Mar 23, 2012

Bowing out with a farewell of great expectation

What was most amazing to Westerners at least -and perhaps, especially, to the Chinese people — was that his comments were broadcast live on official China TV. After all, his official observations weren’t exactly pretty. Here is the back-story. In every historical movement and ...

Feb 29, 2012

Why China resists Western intervention in Syria

Intellectual precision is especially vital in times of geopolitical passion. The full totality of evil of the Syrian government is now on display for the entire world to see. The brutality of President Bashar Assad is beyond immense. And so the blame game has ...

Conversations with Thaksin, Thailand's prime suspect

Jan 25, 2012

Conversations with Thaksin, Thailand's prime suspect

THE SHOCKING COUP: “The situation is no good.” “It’s just a matter of time,” a top minister had told him. “We only have a few weeks left before they act.” Another had told him: “Our days are numbered.” By Sept. 17, 2006, in New ...

Jan 20, 2012

Finessing the dramatic opening to Myanmar

Perhaps a democratic system of government will not prove the final answer for Myanmar. Just take a look at the Philippines if you’re crazy about another possible “for sale” democracy in Asia. But considering what the good people of what used to be called ...

Dec 26, 2011

The Korean god that failed and then was gone

Major historic chapter-ending news often seems so terribly sudden. Many North Koreans were said to be sincerely weeping over the demise of “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il, but for other people around the world, the end came none too soon. Their eyes are quite ...

Nov 22, 2011

Guess who's suddenly inviting Uncle Sam to dinner?

Real-life diplomacy reveals, as Lord Palmerston, twice British prime minister (1855-8, 1859-65), famously put it: “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.” Over the decades ...

Nov 7, 2011

Asian leader receives coveted American award

They honored the controversial, though increasingly appreciated, Asian statesman Lee Kuan Yew at the historic Ford Theater in Washington recently, and I wish I had been there. Exceptional leaders are hard to find anywhere on the globe, including Asia. Until his recent retirement, this ...

Sep 19, 2011

'Our prosperity is not a threat to our neighbors'

Modern-day China still seems to search for a clear-headed sense of its true self and its proper place in the 21st-century sun. Where and how this otherwise predictable resource-seeking superpower will fit into the scheme of things on this troubled planet is the 1.3 ...

Aug 17, 2011

Rising superpower floats an aircraft carrier

China’s new (and first) aircraft carrier isn’t fully operational yet. But whatever its ultimate naval potency, we know that it does at least float! It’s currently in a mainland dock for further dressing up and hosting of crew training before setting sail. We recall ...

Jul 16, 2011

No 'one size fits all' for democracy

“Political man” is a complicated species. Cultural conditions and history differ widely. Humility in the interpretation and prediction of human nature is the wisest bet. The evolving “Arab Spring,” as the media term it, is viewed through Western eyes as if the transformation of ...