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Dr. William Paton is a former UN official at the Assistant-Secretary General level who lives in Beijing and writes about foreign affairs.

Opinion Pieces

Great Wall of China Panshan Dragon Beijing 蟠山龙长城
Magician's Hat

The Magician

The West’s Dangerous Illusions About China

by Bill Paton, 14 April 2022

Eileen Wu is the young Chinese American skier who won gold in Beijing this year, somersaulting down the slopes with near perfection. Born to a Chinese mother and American father, she said: “In the U.S., I’m American, but when I’m in China, I’m Chinese.”

Hong Kong, China Bridge

Hong Kong, China

The Tides of History

“Hong Kongese, especially youths, are caught in the tide of history, yet reintegration into China remains an amazing opportunity. Hong Kong is one of only two territories in history (along with Macau), ever to cross what is becoming the world’s greatest divide. Hong Kong has gone from being part of the greatest empire in world history to part of the greatest economic rise in world history.”

One World, Two Systems:

China’s Views Deserve a Hearing

In 1971, over 20 years after the United States embargoed China, the two countries began thawing their relations with a table tennis tournament. “Friendship first, competition second” was the Chinese motto for the match, even letting the Americans win a few games. The USA had sportingly agreed to come and lose at China’s national sport.

Ping Pong for One World, Two Systems.png
Turning The Titanic

Turning The Titanic

China is Within Reach of Showing Global Leadership at COP 26

Like the Titanic ocean liner in 1912, which sank because it was going too fast and failed to avoid an iceberg, countries today are racing their dirty economies too fast, and turning to renewable energy too slowly to avert climate disaster. Just as it was for that ill-fated ship, the outcome for the good ship Earth will also be determined by leadership.


Beijing modern architecture

Beijing November 2022

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