Monthly Archives: February 2018

“The slow-motion civil war: America’s three-way fight” The Korea Times

The Korea Times

“The slow-motion civil war: America’s three-way fight”

February 10, 2018

Emanuel Pastreich

We are so accustomed to a functional political system in the United States that sets standards for the world that in this transitional period it is quite difficult for many to conceive that massive institutional decay is taking place in Washington, D.C. , that will only accelerate and, if not handled well, risks both global war and domestic conflict far beyond what we have seen so far.

That means we had better get serious about an accurate interpretation of current events in the U.S.or risk having events overwhelm us.FullHouse_Trump

First, we must move beyond the simplistic opposition between conservatives and liberals in American politics. We have to stop trying to shoehorn the contradictory information that we observe into this meaningless dichotomy. The Trump administration is a radical, not a conservative, political movement and its opposition, in that it exists in Washington, is not liberal.

We are witnessing a “three-way fight” in the U.S. that defies assumptions about politics over the past 70 years. A complex battle has reached a peak and it is what has allowed Trump to become president, and to remain in power thus far. Read more of this post

“ ‘빅터 차 미스터리’ 의 해부” 다른백년


“‘빅터 차 미스터리’의 해부”

2018년  2월 6일

임마누엘 페스트라이쉬


빅터 차(Victor Cha)가 트럼프 백악관과의 논의에서, 북한에 대한 이른바 “코피(bloodynose)” 타격에 관해 우려를 표명했으며  그 결과 주한 미국 대사 후보에서 탈락했다는 내용의 기사와 사설이 한국 주류 언론을 도배하여 왔다.

그러나 지극히 기본적인 조사만 해 보아도 이런 설명의 신빙성이 떨어진다는 점이 드러난다. 또한빅터 차가 세련되고 신망 높은 북한 전문가라는 주장 역시 타당하지 않다.

우선 그는 지난 1년간 완전히 침묵을 지켰다. 미국이 먼저 도발 당하지 않더라도 북한을 (핵무기를포함하여) 공격할 수 있다고 트럼프가 공언하고, 자신의 외교 방식에 따라 여러 조치를 취하면서 국무부를 유명무실하게 만들고 대다수 고위 외교관의 사직 혹은 해고를 불러왔던 지난 1년간 말이다.또한 그는 트럼프가 내뱉은 노골적인 인종주의적 발언과 법무부 권한의 불법적 행사에 관해서도 침묵해왔다.

그러나 실제로 어떤 일이 벌어지고 있는지를 구체적으로 살펴보기 이전에, 트럼프 행정부가 출범한지 1년이 넘도록 주한 미국대사를 임명하지 못했다는 사실의 중대성을 따져보도록 하자. 일부 전문가들은 여전히 공석으로 남아 있는 여타 대사직도 있음을 지적한다. 그러나 사실상 동아시아와 세계 주요국의 대사직은 채워졌다. Read more of this post

“Cracking the Cha mystery” Korea Times

Korea Times

“Cracking the Cha mystery”

Feburary 5, 2018


Emanuel Pastreich


Korea’s mainstream media have been plastered with articles and editorials that repeat the storyline that Victor Cha expressed concerns about the so-called “bloody nose” strike on North Korea in his talks with the Trump White House and was dropped as a candidate for ambassador to Korea as a result.

But such a narrative does not hold up to even the most elementary scrutiny. Nor does the claim that Victor Cha is an urbane and highly respected expert on North Korea hold much water.

To start with, Cha has been silent over the past year as Trump advocated for an unprovoked (possibly nuclear) attack against North Korea and took numerous steps in his approach to diplomacy that have destroyed the State Department and led most senior diplomats to resign, or be dismissed.

Cha has also been silent regarding the blatantly racist comments made by Trump or other illegal uses of the Department of Justice’s authority.

But before we get into the details of what might actually be going on, let us consider the significance of this failure to appoint an ambassador to South Korea for more than a year after the launch of the administration.

Some pundits note that other ambassadorships remain open, but, in fact, the major positions in East Asia, and the world, have been filled.

Moreover, granted that Trump is talking about North Korea practically every week, saying that it is the most important security issue, the slight is obvious.

The failure to appoint an ambassador, or even to start the nomination procedures at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, should be interpreted as a major insult.

Mysteriously, the Moon administration has been silent about this Lese-majeste. The conservatives, who ought to be standing up for Korea’s sovereignty, are rather attacking the progressives for failure to be blindly loyal to the Trump administration.

In fact, it is the longest time that Korea has been without an American ambassador since Edwin Morgan was sent back to Washington D.C.

Wait a minute ― who is Edwin Morgan?

Well, the last time that we witnessed such a delay in replacing the US ambassador was when Theodore Roosevelt turned a blind eye on the Japanese absorption of the Korean Empire of Emperor Gojong and ordered Secretary of State Elihu Root to telegraph Ambassador Edwin Morgan instructions to “withdraw from Korea and return to the United States” on November 24, l905. The next US ambassador to arrive was John Muccio ― 45 years later.

Korea has not become a colony this time, but its relationship with the U.S. has clearly been downgraded by this action. Moon is being smothered in kind words from Trump about an end to “Korea passing” while Korea was all so politely kicked down the stairs and forced to act like a loyal ally even as tariffs were imposed unilaterally and demands were even made that it follow a security policy in which Korea had no voice in formulating.
Read more of this post

Call for a Global response to the oil spill in the East China Sea

Call for a Global response to the oil spill in the East China Sea


The oil spill in the East China Sea is evolving into one of the greatest ecological disasters ever to hit East Asia, and it will destroy much of the fragile ocean ecosystem that we so depend on over the next year. This is happening at a time when we are distracted by North Korea and the decay of government, media and other institutions that we previously counted on to respond to this sort of a crisis. We must quickly reinvent citizenship, Earth Citizenship, and reinvent government, real government, to respond to this crisis. It is also an opportunity for the United States to do something that is actually helpful in the region.

We must immediately draft a long-term plan for a global response to this catastrophe which will engage people at all levels of society in Korea, China, Japan the United States and Southeast Asia so that we can create a team to investigate the crisis according to the scientific method and put forth a long-term strategy for first rebuilding the ecosystem, warning citizens of the region of the dangers and helping those whose careers are destroyed. Working with scientists and other experts we will come up with a long-term system to respond and finally lay down clearly that we will move beyond oil and conquer our addiction to fossil fuels in a short period of 2-5 years. We must also change our culture and our habits so that we move beyond consumption and growth and embrace meaningful lives based on the search for truth and to promote cooperation between citizens of the community at the local, national and global levels.

Finally, we must admit that the expensive hardware that the militaries of the region have procured are useless in addressing this crisis. We must decisively redefine “security” for our time, move beyond the limited and confrontational concept of “alliance” and embrace the United Nations charter once again as we move to transform our militaries into transparent and effective parts of society which respond to the ecological crisis, above all, to climate change.

The Earth Management Institute and the Asia Institute invites all concerned citizens of the world to join us in this effort.




Please contact:


Emanuel Pastreich


The Earth Management Institute

(Director of the Asia Institute)



“比起模仿西方,中国智库更应重视自己的传统” 观察者



2018年 2月 3日





目前智库(think tank)在全世界范围成为政策讨论的核心空间,智库是专家、政府和民间部门代表以及市民讨论社会、经济问题的平台。位于华盛顿的布鲁金斯学会以及传统基金会一直以来以讨论政策的传统而引以自豪。华盛顿既是美国权力中心,又是智库林立的地方,更是国际情报中心,这里每天汇集着来自世界各地的智库机构的研究成果。权力怎么用,重大决策怎样做出,智库发挥着重要的作用。





明确中国的国家本质后,我们即可将西方智库的方方面面去粗取精。倘若对中国的智库传统不甚了解,我们就很难判断西方智库各个方面孰优孰劣、是利是弊——尽管我们对“西方智库”这一提法时有耳闻。如果我们不清楚中国的需要、中国的传统,就很难评价西方智库哪些是重要的,那些只是表面上很有名气。 Read more of this post

宾大发布权威智库榜单 资深智库专家热议新格局下全球智库的价值和使命 CCG

宾大发布权威智库榜单 资深智库专家热议新格局下全球智库的价值和使命




















“Seven Chinese think tanks ranked among the world’s best”

I had a chance to participate in this extended discussion on the future of think tanks as the director of the Asia Institute which was held in Beijing. The event, which was conducted in Chinese, was hosted by the Center for China and Globalization whose President Wang Huiyao was invited me to join the discussion. See the article below in China Plus.

pastreich at think tank conf beijing 2018.01.30


China Plus

January 30, 2018

“Seven Chinese think tanks ranked among the world’s best”


Seven Chinese think tanks have been included among the world’s top think tanks in the 2017 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, published by the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania.

Wang Huiyao is president of the Center for China and Globalization, one of the Chinese think tanks to make the list.

An advisor to the State Council, Wang Huiyao suggests more think tanks – as well as upgrades to the existing ones – are needed to help the government and the public make informed decisions amid unprecedented economic challenges.

“Think tanks will not survive if they don’t innovate. Think tanks are ‘idea factories’ that can influence’ public policies, which I think is very important. We are not consulting firms. Think tanks are non-profit and are supposed to provide better ideas for the public and the making of public policy.”


Ding Yifan is a senior researcher with National Strategy Institute with Tsinghua University.

He says think tanks today are faced with huge challenges amid mounting populist sentiment.

“Think tanks need to find ways to provide rational and comprehensive ideas to decision-makers. Decisions on public policy cover a wide range of aspect. Rational ideas can be hard to accept when there is an explosion of populism. Many global think tanks are faced with just such challenges.”

In China, most think-tanks are backed by the government or run through the country’s university system.


And while the rise in social media has seen these institutions faced with a new level immediate public scrutiny for their concepts, Liu Qian head of Greater China for “The Economist,” says its up to these institutions to rise above the noise to provide sound advice to policy makers.

” I think the most important thing for researchers is insight. The development of new media does have an impact on us. But we’ve found that while the public usually notes the latest news on twitter, facebook and other social media outlets, they invariably turn to us to see like what ‘The Economist’ says. In an era of information explosions, we spend a lot of time and energy on doing researches and investigation for a report. Although the public may sometimes be affected by various sentiments, they almost always realize the importance of insight and rational thought.”


Selected from a list of over 170 top think tanks around the world, seven Chinese think tanks on the list include China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, which is the best performer, ranking the highest among the Chinese groups on the list at 29.

The report shows the United States has the largest number of think tanks, at over 18-hundred, while China sits second with over 500, followed by the UK and India.