Tom Plate

Tom Plate is a university professor and a veteran columnist focused on Asia and America. This Distinguished Scholar of Asian and Pacific Studies at Loyola Marymount University has orchestrated live interactive seminars with major universities across Asia, as part of the LMU’s path-finding Asia Media International Centre. He is also the author of 12 books, including the bestsellers “Confessions of an American Media Man” (2007) and four volumes in the “Giants of Asia” series. His latest is “The Fine Art of the Political Interview” (2015), published by Marshall Cavendish Asia International.
Tom Plate
Tom Plate is a university professor and a veteran columnist focused on Asia and America. This Distinguished Scholar of Asian and Pacific Studies at Loyola Marymount University has orchestrated live interactive seminars with major universities across Asia, as part of the LMU’s path-finding Asia Media International Centre. He is also the author of 12 books, including the bestsellers “Confessions of an American Media Man” (2007) and four volumes in the “Giants of Asia” series. His latest is “The Fine Art of the Political Interview” (2015), published by Marshall Cavendish Asia International.

Latest from Tom Plate

Opinion | China and the US are moving away from cooperation and towards more denunciations of capitalism and socialism

Beijing’s tighter control and scepticism of Western ideas – like capitalism – have sadly coincided with a new US anti-socialism which seems opposed to government itself.

12 Feb 2019 - 3:55AM
China and the US are moving away from cooperation and towards more denunciations of capitalism and socialism

Beijing’s tighter control and scepticism of Western ideas – like capitalism – have sadly coincided with a new US anti-socialism which seems opposed to government itself.

Opinion | Wang Qishan could be the new face of Chinese pragmatism after Zhu Rongji – and a voice of reassurance for the West

China’s vice-president made it a point in his Davos speech to stress Beijing’s commitment to taking a pragmatic approach in problem-solving – welcome words that should help ease tense US-China relations.

29 Jan 2019 - 1:52AM
Wang Qishan could be the new face of Chinese pragmatism after Zhu Rongji – and a voice of reassurance for the West

China’s vice-president made it a point in his Davos speech to stress Beijing’s commitment to taking a pragmatic approach in problem-solving – welcome words that should help ease tense US-China relations.

Opinion | Why China and Taiwan should set their sights on 2072 for implementing an agreement on unification

Tom Plate says instead of escalating cross-strait tension, Beijing and Taiwan should focus on coming to an agreement on the ‘1992 consensus’ and working towards a settlement in time for the end of Mao Zedong’s 100-year waiting period.

15 Jan 2019 - 10:28AM
Why China and Taiwan should set their sights on 2072 for implementing an agreement on unification

Tom Plate says instead of escalating cross-strait tension, Beijing and Taiwan should focus on coming to an agreement on the ‘1992 consensus’ and working towards a settlement in time for the end of Mao Zedong’s 100-year waiting period.

Opinion | America’s China hawks, anti-mainland Hongkongers, and the Putin calendar: why 2019 would be a better year without them

For the sake of better China-US relations in 2019 (and his blood pressure), some of the irritants in the relationship, such as those who engage in warmongering and grandstanding, should be called out for their behaviour.

1 Jan 2019 - 6:17AM
America’s China hawks, anti-mainland Hongkongers, and the Putin calendar: why 2019 would be a better year without them

For the sake of better China-US relations in 2019 (and his blood pressure), some of the irritants in the relationship, such as those who engage in warmongering and grandstanding, should be called out for their behaviour.

Opinion | US-China cold war’s paranoid nationalism is spilling onto university campuses, hurting Chinese students

Chinese students’ opportunity to learn from and with their US counterparts at universities has been disrupted by nationalist demands from both governments.

18 Dec 2018 - 1:47AM
US-China cold war’s paranoid nationalism is spilling onto university campuses, hurting Chinese students

Chinese students’ opportunity to learn from and with their US counterparts at universities has been disrupted by nationalist demands from both governments.

Opinion | With a trade war truce, China must make good on its promise to the US to review its economic policies

Beijing needs the help of its think tanks to amend the policies and practices that are unfair to its trading partners, including the US, and this means allowing its scholars the freedom to explore ideas and solutions.

4 Dec 2018 - 8:42AM
With a trade war truce, China must make good on its promise to the US to review its economic policies

Beijing needs the help of its think tanks to amend the policies and practices that are unfair to its trading partners, including the US, and this means allowing its scholars the freedom to explore ideas and solutions.

Opinion | Xi and Trump have both made their point. It’s time to end the posturing, and the trade war

The leaders of China and the US seem to be making policy moves based not on what’s best for their countries, but on how they can run down their predecessors. Both governments should be humble and remember to put the people first.

20 Nov 2018 - 6:23AM
Xi and Trump have both made their point. It’s time to end the posturing, and the trade war

The leaders of China and the US seem to be making policy moves based not on what’s best for their countries, but on how they can run down their predecessors. Both governments should be humble and remember to put the people first.

Opinion | In America – China’s vital ‘hinterland province’ – the midterm elections are also a vote on the troubled Sino-US relationship

The US midterm elections will have implications for Donald Trump, and his China policy. At the end of the day, modesty may be the best policy for both the US and China

6 Nov 2018 - 3:57AM
In America – China’s vital ‘hinterland province’ – the midterm elections are also a vote on the troubled Sino-US relationship

The US midterm elections will have implications for Donald Trump, and his China policy. At the end of the day, modesty may be the best policy for both the US and China

Opinion | To Beijing: don’t hold Hong Kong too tight if you want ‘one country, two systems’ to succeed

Hong Kong is so precious to China that it tends to overreact to anyone who adds to societal tension in the city. However, China needs to remember the importance of ‘one country, two systems’ to its other hopes of unification.

23 Oct 2018 - 3:19PM
To Beijing: don’t hold Hong Kong too tight if you want ‘one country, two systems’ to succeed

Hong Kong is so precious to China that it tends to overreact to anyone who adds to societal tension in the city. However, China needs to remember the importance of ‘one country, two systems’ to its other hopes of unification.

What the Brett Kavanaugh controversy can teach China about feminism and social change

Despite the official communist legacy of promoting gender equality, the Chinese authorities see feminist activism as a destabilising Western force. Instead, they must realise that gender justice is an idea whose time has come globally.

9 Oct 2018 - 6:20AM
What the Brett Kavanaugh controversy can teach China about feminism and social change

Despite the official communist legacy of promoting gender equality, the Chinese authorities see feminist activism as a destabilising Western force. Instead, they must realise that gender justice is an idea whose time has come globally.

Seeing red: trade war shows US and China have their wires crossed at a time when they need to cooperate

The most important relationship in global politics today – between China and the US – has been muddled by misguided thinking on both sides, and could end in disaster if harmony isn’t restored

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
Seeing red: trade war shows US and China have their wires crossed at a time when they need to cooperate

The most important relationship in global politics today – between China and the US – has been muddled by misguided thinking on both sides, and could end in disaster if harmony isn’t restored

Opinion | With China and the US invested in a divided Korean peninsula, South Korean president Moon Jae-in is on his own as peacemaker

South Korean’s President Moon Jae-in is carrying on with the work of reconciliation with the North almost alone, because China and the US seem to have more to gain from a divided Korean peninsula.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
With China and the US invested in a divided Korean peninsula, South Korean president Moon Jae-in is on his own as peacemaker

South Korean’s President Moon Jae-in is carrying on with the work of reconciliation with the North almost alone, because China and the US seem to have more to gain from a divided Korean peninsula.

Opinion | Criticism of China by Malaysia’s Mahathir resonates around East Asia, and with Beijing

While Beijing may have once appreciated the long-lived Malaysian prime minister’s straight talking, China’s leaders may have less taste for it now that they – and not the US or IMF – are the targets of his criticism.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
Criticism of China by Malaysia’s Mahathir resonates around East Asia, and with Beijing

While Beijing may have once appreciated the long-lived Malaysian prime minister’s straight talking, China’s leaders may have less taste for it now that they – and not the US or IMF – are the targets of his criticism.

Opinion | In the US-China trade war, where is the bilateral humanity and the listening ear?

A three-dimensional view of China rather than stereotypical and simplistic thinking is needed to break the current impasse in US-China relations.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
In the US-China trade war, where is the bilateral humanity and the listening ear?

A three-dimensional view of China rather than stereotypical and simplistic thinking is needed to break the current impasse in US-China relations.

Opinion | Americans should question the ‘evil China’ narrative and tone down the fearmongering

The recent controversy over how international airlines should list Taiwan’s airport demonstrates how the US stokes fear of China, insisting that everyone, including airline companies, embrace the idea of China as the villain.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM
Americans should question the ‘evil China’ narrative and tone down the fearmongering

The recent controversy over how international airlines should list Taiwan’s airport demonstrates how the US stokes fear of China, insisting that everyone, including airline companies, embrace the idea of China as the villain.

Bombastic Trump leads the paradigm shift to ‘ashtray diplomacy’

From trade to the South China Sea, Donald Trump has taken a page from ashtray-hurling scientist Thomas Kuhn, reacting to challenges with a disruptive leadership style. And, looking at China, Russia and even Malaysia, he’s not alone.

16 Jul 2018 - 7:53PM
Bombastic Trump leads the paradigm shift to ‘ashtray diplomacy’

From trade to the South China Sea, Donald Trump has taken a page from ashtray-hurling scientist Thomas Kuhn, reacting to challenges with a disruptive leadership style. And, looking at China, Russia and even Malaysia, he’s not alone.

The danger of speed: why China and the US must learn to watch first, then respond

Major disagreements take time to work through, yet the two powers appear to be rushing into an unwanted confrontation with their moves and counter-moves on trade, the South China Sea, Taiwan and other issues.

3 Jul 2018 - 1:30AM
The danger of speed: why China and the US must learn to watch first, then respond

Major disagreements take time to work through, yet the two powers appear to be rushing into an unwanted confrontation with their moves and counter-moves on trade, the South China Sea, Taiwan and other issues.

Why so much Western disdain for the Trump-Kim summit’s successes in Singapore?

Western media disdain for the Trump-Kim summit and its benefits to China betrays a cold-war world view that is out of step with the geopolitical reality.

19 Jun 2018 - 2:10AM
Why so much Western disdain for the Trump-Kim summit’s successes in Singapore?

Western media disdain for the Trump-Kim summit and its benefits to China betrays a cold-war world view that is out of step with the geopolitical reality.

How Singapore’s ‘smart power’ can inspire China-US relations in the run-up to the Trump-Kim summit

As the Trump-Kim summit draws closer, those involved in China-US relations should heed Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s advice.

8 Jun 2018 - 10:18PM
How Singapore’s ‘smart power’ can inspire China-US relations in the run-up to the Trump-Kim summit

As the Trump-Kim summit draws closer, those involved in China-US relations should heed Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s advice.

In the end, peace in Korea will rest on Koreans themselves – not the US or China

Whatever the success or failure of Chinese and US diplomacy, the North Korean nuclear crisis will end only when the Koreans themselves choose change, and build on Moon Jae-in’s vision and the North Korean people’s longing for better days.

21 May 2018 - 7:14PM
In the end, peace in Korea will rest on Koreans themselves – not the US or China

Whatever the success or failure of Chinese and US diplomacy, the North Korean nuclear crisis will end only when the Koreans themselves choose change, and build on Moon Jae-in’s vision and the North Korean people’s longing for better days.

Playing with fire: why are Donald Trump and Xi Jinping whipping up nationalist fervour?

The repeated calls by the two leaders to rally their fan base at home towards restoring greatness and national rejuvenation risk endangering the China-US relationship.

7 May 2018 - 9:11PM
Playing with fire: why are Donald Trump and Xi Jinping whipping up nationalist fervour?

The repeated calls by the two leaders to rally their fan base at home towards restoring greatness and national rejuvenation risk endangering the China-US relationship.

Why China should care about its image in the West

The anti-China syndrome in the US runs deep. While America’s approach to the bilateral relationship needs to be based on more realistic expectations, not to mention humility, China must also consider what it can do to ease tensions.

20 Jul 2018 - 8:47PM
Why China should care about its image in the West

The anti-China syndrome in the US runs deep. While America’s approach to the bilateral relationship needs to be based on more realistic expectations, not to mention humility, China must also consider what it can do to ease tensions.

Fears of Chinese infiltration on US campuses reveal the closing of the American mind

The targeting of Confucius Institutes in the US as potentially subversive threats shows how little many Americans know about China, and even about their own universities – where differences of opinion are gradually disappearing 

20 Jul 2018 - 8:47PM
Fears of Chinese infiltration on US campuses reveal the closing of the American mind

The targeting of Confucius Institutes in the US as potentially subversive threats shows how little many Americans know about China, and even about their own universities – where differences of opinion are gradually disappearing 

It’s a long way from trade tariffs to war, but China and the US must act as grown-ups to steer relations

Fair play and mutual respect are missing in the China-US squabble over trade, and both sides must recognise that the relationship cannot be seen purely in monetary terms.

20 Jul 2018 - 8:47PM
It’s a long way from trade tariffs to war, but China and the US must act as grown-ups to steer relations

Fair play and mutual respect are missing in the China-US squabble over trade, and both sides must recognise that the relationship cannot be seen purely in monetary terms.

North Korea has US hawks and doves all aflutter, but few know what they’re squawking about

Both US doves and hawks are confused and ill-informed about North Korea.

12 Mar 2018 - 7:08PM
North Korea has US hawks and doves all aflutter, but few know what they’re squawking about

Both US doves and hawks are confused and ill-informed about North Korea.

Xi Jinping as president beyond 2023 may be good for China – though the West won’t believe it

China’s move to scrap the presidential term limit cannot be seen purely in black and white terms. Strongman leadership is not reviled in Asia the way it is in the West.

6 Mar 2018 - 5:53PM
Xi Jinping as president beyond 2023 may be good for China – though the West won’t believe it

China’s move to scrap the presidential term limit cannot be seen purely in black and white terms. Strongman leadership is not reviled in Asia the way it is in the West.

Why the Catholic Church is right to pursue a deal on bishops with communist China

The Pope’s willingness to see past the institutional interests of the church should be appreciated, rather than criticised. A more open relationship between Beijing and the Vatican would benefit China’s Catholics and overall development.

20 Jul 2018 - 8:47PM
Why the Catholic Church is right to pursue a deal on bishops with communist China

The Pope’s willingness to see past the institutional interests of the church should be appreciated, rather than criticised. A more open relationship between Beijing and the Vatican would benefit China’s Catholics and overall development.

As America heads back to a future of small-minded thinking, can China seize the chance to lead?

The latest American foreign policy ideas of ‘America First’, war preparations and a single winner are not actually new, and are not well thought out.

20 Jul 2018 - 8:47PM
As America heads back to a future of small-minded thinking, can China seize the chance to lead?

The latest American foreign policy ideas of ‘America First’, war preparations and a single winner are not actually new, and are not well thought out.

Getting to know the real Xi Jinping could mean preventing a conflict

The Chinese president is not as humourless, as vain or as aggressive as Westerners have been led to believe.

20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
Getting to know the real Xi Jinping could mean preventing a conflict

The Chinese president is not as humourless, as vain or as aggressive as Westerners have been led to believe.

Trump’s mind and the reality show within: why China should worry

The self-regarding mind of Donald Trump, as revealed in a recent impromptu interview, proves again that he is no Obama. And that adds a new layer of uncertainty to the US relationship with China

20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM
Trump’s mind and the reality show within: why China should worry

The self-regarding mind of Donald Trump, as revealed in a recent impromptu interview, proves again that he is no Obama. And that adds a new layer of uncertainty to the US relationship with China

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