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John Kemp
COMMENTARY / World
Apr 19, 2016
Saudi Arabia turns its oil weapon on Iran
For decades, Riyadh has insisted that it does not wield oil as a diplomatic weapon, but last weekend it did just that as part of an intensifying conflict with Iran.
COMMENTARY / World
Feb 12, 2016
Saudi reform efforts wax and wane with oil prices
No one should underestimate the determination of Saudi Arabia's new rulers to overhaul the kingdom's economy, but the immense challenges should not be underestimated either.
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 7, 2016
Saudi Arabia's perilous divides
Saudi Arabia's execution of Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr has exposed the dangerous political, religious and socioeconomic fault lines that run through the kingdom and the Gulf.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 22, 2015
Britain's long transition from coal holds lessons for China
Cheaper sources of energy, not government policies, serve as the greatest incentive for phasing out the use of coal.
COMMENTARY / World
Jun 9, 2015
OPEC decision reflects new oil market reality
OPEC's decision on Friday not to cut production was entirely predictable and the only practical option open to its members.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
May 31, 2015
South China Sea disputes test China's peaceful rise
The South China Sea has become a critical testing ground for the changing economic, political and military relationship between China and the United States.
COMMENTARY / World
Jan 11, 2015
Xi a keen student of U.S. power
Xi Jinping is being called China's first U.S.-style president because of how he has cultivated a distinctly presidential approach abroad, overseen loans and trade deals with strategic partners and used the 'bully pulpit' at home to advocate a clear policy direction.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 30, 2014
Oil prices and Saudi democracy
Saudi Arabia's top policymakers deny they have deliberately sought lower oil prices, and there are good reasons to doubt the kingdom is wielding the oil weapon as part of some grand geopolitical strategy.
COMMENTARY / World
Dec 1, 2014
OPEC's other problem: weak demand for oil
Sluggish demand growth in response to the quadrupling of oil prices between 2002 and 2012 is at least as a big a challenge for OPEC as rising shale output.
Japan Times
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 16, 2014
For China, pollution and climate change are not the same problem
Pollution is literally killing the inhabitants of China's most polluted cities.
COMMENTARY / World
Nov 11, 2014
China flexes its Silk Road muscle
Just as access to American markets and capital was once a key component of U.S. diplomacy, China is now employing its financial and trade muscle to win influence. It's 'New Silk Road' maritime and land belts have become the centerpiece of its economic diplomacy.
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 17, 2014
Oil market is proving mightier than OPEC
The only sensible oil-pricing strategy for Saudi Arabia and OPEC — in light of U.S. shale output — is to focus on market share and allow prices to decline to the point at which they slow the growth in non-OPEC output and lessen the drive for energy efficiency.
COMMENTARY / World
Oct 14, 2014
Saudi Arabia's oil enigma
Saudi Arabia is sometimes likened to a central bank managing the global oil market, adding or withdrawing supplies to control prices. But that vastly overstates the degree of influence, let alone control, that the kingdom exercises over the market.
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 26, 2014
China's navy seeks security in Strait of Hormuz
Bandar Abbas, home of Iran's navy and the main port in the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, hosts two Chinese naval vessels on a five-day goodwill visit, underscoring the increasingly warm relationship between the two countries.
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 7, 2014
Why the shale revolution is not about to end
Doubts about the sustainability of the North American oil and gas boom center on rapidly declining output from many shale wells after they are drilled.
COMMENTARY / World
Sep 2, 2014
Joint resource development in South China Sea
Shared development of oil, gas and possibly other natural resources is the most promising option for reducing tensions in the South China Sea and should be the focus of efforts to improve diplomatic relations between China and its coastal neighbors.
COMMENTARY / World
Aug 29, 2014
Creative diplomacy required to resolve territorial disputes
The coastal states around the South and East China Seas will have to agree to divide, share or pool their sovereignty in the interests of security and to permit the peaceful exploitation of the resources.
COMMENTARY / World
Aug 4, 2014
Natural gas is only as 'clean' as its handling
Shifting to natural gas is at the heart of the U.S. government's proposed new rules for power plant emissions. But gas is only more environmentally friendly if it is produced, transported and burned carefully — without too much leaking into the atmosphere.
COMMENTARY / World
Jul 29, 2014
Preparing for the next big solar storm
The probability of a solar storm striking Earth in the next decade with enough force to do serious damage to electricity networks, lasting perhaps for months, could be as high as 12 percent.
COMMENTARY / World
Jul 21, 2014
Overuse weakens sanctions
As the U.S. becomes more cautious about military intervention, financial sanctions are being seen as an increasingly attractive alternative in the pursuit of national security and foreign policy goals. But their overuse could spur a major effort to reroute financial transactions away from the U.S.

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Tokashiki Beach acts as a sanctuary for sea turtles and offers ideal snorkeling waters. It was also the site of the U.S. Army’s preliminary invasion that led to the 1945 Battle of Okinawa, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 150,000 people.
On Okinawa's Tokashiki Island, life's a beach — one of the best in the world