels a strong kinship with strongmen like Chinese President Xi Jinping used to be something of a rhetorical exercise. The assertion would be made to jolt those closest to Trump and also, with an overall sense of allegiance to [...]