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 …

Some Thoughts On Hong Kong’s Protests

Tear gas. Violence on the streets. Airport closures. The view from Bangkok on the Hong Kong protests is almost one of weary familiarity. Not exactly déjà vu; the nuances mean that resemblance with Thailand’s color-coded movements will never be reached. But the parallels are there and they are eery. This makes it particularly interesting to …

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 …

Shinzo Abe’s Constitution Dream

My new commentary for the Bangkok Post’s Asia Focus section on Japan’s upper house election and Shinzo Abe’s dream of amending the constitution. ‘When the country is strong, and the risk of war small, when there is no threat of being attacked from without,” the Japanese novelist Natsume Soseki once said, “then nationalism ought to …

Mission Impossible in Hong Kong

My new commentary for the Bangkok Post’s Asia Focus section on Hong Kong’s protests. Events have taken a different turn than anticipated since this was written, but given that the extradition bill probably hasn’t been defeated for good, it’s still worth analyzing how China is unlikely to let this slide. A million people on the …

What Does Kim Jong-un Want?

By this point, there is little need to state that President Donald Trump was completely out-negotiated by Kim Jong-un. Trump got little in return other than a rerun of statements already made in 1992 and 2005, except in even weaker terms, including a vague commitment to denuclearisation. The president, on the other hand, was played …

Madman Theory Pays Off

This year, the Bulletin of Academic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock to two minutes before midnight. The clock is a metaphor for how close humanity is to apocalypse, with midnight being the destruction of civilisation. The time that the BAS set for 2018 is the closest, metaphorically speaking, since 1953 when hydrogen bombs were tested …

China Steps Forward

It is common to refer to the President of the United States as the most powerful man in the world. This, after all, is not unreasonable; the United States since the end of the Cold War has been the undisputed leader of a unipolar world, possessing the greatest wealth and military muscle the world has …

Shinzo Abe, Invincible No More

Japan is not a country that is used to long-lasting leaders. As such, Shinzo Abe, who is now the third longest-serving leader in postwar Japan, is a unique figure, and some have even viewed him as virtually invincible. Now, however, amid scandals and slumping popularity his political mortality has become increasingly clear, and the fall …