Geopolitics

Xi-Jinping-Davos-2017

By Richard North Patterson Boston Globe China’s global aspirations should be no surprise. For centuries, it has seen itself as a civilization apart. Inevitably, Western encroachment bred an indelible resentment of nations which, in China’s view, had usurped its rightful place. Animated by this sense of destiny thwarted, China’s president, Xi Jinping, means to restore Chinese dominance in Asia — exemplified by its construction of Read More …

South Vietnamese general shoots suspected Viet Cong official in the head. (Ed Adams/AP).

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Once enemies, the U.S. and Vietnam have become friends over the course of four decades. While it did not happen overnight, what transpired was a slow process of rapprochement between the two countries. It took two generations of Vietnamese and Americans to set aside the bitterness they both have on each other. Why not? More than 58,000 American and 282,000 South Read More …

Three U.S. supercarrier battle groups sail in formation.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz In my column, “China’s gunboat diplomacy” (July 19, 2012), I wrote: “ ‘China frigate leaves shoal: [Malacañang] Palace happy,’ said a huge electronic billboard, which I saw on the way to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to catch a plane home last July 16, 2012. The news of a grounded guided missile Chinese frigate near Half Moon Shoal (Hasa-Hasa Shoal) in Read More …

U.S. President Donald J. Trump.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz When Donald J. Trump was campaigning for the presidency, he projected a “tough guy” image by lambasting everyone that stood on his way or anyone who disagreed with him. His forays into foreign policy were gutsy and digressed from previous administrations’ diplomatic restraint in handling sensitive geopolitical issues. He shocked America’s NATO allies after he suggested that he might not honor Read More …

Duterte’s balancing act between the U.S. and China (Credit: South China Morning Post).

PerryScope By Perry Diaz When Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to President Rodrigo Duterte on the occasion of his inauguration as president of the Philippines, Duterte heaped praise on Xi, describing him “a great president.” “I was honored, receiving a congratulatory message from a great president, uh prime minister,” Duterte said. The Chinese foreign ministry released a statement that it is a Read More …

North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz In the wake of the Tomahawk cruise missile strikes on a Syrian airbase and after dropping a 2,100-pound “Mother of all Bombs” – MOAB – in Afghanistan, North Korea had threatened to test another nuclear weapon, her sixth test. In reaction, senior U.S. intelligence officials told the media that the U.S. is prepared to launch a preemptive strike with conventional weapons Read More …

Pag-asa Island in the Kalayaan Group of Islands.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Since Rodrigo Duterte assumed the presidency of the Philippines, he had demonstrated a clear bias for China and – by his own words – hatred of the United States. It did not then come as a surprise that he did not pursue the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s (PCA) ruling that China has no “historical rights” based on the “nine-dash line” map. Read More …

Duterte-and-Benham-Rise

PerryScope By Perry Diaz Just when President Rodrigo Duterte became comfortable sleeping in the security of his mosquito net, knowing that those dengue-dengue killer mosquitoes wouldn’t raid his house, a new menace rears it’s ugly head in the Benham Rise, just like the fabled Loch Ness monster. Yes, its appearance in the Benham Rise has Duterte’s men scramble for ways to deal with this “threat” Read More …

Trump's generals.

PerryScope By Perry Diaz When President Donald J. Trump unveiled his proposal to increase military spending by $54 billion for next year during his address before a joint session of Congress, one of the things military planners thought about was: How does it compare to Russia’s or China’s military budgets? The U.S. is already spending a whopping $600 billion a year on her military. That’s Read More …

US-Germany-Japan-flags

PerryScope By Perry Diaz One of the most quoted maxims in politics is: “There are no permanent friends, no permanent enemies, only permanent interests.” But regardless of whether you’re dealing with a friend or an enemy, the one that could earn dividends is the mantra: “Don’t burn your bridges because you’ll never know when you would need them.” American presidents since the beginning of the Read More …