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False Narratives and Conflict

The false narrative is central to my saga of escalating conflict between the United States and China. My new book, Accidental Conflict: America, China, and the Clash of False Narratives, argues that both nations are prone to project into the future unrealistic threats...

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The Ebb and Flow of Conflict

Conflict progression — either escalation or resolution — does not occur in a straight line. The US-China conflict is an important case in point. In the past five years, the Sino-American relationship has taken a decided turn for the worse.  A trade war was soon...

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A Difference of Opinions

With the benefit of hindsight, some key lessons from my trip to Hong Kong last week are slowly coming into focus. First, it was great to be back in Asia.  A three-year Covid-induced travel embargo was starting to become intolerable. Zoom is great for makeshift...

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Back in Hong Kong

I have finally made it back to Asia for the first time since the Covid outbreak.  I was supposed to travel to Singapore in mid-November but was hit by the virus a week before my long-scheduled departure.  That effectively cleared the decks for this second, successful...

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A Page from the Wuhan Playbook

Unsurprisingly, Covid is now surging in China in the aftermath of the government’s reversal of its unsustainable zero-Covid policy.  Given China’s lack of herd immunity and the prevalence of highly transmissible Omicron variants, this is hardly surprising. ...

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A China Optimist’s Lament

I have been a congenital China optimist for most of the past 25 years. I first came to that view in the depths of the Asian financial crisis in 1997-98. The so-called East Asian growth miracle was in tatters and China was widely portrayed as the final domino that...

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Tightening the Tech Vise

While diplomatic talks have been restarted between the US and China — hardly surprising in light of US Secretary of State Blinken’s upcoming trip to Beijing in early 2023 — the main event on the conflict escalation watch continues to play out in the tech arena.  The...

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Non-zero Covid?

So, Xi Jinping finally caved on one of his signature policies. Apart from the hopelessly impractical zero-Covid approach to dealing with the highly transmissible, but less lethal, Omicron strain of the virus, two key developments forced this concession: increasingly...

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Remembering Jiang Zemin

The passing of China’s third-generation leader, as Jiang Zemin’s presidency (1993 to 2003)  is categorized in modern Chinese history, underscores the important contrast between then and now.  He was Deng Xiaoping’s (China’s second-generation leader) hand-picked...

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Dark Clouds Over Black Friday

Long the biggest shopping day of the year, Black Friday is not what it used to be. In the brave new world of e-commerce, it now seems like every day is Black Friday. There is no formal kick-off to the holiday shopping season. But dark clouds are all too evident on...

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