Day: June 2, 2019

Background Briefing: June 2, 2019


The 30th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre

We begin with the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre which changed the course of China away from halting efforts at democratic reform and has led to the current leader for life Xi Jinping’s reactionary rollback of any liberalization as Chinese nationalism and patriotism are being stoked by the Communist government’s ubiquitous propaganda machine.Orville Schell, the former dead of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley who is now the Director of the Asia Society’s Center on U.S.- China Relations and the co-author of “Wealth and Power: China’s Long March to the Twenty-first Century”, joins us. We will discuss the significance of the Chinese government finally acknowledging that the massacre took place although their Defense Minister at a conference in Singapore did not mention the bloodletting, but rather explained that the government had to restore stability. With a strongman in charge turning back the clock, and a trade war with the United States brewing, we assess whether the competition between the number one global power in retreat and the number two global power on the rise, will remain friendly or could turn more belligerent.


Could Our Reality TV President Be Brought Down By Reality TV?

Then we look into the slow-boiling constitutional crisis underway in America as an attorney general who has placed his client, President Trump above the law while the president himself is breaking the law in order to goad the House Democrats into impeaching him because he thinks that is his best chance for getting reelected in 2020, dominate the narrative while the Democrats struggle to keep up with the brazen legal thuggery and contempt for conventions and norms.. David Rothkopf, who was a senior official in the Clinton Administration and was editor of Foreign Policy Magazine and is the author of the forthcoming book, “Traitor: The Case Against Donald Trump”, joins us. We discuss how our reality TV president rose to power with free media and an ability to create the narrative via reality TV stunts, could ultimately be brought down by reality TV if the Democrats start televised impeachment hearings.


The Execution of North Korea’s Nuclear Negotiators of the Failed Hanoi Summit

Then finally we speak with Sue Mi Terry, a Senior Fellow at the Center for International and Strategic Studies and the former deputy national intelligence officer for East Asia at the National Intelligence Council as well as the Director of Japan, Korea and Oceanic Affairs at the National Security Council. She joins us to assess the accuracy of reports that North Korea’s Kim Jong-un executed his nuclear negotiators who set up the failed Hanoi summit and what impact that will have on Trump’s continuing love affair with Kim who writes “beautiful” letters to him.