North Korea: a vexing situation for the USA and China

North Korea’s Pukguksong-2 test increases the tension

North Korea, officially the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), has again provoked international condemnation whilst developing its current ballistic missile and nuclear programme.

North Korea: Pukguksong-2 missile test

On 12th February 2017, North Korea launched a Pukguksong-2 missile (North Star 2, 북극성 2), from a tracked mobile launch vehicle. The solid-fuel missile is believed to have reached an altitude of 340 miles (550km) and travelled downrange 310 miles (510km) into the East Sea. The missile fell into North Korean territorial waters of the East Sea (disputed by Japan, which it considers it to be the Sea of Japan), and did not pose any risk to Japan. This missile test was primarily of chief concern for the participating nations of the Six-Party talks.
Continue reading “North Korea: a vexing situation for the USA and China”

Does the US Need a Reality Check?

‘US needs Reality Check’: A China View of US Foreign Policy

China President Xi Jinping with US President Barak Obama

During my stay in Beijing last year, I came across a thought provoking editorial entitled ‘US needs reality check ‘ (China Daily newspaper, 30th May 2014). Alongside the editorial was another article: ‘Time for China to go it alone’, an interesting juxtaposition. One might interpret this juxtaposition, as the decline of the United States as global leader and the rise of China’s territorial ambitions! Continue reading “Does the US Need a Reality Check?”

A Council By-Election and that David Cameron EU Speech

A Council By-Election, that David Cameron EU Speech: What’s the Message for Eastleigh?

During the first week of February, a council by-election was held in a little known ward in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham (LBHF): the Wormholt and White City (WWC) ward. Many people will probably not know where WWC ward is located, or even care. They may also believe that the WWC ward result has no relevance whatsoever for any parliamentary by-election or other parliamentary elections, other than filling a vacant seat on LBHF Council!

Wormholt Park, London W12

The WWC ward has traditionally been a Labour stronghold, and in recent years has always been a three horse race (no horsemeat implication intended), between Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. Labour historically always edging out Conservative candidates. Well that week, for the first time, the by-election became a six-horse race, and the ward by-election result was interesting. Labour increased its share of the vote to 68% up 7%; Conservatives had 12%, down approx 50%; and Liberal Democrat 10%, down approx 40% of the vote. Continue reading “A Council By-Election and that David Cameron EU Speech”

Dr Lyushun Shen, Taipei Representative Office (Taiwan) in the UK

Dr Lyushun Shen, Taipei Representative Office (Taiwan) in the UK

Last night, I had the privilege of meeting and hearing a presentation given by Dr Lyushun Shen, Taipei Representative Office (Taiwan) in the UK, at a Conservative Foreign and Commonwealth Council (CFCC) meeting in London (28th January 2013).

Chiang Kai-shek President of Taiwan (ROC), 1950 – 1975

Dr Shen gave a thoroughly interesting talk on Taiwan history, which encompassed Britain’s former colonial involvement in China and South China Sea region.

It was interesting to discover that when, in 1949,  Chiang Kai-shek was forced to leave China and establish a government in Taiwan, many thousands of artefacts and China treaties were removed from the Forbidden City to Taiwan. Today, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry is the custodian of 173 original treaties and documents which are preserved in the Ministry archives. Continue reading “Dr Lyushun Shen, Taipei Representative Office (Taiwan) in the UK”

BBC Trust

*Original version published on Boris Johnson’s website 25/02/2011 – click here

BBC Trust

The BBC Trust Chairman Sir Michael Lyons has recently revealed he will not seek to be re-appointed in the role when his four-year term ends next May.

BBC Broadcasting House

A few weeks ago, in a letter to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, Sir Michael said the Trust was robust, workable and effective … with much remaining to be done. So what of the background that led to the formation of the BBC Trust and its future ?

The BBC Trust replaced the BBC’s Board of Governors in January 2007. The Government said it was intended to ensure an “unprecedented obligation to openness and transparency”. But one of its first announcements was that the BBC Trust would review the corporation’s UK news coverage, which, whilst seeming even-handed to some, was seen by others as an insidious first step to totalitarianism : more like a politburo flexing its muscles. Continue reading “BBC Trust”