Brian P. Klein

Brian P. Klein

Brian P. Klein (@brianpklein) is a geopolitical and economic strategist and former US diplomat.

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Latest from Brian P. Klein

Opinion | America needs a clear trade policy amid China’s CPTPP challenge

If the US doesn’t improve opportunities, economic activity will flow to markets that are easier to access. For the US to truly build back better, it must build more with the rest of the world or the advantages of international trade will be lost.

If the US doesn’t improve opportunities, economic activity will flow to markets that are easier to access. For the US to truly build back better, it must build more with the rest of the world or the advantages of international trade will be lost.

America needs a clear trade policy amid China’s CPTPP challenge
22 Sep 2021 - 2:05AM
Opinion | Afghanistan and its extremist elements are China’s problem now

Despite the Taliban’s reassurances, Beijing’s options will remain limited if violence flares up. But giving the Taliban economic support also risks strengthening extremist groups such as ETIM.

Despite the Taliban’s reassurances, Beijing’s options will remain limited if violence flares up. But giving the Taliban economic support also risks strengthening extremist groups such as ETIM.

Afghanistan and its extremist elements are China’s problem now
25 Aug 2021 - 1:00AM
Opinion | US-China relations: Joe Biden, Xi Jinping meeting still worthwhile despite rising tensions

Competition is neither new nor exclusionary to engagement. At most, a Biden-Xi meeting can set the lower limit for disagreements rather than aiming for the heights greater engagement brings, but that might be enough.

Competition is neither new nor exclusionary to engagement. At most, a Biden-Xi meeting can set the lower limit for disagreements rather than aiming for the heights greater engagement brings, but that might be enough.

US-China relations: Joe Biden, Xi Jinping meeting still worthwhile despite rising tensions
24 Jun 2021 - 1:49AM
Opinion | Behind the drama in Alaska, US-China relations are really the same old story

The latest high-level meeting had plenty of drama, but the plot is growing stale. Neither side’s opening position has changed much in the past decade. From China’s perspective, unless the US treats China with ‘respect’, (the code word for not bringing up sensitive issues), relations won’t get much better.

The latest high-level meeting had plenty of drama, but the plot is growing stale. Neither side’s opening position has changed much in the past decade. From China’s perspective, unless the US treats China with ‘respect’, (the code word for not bringing up sensitive issues), relations won’t get much better.

Behind the drama in Alaska, US-China relations are really the same old story
25 Mar 2021 - 3:30AM
Opinion | US-China relations: door is open for Biden and Xi to move beyond Trump-era hostilities

Whether the US and China can forge agreements on broader coexistence is uncertain. Cautious pragmatism may be the best one can hope for while the dangers of miscalculation or worse continue to rein in more extreme views.

Whether the US and China can forge agreements on broader coexistence is uncertain. Cautious pragmatism may be the best one can hope for while the dangers of miscalculation or worse continue to rein in more extreme views.

US-China relations: door is open for Biden and Xi to move beyond Trump-era hostilities
9 Jan 2021 - 2:41AM
Opinion | US-China relations: climate change crisis can unite squabbling great powers

Unless the United States and China find a way to work together to address the most pressing issue of our time, a disaster scenario is almost impossible to avoid. Their climate change commitments must also not be linked to the contentious issues in the relationship.

Unless the United States and China find a way to work together to address the most pressing issue of our time, a disaster scenario is almost impossible to avoid. Their climate change commitments must also not be linked to the contentious issues in the relationship.

US-China relations: climate change crisis can unite squabbling great powers
26 Dec 2020 - 6:09AM
Opinion | The great American experiment in democracy will survive Trump’s best efforts to end it

When Americans vote for their next president, amid legitimate fears of a disputed outcome leading to legal quagmires and even political violence, they know their political system will emerge stronger for meeting the challenge.

When Americans vote for their next president, amid legitimate fears of a disputed outcome leading to legal quagmires and even political violence, they know their political system will emerge stronger for meeting the challenge.

The great American experiment in democracy will survive Trump’s best efforts to end it
2 Nov 2020 - 1:54AM
Opinion | How China’s growing power and ambitions are burning the bridges of global cooperation

It isn’t that governments don’t understand China, it is that there’s a growing realisation that Beijing is willing to impose its vision on others. The need for engagement and dialogue has never been greater.

It isn’t that governments don’t understand China, it is that there’s a growing realisation that Beijing is willing to impose its vision on others. The need for engagement and dialogue has never been greater.

How China’s growing power and ambitions are burning the bridges of global cooperation
27 Sep 2020 - 7:36PM
Opinion | Right to vote: US must lead by example in presidential election to showcase its democracy

The Postmaster General’s attempt to suppress the vote has triggered public outrage, Congress scrutiny and state action to make mail voting more accessible amid a pandemic.

The Postmaster General’s attempt to suppress the vote has triggered public outrage, Congress scrutiny and state action to make mail voting more accessible amid a pandemic.

Right to vote: US must lead by example in presidential election to showcase its democracy
31 Aug 2020 - 2:04AM
Opinion | US’ tougher stance on the South China Sea is part of Trump’s re-election campaign

Trump’s team is using China as one of its lines of attack against the president’s opponent Joe Biden while capitalising on the growing realisation in the Asia-Pacific region that China’s expansionist plans must be countered.

Trump’s team is using China as one of its lines of attack against the president’s opponent Joe Biden while capitalising on the growing realisation in the Asia-Pacific region that China’s expansionist plans must be countered.

US’ tougher stance on the South China Sea is part of Trump’s re-election campaign
20 Jul 2020 - 9:00AM
Opinion | Why dreams of easy coronavirus recovery crumble in face of reality

The first wave of the pandemic is not yet over but politicians worldwide are declaring victory and rushing to reopen their economies. Lingering uncertainty, spreading recession and a lack of political will threaten to make even the current pessimistic predictions look rosy in hindsight

The first wave of the pandemic is not yet over but politicians worldwide are declaring victory and rushing to reopen their economies. Lingering uncertainty, spreading recession and a lack of political will threaten to make even the current pessimistic predictions look rosy in hindsight

Why dreams of easy coronavirus recovery crumble in face of reality
13 Oct 2020 - 9:13PM
Opinion | Trump’s bluster over the coronavirus and China fails to do his re-election hopes any favours

All the US president’s heated rhetoric and cries of conspiracy cannot change his administration’s shortcomings in responding to the coronavirus outbreak. Smearing China and his Democratic rival merely divert energy from the most pressing issues.

All the US president’s heated rhetoric and cries of conspiracy cannot change his administration’s shortcomings in responding to the coronavirus outbreak. Smearing China and his Democratic rival merely divert energy from the most pressing issues.

Trump’s bluster over the coronavirus and China fails to do his re-election hopes any favours
27 May 2020 - 3:01AM
Opinion | How the coronavirus pandemic has trapped China’s Belt and Road Initiative between a rock and a hard place

Some of China’s principal loan recipients, with weak health systems and large populations, are going to be hard hit by the pandemic. Restructuring their debt will be no easy feat.

Some of China’s principal loan recipients, with weak health systems and large populations, are going to be hard hit by the pandemic. Restructuring their debt will be no easy feat.

How the coronavirus pandemic has trapped China’s Belt and Road Initiative between a rock and a hard place
21 Apr 2020 - 9:25AM
Opinion | Bungled, chaotic White House response to coronavirus discredits Trump, but won’t stop the US winning the Covid-19 fight

The US president’s apparent reluctance to use emergency powers to ramp up production of critical medical supplies and equipment puts lives at risk.

The US president’s apparent reluctance to use emergency powers to ramp up production of critical medical supplies and equipment puts lives at risk.

Bungled, chaotic White House response to coronavirus discredits Trump, but won’t stop the US winning the Covid-19 fight
25 Mar 2020 - 3:37AM
Opinion | Coronavirus vs Trump: the US president’s authoritarian bluster has hit the cold, hard wall of a disease he can’t control

From the Trump administration’s disbanding of the National Security Council’s epidemic response team to the president’s garbled messaging and the convoluted organisation of his coronavirus task force, the buck will finally stop at the very top.

From the Trump administration’s disbanding of the National Security Council’s epidemic response team to the president’s garbled messaging and the convoluted organisation of his coronavirus task force, the buck will finally stop at the very top.

Coronavirus vs Trump: the US president’s authoritarian bluster has hit the cold, hard wall of a disease he can’t control
9 Mar 2020 - 1:00AM
Opinion | How China is losing global trust and goodwill over its handling of the coronavirus crisis

The crisis could have been a turning point in Beijing’s quest to be a reliable world power. Instead, a lack of transparency is poisoning the well of global goodwill and rekindling concerns about China’s influence over the WHO.

The crisis could have been a turning point in Beijing’s quest to be a reliable world power. Instead, a lack of transparency is poisoning the well of global goodwill and rekindling concerns about China’s influence over the WHO.

How China is losing global trust and goodwill over its handling of the coronavirus crisis
22 Feb 2020 - 3:33AM
Opinion | If China fails to contain the coronavirus outbreak, the price will be paid by all

The Chinese government must overcome its isolationist instincts and start sharing more information with health experts and scientists abroad, including those from the US. Greater transparency and cooperation are needed to tackle a looming global epidemic.

The Chinese government must overcome its isolationist instincts and start sharing more information with health experts and scientists abroad, including those from the US. Greater transparency and cooperation are needed to tackle a looming global epidemic.

If China fails to contain the coronavirus outbreak, the price will be paid by all
15 Feb 2020 - 6:52PM
Opinion | Trump’s impulsive strike on Iran’s Qassem Soleimani lays bare America’s dangerously incoherent Middle East strategy

The strike, which achieved no strategic purpose, emboldens hardliners, destabilises the region and greatly raises the risk of war. Meanwhile, officials in Trump’s administration are already contradicting each other. This is how countries stumble into war.

The strike, which achieved no strategic purpose, emboldens hardliners, destabilises the region and greatly raises the risk of war. Meanwhile, officials in Trump’s administration are already contradicting each other. This is how countries stumble into war.

Trump’s impulsive strike on Iran’s Qassem Soleimani lays bare America’s dangerously incoherent Middle East strategy
9 Jan 2020 - 11:16AM
Opinion | Trump’s ‘historic’ trade deal with China is a poor bargain for US businesses and consumers

The deal offers nothing new on the old talking points – IP, technology transfer, currency, agriculture, financial services, dispute resolution – but lets China off with promises of vague reform. US businesses and consumers have been left to continue footing the bill.

The deal offers nothing new on the old talking points – IP, technology transfer, currency, agriculture, financial services, dispute resolution – but lets China off with promises of vague reform. US businesses and consumers have been left to continue footing the bill.

Trump’s ‘historic’ trade deal with China is a poor bargain for US businesses and consumers
19 Dec 2019 - 4:47AM
Opinion | Truth is, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act changes nothing for protesters and their hopes

US sanctions have a poor record of spurring democractic and the threat of removing Hong Kong’s special status is unlikely to be carried out until the city is beyond rescue anyway. The act changes nothing, certainly not Hong Kong’s political tide.

US sanctions have a poor record of spurring democractic and the threat of removing Hong Kong’s special status is unlikely to be carried out until the city is beyond rescue anyway. The act changes nothing, certainly not Hong Kong’s political tide.

Truth is, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act changes nothing for protesters and their hopes
8 Dec 2019 - 10:00PM
Opinion | India’s shock RCEP exit makes domestic economic reforms more urgent

India’s economy needs reviving but after exiting the RCEP and with no US trade deal in sight, Modi’s few options revolve around economic reform – which threaten to be overshadowed by his focus on Hindu nationalism.

India’s economy needs reviving but after exiting the RCEP and with no US trade deal in sight, Modi’s few options revolve around economic reform – which threaten to be overshadowed by his focus on Hindu nationalism.

India’s shock RCEP exit makes domestic economic reforms more urgent
14 Nov 2019 - 6:55PM
Opinion | Donald Trump’s unhinged presidency has had severe consequences for Syria’s Kurds, and US allies in Asia should take note

Donald Trump’s abandonment of Syria’s Kurds shows how reckless he can be, especially while under fire over Ukraine. Asian allies should start preparing for rash decisions, and making friends in US Congress who can check his impulses.

Donald Trump’s abandonment of Syria’s Kurds shows how reckless he can be, especially while under fire over Ukraine. Asian allies should start preparing for rash decisions, and making friends in US Congress who can check his impulses.

Donald Trump’s unhinged presidency has had severe consequences for Syria’s Kurds, and US allies in Asia should take note
24 Oct 2019 - 12:48PM
Opinion | US exits world stage for now, as Donald Trump fights impeachment ahead of presidential election

If there was going to be a breakthrough year for US international engagement, this was it. But Trump’s globalist-bashing UN speech shows a president focused instead on political survival and re-election next year, with impeachment looming.

If there was going to be a breakthrough year for US international engagement, this was it. But Trump’s globalist-bashing UN speech shows a president focused instead on political survival and re-election next year, with impeachment looming.

US exits world stage for now, as Donald Trump fights impeachment ahead of presidential election
28 Sep 2019 - 2:06AM
Opinion | Hong Kong’s protesters can’t count on Donald Trump – he wants Asia to solve its own problems

Just as some young protesters have adopted the American flag as a symbol of their hopes, US Asia policy is changing. If the Trump administration’s stance on Korea is any indication, he will keep a hands-off approach to Hong Kong.

Just as some young protesters have adopted the American flag as a symbol of their hopes, US Asia policy is changing. If the Trump administration’s stance on Korea is any indication, he will keep a hands-off approach to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong’s protesters can’t count on Donald Trump – he wants Asia to solve its own problems
16 Sep 2019 - 3:26AM
Opinion | Donald Trump’s policy mood swings and trade chaos are making world leaders weary

China refuses to back down, Japan avoids affronts and Europe swings between facing off and totally ignoring Trump. With looming elections likely to make the US president even more unpredictable, the fear is that exasperated world leaders may be tempted to follow suit.

China refuses to back down, Japan avoids affronts and Europe swings between facing off and totally ignoring Trump. With looming elections likely to make the US president even more unpredictable, the fear is that exasperated world leaders may be tempted to follow suit.

Donald Trump’s policy mood swings and trade chaos are making world leaders weary
2 Sep 2019 - 1:24AM
Opinion | Is China ready for the burdens of global leadership as the US becomes increasingly isolationist?

With the belt and road project beleaguered by defaults, military expansion overseas racking up huge bills and China’s economy slowing, Beijing may well hesitate to fill the void left by the Trump administration.

With the belt and road project beleaguered by defaults, military expansion overseas racking up huge bills and China’s economy slowing, Beijing may well hesitate to fill the void left by the Trump administration.

Is China ready for the burdens of global leadership as the US becomes increasingly isolationist?
19 Aug 2019 - 3:03AM
Opinion | The Donald Trump diplomatic reality show is becoming a global menace

Trump’s historic meeting with Kim at the DMZ is yet another empty victory, achieving as little as his recent dealings with China and Iran. More worryingly, his haphazard politicking seems to be rubbing off on other global leaders.

Trump’s historic meeting with Kim at the DMZ is yet another empty victory, achieving as little as his recent dealings with China and Iran. More worryingly, his haphazard politicking seems to be rubbing off on other global leaders.

The Donald Trump diplomatic reality show is becoming a global menace
6 Jul 2019 - 1:42AM
Opinion | No trade war breakthrough? No problem – that Xi and Trump are meeting at the G20 should be seen as a win

Hopes of a big breakthrough must be tempered as both the US and China walk back expectations ahead of the summit. Neither side wants to appear weak or conciliatory, stark differences remain and, as such, a pause is the best we can hope for.

Hopes of a big breakthrough must be tempered as both the US and China walk back expectations ahead of the summit. Neither side wants to appear weak or conciliatory, stark differences remain and, as such, a pause is the best we can hope for.

No trade war breakthrough? No problem – that Xi and Trump are meeting at the G20 should be seen as a win
24 Jun 2019 - 1:07AM
Opinion | Hyping the US-China trade war into a cold war is misleading – it’s more complicated, and potentially more dangerous

Unlike in the cold war era, the world isn’t going to split into two sides this time. Instead, it is entering a chaotic period of unprincipled relationships, and countries caught between China and the US are being put on the spot.

Unlike in the cold war era, the world isn’t going to split into two sides this time. Instead, it is entering a chaotic period of unprincipled relationships, and countries caught between China and the US are being put on the spot.

Hyping the US-China trade war into a cold war is misleading – it’s more complicated, and potentially more dangerous
12 Jun 2019 - 6:16AM
Opinion | China’s pain on trade with the US will fast become Mexico, India and Southeast Asia’s gain

The impact of US tariffs on Chinese imports is already showing up in trade data, with Chinese manufacturers losing market share in top US sectors. American companies facing difficulties in China could look to India for opportunities instead.

The impact of US tariffs on Chinese imports is already showing up in trade data, with Chinese manufacturers losing market share in top US sectors. American companies facing difficulties in China could look to India for opportunities instead.

China’s pain on trade with the US will fast become Mexico, India and Southeast Asia’s gain
20 May 2019 - 3:00AM