A Vietnamese man covers his nose and mouth to hide the smell of the bodies of US and Vietnamese soldiers killed fighting the Viet Cong, northeast of Saigon, in November 1965. Photo: AP

What do Vietnam, the US-China trade war, Brexit and Lantau reclamation all have in common? They show what happens when leaders need to look tough

  • Philip Bowring says that from Iran to Vietnam and now China, US leaders keep making bad decisions rather than looking weak. But the US isn’t alone: Britain’s Brexiteers and Carrie Lam’s artificial island scheme show signs of the same malady
Topic |   US-China trade war

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A Vietnamese man covers his nose and mouth to hide the smell of the bodies of US and Vietnamese soldiers killed fighting the Viet Cong, northeast of Saigon, in November 1965. Photo: AP
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Philip Bowring

Philip Bowring

Philip Bowring has been based in Asia for 39 years writing on regional financial and political issues. He has been a columnist for the South China Morning Post since the mid-1990s and for the International Herald Tribune from 1992 to 2011. He also contributes regularly to the Wall Street Journal, www.asiasentinel.com, a website of which he is a founder, and elsewhere. Prior to 1992 he was with the weekly Far Eastern Economic Review, latterly as editor.