John Power

John Power

Reporter, Asia

John is a contributor to Inkstone. He is a reporter for Asia Desk and This Week in Asia of the South China Morning Post.

Location
Hong Kong
Language spoken
English, Korean
Areas of Expertise
The Korean peninsula, freedom of information
The US is patrolling the South China Sea more than ever
US Navy patrols near disputed features claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea hit a record high last year, newly released figures show, as the Trump administration ramped up its efforts to challenge China’s territorial claims in the contested waterway. US Navy vessels sailed within 12 nautical miles of features claimed or occupied by China seven times in 2019, according to data released by the US Pacific Fleet – the highest number of so-called freedom of navigation patrols (FONOPs) since Beijing controversially began constructing artificial islands around disputed reefs in the waterway in 2014. Washington carried out five such operations in 2018, six in 2017 – President Donald Trump’s fir
The US is patrolling the South China Sea more than ever
Has China outsmarted the US in the South China Sea?
Before assuming his post as commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, Admiral Philip S Davidson issued a stark warning about Washington’s loosening grip in the fiercely contested South China Sea. “In short, China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios, short of war with the United States,” Davidson said during a Senate confirmation hearing ahead of his appointment as the top US military official in the region in May 2018. For many analysts, the dire assessment was a long-overdue acknowledgment of their concerns. Today, there is a growing sense it did not go far enough. Washington’s strategic advantage in the waterway, which holds massive untapped oil an
Has China outsmarted the US in the South China Sea?
Hong Kong international students torn between staying or leaving
Maya Boehm, an American exchange student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), has her bags packed to fly home at a moment’s notice.  On Tuesday, St Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, told the 20-year-old that she and her classmates had been summoned home to “ensure the continued safety and security of our students” after chaotic clashes the previous night between anti-government protesters and police on the campus. The religious studies major has not been given an exact timetable for her return, but she expects to be on a plane within days. “Everything is very unpredictable right now and I just have to take things not only day by day, but hour by hour,” said Boehm. “It breaks my
Hong Kong international students torn between staying or leaving
Once bitter rivals, US and Vietnam unite against China
Once bitter enemies, the United States and Vietnam are now increasingly united in their mutual suspicion of China’s rising clout in the South China Sea. Last month, a pilot from the Vietnam People’s Air Force became the first in his country to complete the Aviation Leadership Program at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi.  The program provides 52 weeks of flight training to pilots from US partner and developing countries. Captain Dang Duc Toai’s graduation was hailed as the fruit of a partnership between the US and Vietnam that helps “ensure peace and stability in the region and in the world,” according to Lieutenant General Steve Kwast, commander of air education and training command in
Once bitter rivals, US and Vietnam unite against China
US may target China’s facial recognition tech
China's facial recognition tech firms are considered among the world's best. Now they're at the center of a new front potentially opening up in the escalating tech war between the United States and China. It revolves around the Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT), an influential US government accuracy test. Widely considered the gold standard for determining the reliability of facial recognition software, FRVT results are regularly cited by companies as a measure of their credibility, and referred to by businesses and policymakers when buying the tech. Democratic Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii is pushing to ban countries, including China, from the FRVT. The proposed “End Support of Digital A
US may target China’s facial recognition tech
Why politicians approach Australian-Chinese voters with caution
Asked on the campaign trail this week how Australia could balance its relations with the United States and China, Prime Minister Scott Morrison replied there was no need to choose between a “friend” and a “customer”. The remarks by the leader of the center-right Liberal Party – hoping for a return to the top office in Australia’s federal election on Saturday – tanked with Chinese-Australian social media users. The comments served to remind Chinese-Australians of how they have long been treated by Australia’s major political parties as fundraising cash cows, or as “cannon fodder” candidates for unwinnable races, said Jieh-Yung Lo, a political commentator and former deputy mayor of a Melbourne
Why politicians approach Australian-Chinese voters with caution
North Korea tried to separate Canada and the US
North Korea has mounted a back-door bid to peel Canada away from United States-led efforts to apply “maximum pressure” on Pyongyang until it relinquishes its nuclear weapons. During a rare visit to Canada North Korean officials complained that by maintaining its own sanctions against their country, Ottawa was following Washington and not acting as an independent nation, the South China Morning Post reported. Canadian media reported earlier this month that a five-member delegation from North Korea had quietly met with Canadian officials in September, but details of the North Korean side’s perception of Ottawa have not been revealed until now. The revelation of Pyongyang’s behind-the-scenes ma
North Korea tried to separate Canada and the US
North Korean hackers found stealing from Bitcoin hodlers
North Korean hackers have taken to stealing cryptocurrency from individual investors as part of a new strategy by Pyongyang to blunt the impact of international sanctions. The targeting of individuals holding virtual currencies such as Bitcoin, known as hodlers, marks a departure from its previous methods, which have targeted exchanges and financial institutions. (Hodler is a misspelling-turned-jargon used to describe investors who hold on to a digital asset despite its falling market value.) Analysts say the shift shows Pyongyang is seeking a new source of income as it buckles under sanctions targeting its illicit nuclear weapons program. “Previously, hackers directly attacked exchanges,”
North Korean hackers found stealing from Bitcoin hodlers
When a Chinese and a US warship almost collided
A Chinese warship warned a US Navy vessel in the South China Sea it would “suffer consequences” if it did not change course, internal military documents show, as new details and never-before-seen footage emerge of last month’s near collision in the disputed waters. The Chinese Luyang destroyer issued the stern verbal message to the USS Decatur before sailing within 45 yards of the vessel in the September 30 incident that Washington labeled “unsafe and unprofessional,” according to a timeline obtained from Britain’s Ministry of Defence. “You are on [sic] dangerous course,” the Chinese ship warned, according to the document obtained by the South China Morning Post via a freedom of information
When a Chinese and a US warship almost collided