Quote of the Day

In 1970, when China was in the grip of the Cultural Revolution, Zhang Hongbing, a 16-year-old in Guzhen, a county in Anhui Province, made a fateful decision. During a family debate that year, his mother, Fang Zhongmou, had criticized Mao Zedong for his cult of personality. Her son and his father, believing her views to be counterrevolutionary, …

John Mearsheimer Is Sober, Level-Headed, Clear-Thinking, and Analytical . . . Except When He Isn’t

I recommend to everyone this piece on the present and expected future interplay between China, Taiwan and the United States written by my former college and graduate school professor, John Mearsheimer. It is exceedingly well-written, very hard-headed, and reveals that Mearsheimer has done his homework when it comes to the history of China and Taiwan. It …

Stumbling and Bumbling at the State Department

If this is the kind of thing we can expect from John Kerry as secretary of state, then I guess it is a good thing that he never became president: . . . whatever challenges might exist when handling difficult foreign policy issues, one should be able to expect a secretary of state not to mangle basic …

In Which I Am Disappointed. Again. (China Policy Edition)

I had hoped that the Obama administration would put the kibosh on efforts on the part of the Chinese to expand their air defense zone. I had hoped that the administration would be both firm and adroit with the Chinese, and that the administration would cause the Chinese to believe that they could retreat from any …

A Friendly Note to the Obama Administration

Not that you aren't aware of this, guys (at least, I hope that you are aware of this), but the Chinese are testing you. Try not to fail the test by actually allowing the Chinese to expand their air defense zone. Rather, inform the Chinese--quietly but firmly--that the United States will not recognize the expansion …

Plaintive Plea of the Day (Part Deux)

Can we please stop pretending that China is the equal of the United States on the world stage? Because it's just not true: Many people around the world believe that China’s rise to the role of dominant global player is inevitable. A Pew Research Center survey released earlier this year found that in 23 of …

Spheres of Influence and Bubbles of Ignorance

Let's go over some of the fundamental tenets of the realist theory of international relations (I know that I have written them before, but I ask readers to indulge me so that I can set the table for the rest of this blog post). Realists generally believe the following:The world is fundamentally anarchic. There is …

Chutzpah, Thy Name Is “Snowden”

So, Edward Snowden wants clemency now from the very country which he betrayed and whose national security he put in peril via the disclosure of secrets that compromised sources and methods. To say the least, I am not sympathetic to the plea. The hype to the contrary notwithstanding, neither Snowden nor Bradley Manning are heroes, and …

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