Thursday, 16 November 2017

Home Truths: China, US and Asia


Hugh White is a Canberran and Australian National University alumnus (as am I) and we worked together at the Office of National Assessments in 1983. So, kind of colleagues of old. 
He's now professor of strategic studies at the ANU. 
I always read his articles which are reliably robust and hard-nosed, if somewhat too pro-Chinese and anti-American for my taste.(If pressed I'd allow that this latter judgment may be a touch too strong). 
He is widely read and influential in Australian policy-making circles. 
This is his latest in the South China Morning Post today. 
He makes some good points in this article about the difficulties of Quad countries (America, India, Japan and Australia) face in countering China's rise in the region. Basically that each has too much to lose in doing so.  
Oh... and that Trump's recent visit didn't help.  As I said before: people are looking for some strategy; yet see nothing but sartorial posturing (those fancy shirts) and hearing nothing but empty words (those communiques). 
It remains to be seen what may come out of his talks with China on North Korea. I'm doubtful, but maybe... 

LATER : I just read the online comments on the article and see that they mostly agree with my view that White is somewhat too pro-Chinese. / anti-American. “Capitulationist” even. And that he’s “not going down too well down under “...