Obama’s Tilt to Asia: Too Little, Too Late

Obama’s Tilt to Asia: Too Little, Too LateDonald Trump is encountering a fusillade of criticism alleging that his approach to Asia is creating a vacuum that will be eagerly filled by Beijing.  But those making this argument would be much more honest if they acknowledged that part of the blame lies with Trump’s predecessor as well. That Barack Obama deserves some censure…

China Braces for ISIS impact

China Braces for ISIS impactIn Chinese President Xi Jinping’s call for building a “great wall of iron” to shield his country against a possible infiltration by the Islamic State, or ISIS, lies China’s acknowledgement that it is as much vulnerable to this threat as any other country. That is forcing a clear change in Beijing’s traditional security concepts and…

Xenophobia Flourishes in Beijing

Xenophobia Flourishes in BeijingThe recent meeting of China’s National People’s Congress has thrown up a whole number of speeches preaching nationalism and anti-foreign sentiments. These are not policy – yet. But they indicate the direction in which China is continuing to move, regardless of its Trump-era claim to be a guardian of globalisation against trade barriers and economic…

Can Asia Compete for Regional Airplanes?

Can Asia Compete for Regional Airplanes?The year 2017 is shaping up to be a banner year for commercial airplane makers. Boeing and Airbus, makers of the “big jets,” will introduce new models this year, as will the two big makers of “regional” airliners Brazil’s Embraer and Canada’s Bombardier. Into this busy mix come two Asian aircraft manufacturers, one in China…

A New Asian Great Game Gets Underway

A New Asian Great Game Gets UnderwayNot one but two new Silk Roads are being born from the ashes of the ancient trade routes that were for centuries central to cultural interaction through regions of the Asian continent. In effect, a new Great Game – a term used to describe the 19th-century contest for political and diplomatic primacy between Britain and…

TPP’s Demise Doesn’t Mean China’s Outright Victory

TPP’s Demise Doesn’t Mean China’s Outright VictoryWith the US-led Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) now officially in limbo after President Donald Trump backed out, Asian markets are open for China to dominate. That is the analysis that has dominated the world media in depicting the post-TPP scenario. But for one thing, it fails to quantify the so-called domination and the myriad challenges…

China and the US Contradict Each Other on Trade

China and the US Contradict Each Other on Trade“Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room,” said China’s President Xi Jinping at the World Economic Forum in Davos. “Wind and rain may be kept outside, but so is light and air.” Is China the new global champion of free-trade? Xi’s words of warning were directed at the new American President Donald…

Book Review: Trickle-Down Censorship

Book Review: Trickle-Down CensorshipAs we enter a post-truth world – or so we are told -- there’s probably no better time than to curl up with JFK Miller’s Trickle-Down Censorship: An Outsider’s Account of Working Inside China’s Censorship Regime. It serves well as a timely reminder of the dangers in the other direction – state control of truth…

Shock End to TPP from Trump

Shock End to TPP from TrumpBuy Korea, buy Japanese, buy Taiwanese, buy Australian, buy Singaporean, buy Thai, buy Vietnamese, even buy Chinese. Forget about Apple, McDonalds, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, Ford, Boeing – there’s always an alternative. That is the message that President Donald Trump has sent around the world and most of all to America’s supposed allies in Asia. The…

The Red Dragon and the White Cross

The Red Dragon and the White CrossThe Chinese President Xi Jinping visited for Switzerland for the first time, stepping onto Swiss ground to attend the World Economic Forum WEF in Davos. But he used the chance for a state visit, stopping off in Berne to stroll past a Swiss honor guard with Swiss President Doris Leuthard. What brings that small European…