FROM David Wertime
Trump nominee talks tough on China, Beijing reacts At this week's Senate confirmation hearings , Donald Trump's choice for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, had harsh words for China's island-building in the South China Sea. China's state-run media have called that a threat that might require retaliation. Chinese officials have responded differently. David Wertime, senior editor at Foreign Policy magazine, says there is often a great gap between political speech and government policy.
Drones, tweets, and the new US-China rivalry China has returned the US naval drone it seized five days earlier in the open waters of the South China Sea -- and got a lashing by President-elect Trump on Twitter. Trump has already irked America's rival superpower by breaking protocol and speaking with Taiwan's President, challenging the "One China" rule, and talking about trade tariffs. Is the drone incident a test of an incoming administration bent on challenging China on trade, or a troubling sign of Chinese aggression in the South China Sea? Even some foreign policy experts skeptical of President Trump say it's high time Washington took a tougher stance with Beijing. So what does the incident tell us about the future of the US-China relationship with a Russia-friendly, unpredictable and confrontation-prone leader in the White House.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?