By John Ruberry "'Many are the strange chances of the world,' said Mithrandir, 'and help oft shall come from the hands of the weak when the Wise falter.'" Mithrandir (Gandalf), in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Simarillion. This week greets the first anniversary of Donald J. Trump's historic election to the presidency. Historic? Yes. Trump is first … Continue reading Trump one year later: The Deplorables knew all along
The National Congress of the Communist Part of China, which sets the course of the nation’s leadership and policies every five years, opens next week during one of the most critical times in the relations with the United States. President Xi Jinping, [pronounced she] who will be elected to a second, five-year term, faces some … Continue reading A Chinese Leap Forward?
For the last two weeks the media's meme on the North Korean issue was a story of spectacle. We had the spectacle of North Korea making belligerent threats against the United States and specifically targeting the US territory of Guam and the spectacle of the media going after the Trump administration on North Korea and … Continue reading Trump vs North Korea & China: The Strong Horse Rides Again!
Dunhuang, China, is probably the most important city you’ve never heard of. Tucked into a corner of Northwest China, Dunhuang [pronounced DONE-hwong] was a major outpost on the famous Silk Road trading route and has become a symbol of the current government’s attempt to rebuild the image and the use of the international connection. Marco … Continue reading Dunhuang Doings: A Look at China’s Past, Present and Future
Sometimes you just have to chill out from the problems of the world. That's why I decided to travel on a whim to Chengdu, China. It's the capital of Sichuan Province, known for panda protection and procreation, the world's tallest Buddha sculpture and seriously hot food. There's good news on the panda front, although the … Continue reading Chinese Clickbait: Pandas, An Ancient Buddha and Serious Sichuan Food
China also celebrated a three-day holiday over the past weekend—a festival commemorating the story of a famous poet. People in Guangzhou, where I am teaching, packed the route along the tributaries of the Pearl River as more than 100 dragon boats cruised through the city. The festival is a memorial of the death of the poet … Continue reading Dragon Boats and Sticky Rice
One of the most important events of the year happened last weekend in Beijing, but few U.S. news organizations gave much notice. President Xi Jinping and representatives of more than 100 other countries, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, got together to hash out how to spend nearly $1 trillion—that’s … Continue reading Loosening the Belt in China
Xi’an, the former capital of mainland China, may be the best example of the country’s heart, power, history and future of the country. Emperor Qin [pronounced chin] Shi Huang unified China in the Third Century B.C, making Xi’an [pronounced she-ON], the country’s most important city for roughly 1,500 years. During his reign, his generals greatly … Continue reading China’s Long Game
For the third straight year, I am headed to China, where I will teach students at the International School at Jinan University in Guangzhou, formerly known as Canton in South China. The trip allows me an opportunity to travel throughout China, Thailand and Myanmar, where I continue my own “Asia pivot” after years of reporting … Continue reading My Personal Asia Pivot
President Trump's State Department has told the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to get along without U.S. financial support. There are people who think this is a bad idea. I'm not one of them. Neither is Reggie Littlejohn. I met Reggie very briefly a couple of years ago, when we were speakers at a pro-life … Continue reading A small step in the right direction: less of your tax money to UNFPA
China’s bid to influence the 1996 election for Bill Clinton stands as one of the most damning examples of foreign interference in the U.S. political process. Unfortunately, the Chinese connection has largely been forgotten, including its continuation in Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016. Clinton’s 1996 re-election campaign received millions of dollars in illegal contributions from … Continue reading From China With Love
Last week I checking my traffic which has been very good for March, and for the fun of it looked at the countries where the traffic has been from this year. So far in North American Cuba and Iceland have had no interest (although perhaps by this time my WBC post might change that. In … Continue reading Looking for that Elusive Chad, Svalbard, Western Sahara, Central Africa Republic, Djibouti, Turkmenistan and Falkland Island Traffic
By John Ruberry "So you'll be paying yourself to build a railroad with government subsidies." Sen. Jordan Crane to Thomas "Doc" Durant. "These are exciting times. You and I are opening the way for the greatest nation the world has ever seen." Major Augustus Bendix to Cullen Bohannon. "See him driving those golden nails that hold together … Continue reading Series review: Hell on Wheels
This week the press freaked out about a Russian spy ship off the eastern coast. It even managed to roll up my way, obviously hoping to capture information about submarine operations near Groton. The Viktor Leonov, from shipspotting.com The truth is, this is normal. The Viktor Leonov didn't violate any rules. It didn't cross into … Continue reading Bears? I’m worried about dragons
By John Ruberry Building upon Peter Ingemi's RH's spectacular Trump's China Call is a Deliberate Overreach from yesterday, it's my turn to add my two yuan into the discusssion. The media loves to dismiss Donald Trump as a showman--as if there was no showmanship with Barack Obama--but those under 45 first encountered our next president as … Continue reading Trump just got into China’s head