Trump’s Trade War Is About Trump, Not China

By slapping tariffs on Chinese imports, Donald Trump has once again proven to be the Disrupter-in-Chief. This week alone, he’s brought John Bolton in as national security advisor over the objections of every sane person in the universe, threatened to go after Bashar al-Assad over the Syrian leader’s alleged use of chemical weapons, and revived disgusting characterizations of Mexicans as...
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Building On The Good News From Asia

There’s been precious little good news from Asia these days. Washington and Pyongyang continue to trade threats of war. Right-wing nationalist Shinzo Abe won reelection as prime minister in Japan last month. Major storms have hammered several countries in the region, most recently Typhoon Damrey in Vietnam. And now, in the wake of those typhoons comes a mighty wind from the United States....
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Russia’s Not the Country Benefitting Most from Trump

Forget RussiaGate for the moment. Forget James Comey’s upcoming testimony before the Senate intelligence committee. Forget all the conspiratorial speculation that Donald Trump is the plaything of Russian President Vladimir Putin. In strictly foreign policy terms, Trump’s election is not really working out so well for the Kremlin. The sanctions against Russia are still in place, and...
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China on the Defensive?

It has not been a good month for China. On July 12, an international court of arbitration at The Hague handed the Philippines a huge victory over China in the struggle over the South China Sea. A few days before that, South Korea decided to go forward with the deployment of the US Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System (THAAD), a move that Beijing has consistently opposed. And then...
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Making China Great Again

The final of the World Snooker Championship took place this week in Sheffield, the hardscrabble town in England’s north perhaps best known as the setting for the movie The Full Monte. Sheffield is a former industrial center so snookered by globalization that the laid-off steel workers in that 1997 film decide to become male strippers to make ends meet. Twenty years later, Sheffield’s steel...
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China and the Opportunity Costs of 9/11

“The upcoming summit between China and the United States will feature a major plan for reducing the military arsenals of the two countries, an initiative to stabilize and grow the global economy, a follow-up effort to further reduce carbon emissions, and a brand new proposal to address global poverty and health pandemics.” Oops, wrong press release. Let me see, ah, here it is: “The summit...
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