China Watch with Peter Lee

A Tale of Four Summits…and America’s Age of Anxiety and Bewilderment

June 2018. It was the best of times…it was the worst of times… It was the time Xi Jinping orchestrated a grand spectacle of Eurasian power at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Qingdao, China… …as the Western powers presided over an omnishambles of acrimony and dysfunction at the G7 Summit in Ottawa, Canada. And […]

U.S. – China: Winds of War Sweep into Shangri La

The U.S. made its case at the Shangri La security conference in Singapore for continued America strategic leadership in 21st century Asia.  It the case solid?  Or is it what Shakespeare called “sound and fury signifying nothing”? America is clearly losing control of the master narrative for North Korean engagement.  Korean affairs at present are […]

Trump Stumbles to His Summit…and China Hawks Roll Out Operation Marco Rubio and Operation Taiwan

It was another busy week for BS in pundit land as the West’s Korea experts scrambled to make sense (or nonsense) out of Donald Trump’s latest episode in diplomacy via abusive correspondence: the Trump letter canceling the June 12 Singapore summit with Kim Jong Un. Experts, pundits, and media types scrambled to explain the titanic […]

Stampede of Expert Asses Tramples Trump on China and Korea

US pundits and the media outlets that listen to them are aghast at what Donald Trump is doing on China trade and the North Korea deal. He’s a moron!  He’s getting played!  More importantly, he’s not listening to us! One of the most surprising developments in the Trump administration is that after a year of […]

The Fire This Time: Trump’s Scorched Earth Diplomacy Burns Asia

Boom!  Trump’s China techwar takes out ZTE, as the major Chinese telecom equipment supplier is crushed by US penalties and closes its doors.  Boom boom!  Wut?  Trump dumbfounds the US punditocracy by offering to walk those ZTE penalties back. The good news is there’s an explanation for the craziness. The bad news is that Trump’s […]

China War Triple Play: Trade War, Tech War, and Boom!

America’s got a three-war solution to the problem of U.S. decline in Asia: a trade war, a tech war, and maybe a shooting war. Now we’ve got trade war jaw jaw as the United States and the People’s Republic of China exchange demands.  It’s a phony war for now: threats, posturing, media ops and, for […]

The Great Decoupling: America Sidelined in Asia

When America was dominant in Asia, American hegemony and Asian security were pretty much synonymous, not necessarily in a good way.   By exercising its hegemonic power, the United States determined the content and direction of the Asian security debate. But now it’s the Great Decoupling!  US pursuit of hegemony and Asia’s pursuit of security are […]

Count on War, Not Peace, Breaking Out in Asia

Will America end one war in Asia while starting another? Don’t count on it.  There’s talk of a peace treaty on the Korean peninsula.  But there are a lot of influential institutions like the Pentagon and influential countries like Japan that don’t appear very enthusiastic.  And they are marshaling their forces to make sure Donald […]

China Announces Plan for Restructuring Global Governance

Chinese supremo Xi Jinping laid out China’s vision for the international system at the Bo Ao conference on Hainan Island.  And it sounds pretty good.  Especially when contrasted with Donald Trump’s clumsy application of the America First! principle in his illegal bombing of Syria. The PRC probably wishes that Donald Trump could stay president of […]

The Art of Trade War: U.S. vs China

We got a US-China trade War.  Who needs win-win?  Who even needs zero sum, you know, where one side wins and the other loses.  Let’s go lose-lose! The China hawk rap is that China is a revisionist power bent on undermining the rules based international order.  Well, what happens when Donald Trump undermines the rules […]

North Korea – China Alliance: U.S. Chessboard in Danger of Being Upended in Asia

China hawks have been pushing for a simple, organizing narrative for Asia to follow: World versus China. But then confusing stuff comes along.  Stuff like Kim Jong Un visiting Beijing.  Stuff like India soft-pedaling the Tibet issue. We look at the Korean trend that’s freaking out American pundits: Asians doing Asian stuff about Asia while […]

China Trade War Is Here. Hot War on the Horizon

In the space between what Winston Churchill called jaw-jaw that’s negotiation and war-war that’s war there’s the phony war.  As the China war temperature drifts for cold war to hot, we get a dose of trade war posturing from the Trump administration and the Chinese. And as we go trade war, it looks like Qualcomm, […]

Boom! Trump China Trade War Train Wreck Hits Telecom

There is a superpower that is groaning under erratic one-man rule that tramples on state institutions and flouts the constitution and the rule of law.  Unfortunately for China hawks, that country is not China. Donald J. Trump tried his hand at stopping China’s global telecom surge by quashing a big-ticket acquisition in the US telecoms […]

America’s China Delusions Approaching Danger Point

The National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China revised the state constitution to remove term limits for the office of president of the PRC.  This vote gives Xi Jinping the legal basis to become president for more than two terms and, possibly for life. The term limits affair also served as an excuse […]

How Much Influence Does China Have on Donald Trump & America?

Is Donald Trump working for Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin?  As this crazy week winds on, that’s what the crazy people are starting to say…and what some sane people are starting to think. Trump isn’t following the China hawk playbook very closely, and the question of why he isn’t is starting to pop up.  Is […]