A Look Back at the Trump Presidency and Thailand

My piece for Thai Enquirer: Many Thais would have been asleep when the election results in Pennsylvania were finally called at nearly midnight, Bangkok time. Some of those who were awake greeted the news that former vice president Joe Biden had won the state, and with it the American presidency, with relief. President Donald Trump …

Joe Biden’s New Cold War?

My piece for Thai Enquirer: East Asia had for decades depended on both the generosity and might of successive American presidents. The United States has served as the key offshore balancer in East Asia, maintaining a stable power structure that created an environment of peace and prosperity. The occupation of the American throne by an …

The View From Bangkok: Black Lives Matter

Originally published in Thai Enquirer — click here. When I arrived to study in the United States, I did not know much about race relations.  Part of it is due to the environment in which I grew up. While at school I learned about the horrors of racism, it was not something I internalized. Watching …

The Positive Case for Joe Biden

“Almost no one I came across said they were going to vote because someone, anyone, but especially Joe Biden, had made their heart sing,” said Alex Wagner in The Atlantic. Joe Biden’s candidacy, she argued, is less about Joe Biden the person and more about the idea of Joe Biden. What the former vice president …

For Thais, Only Disorder in Today’s World Order

My new piece for Thai Enquirer:  Commentators often talk about soft power: the ability to wield influence and shape preferences without having to resort to hard military power. American cultural influence, political values and economic power ensures that it continues to indisputably lead the world in this regard.  America’s image as “shining city on the …

US-China Relations Beyond 2020

I recently wrapped up my internship at the Bangkok Post, and my lead piece for this week’s Asia Focus section was published today. In the world’s preeminent superpower, the race to elect the new president is starting to yield clues about the future of its foreign policy. The narrowing gap between China and the United …

Autocracy Hits a Roadblock

“The end of the republic has never looked better”, Barack Obama joked at his last White House Correspondent’s Dinner. That was back in 2016, the year that saw Donald Trump win the presidency despite what seemed like insurmountable odds. Early 2017 saw a flurry of gloomy predictions. David Frum wrote hypothetically in his piece in …

The Republican Party is Complicit

“You must think Americans are so stupid,” an American friend said to me in a state of despair that the American president is hopelessly corrupt, hopelessly stupid, or hopelessly blackmailed, or all three. President Donald Trump’s terrible, no good, very bad European trip has concluded, and it was, possibly, the most disastrous overseas visit by …

The Day America Abdicated World Leadership

I am increasingly admiring of Donald Trump…I have become more and more convinced that there is method in his madness…Imagine Trump doing Brexit. He’d go in bloody hard… There’d be all sorts of breakdowns, all sorts of chaos. Everyone would think he’d gone mad. But actually you might get somewhere. It’s a very, very good thought. …

John Chiang for California Governor

UC Berkeley is supposed to be a very politically engaged school. The numerous protests, the ultra-liberal leaning student body, the history of activism: Berkeley l is supposed to be the hotbed of young political movement in the United States. What I’ve realised, however, is that the reality is quite different. Berkeley isn’t much different from …