Mark Magnier

Mark Magnier

US correspondent

Mark Magnier is a contributor to Inkstone. He is a US correspondent for South China Morning Post based in Washington.

Location
the United States
Language spoken
English
Areas of Expertise
US-China relations and policy
Washington’s mood darkens as China tightens its grip on Hong Kong
Washington expressed strong displeasure on Tuesday over the passage of the Hong Kong national security law as US lawmakers debated what leverage they have to effectively apply pressure on Beijing. “The United States will not stand idly by while China swallows Hong Kong into its authoritarian maw,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “The United States will continue to stand with the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong and respond to Beijing’s attacks on freedoms of speech, the press, and assembly, as well as the rule of law.” China’s top legislative body on Tuesday enacted the security law before its provisions had been seen by the Hong Kong government or the public. Crimi
Two in three Americans think poorly of China, survey says
Americans’ views on China have fallen to their lowest level since an annual poll started asking the question in 2005, according to survey results released Tuesday. The poll last month by the Washington think tank Pew Research Center found 66% of respondents held an unfavorable view of China, up from 47% in 2017 when President Donald Trump took office. And a large majority of the 1,000 Americans polled said they lacked confidence in President Xi Jinping to do the right thing when it came to global affairs, a steep increase since last year. The results come as the relationship between the two economic giants has deteriorated rapidly during the coronavirus outbreak. The two countries are engage
Economic toll of coronavirus could be unlike anything we’ve seen before
Before the coronavirus crisis began rippling through the global economy, Susan Wang had big plans for 2020. Not only was she going to buy a new Apple MacBook and iPad, plus a projector so she could host friends for movies at home, but she was set on making a career move. “I was planning to change my job, but my headhunter told me that all recruitment had been postponed to the second quarter,” said the 27-year-old who works for a British company in Hong Kong. “Our headquarters in London has a plan for redundancy, too. It is better to save some money in case I get laid off.” As Covid-19 spreads across the world, sending stock markets reeling and prompting companies to slash jobs, Wang has bec
Why Trump officials don’t want to cut tariffs on Chinese medical supplies
Hardliners within the Trump administration are trying desperately to avoid reducing tariffs on imported medical supplies from China, hoping to stave off mounting pressure from health care workers and a panicked public as the coronavirus death toll mounts. After an extended US-China trade war and President Donald Trump’s signing of an initial agreement in December, hawks within the administration are loath to set a precedent.  Their concern is that emergency concessions could undercut their hawkish trade stance toward Beijing, which Trump sees as a cornerstone accomplishment leading up to the November elections, say former officials and analysts. “There will be inexorable pressure to relax t
China and US play the blame game as world struggles through crisis
Already battered relations between the United States and China have declined to their lowest level in recent memory at a time when the coronavirus crisis calls for unprecedented global cooperation and collaboration. As of Friday, the virus has infected almost 245,000 people and killed over 10,000. China watchers say a range of irritants, mutual recriminations, long-standing and festering tensions are putting the global economy at further risk and increasing the chance of a military misstep. Events fueling trans-Pacific mistrust in recent weeks include finger-pointing over who “started” the coronavirus, with President Donald Trump repeatedly calling the pathogen the “Chinese virus.” For its p
‘Let’s play’: Beijing hints at payback for US curbs on Chinese state media
China has suggested that it will retaliate against the United States for reducing the number of Chinese nationals allowed to work in the US offices of major Chinese state-owned media organizations. Hua Chunying, the head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s information department, on Tuesday condemned the Trump administration’s restrictions on five Chinese state-run media outlets that will result in the effective expulsion of dozens of Chinese journalists from the US. “Now the US kicked off the game, let’s play,” she said in a tweet. The US said on Monday it will put a “personnel cap” on five organizations the Trump administration considers propaganda arms of the Chinese government. The restri
US needs more guns and friends to counter China, Pentagon official says
The United States must prepare for a possible military conflict with China, including by developing new weapons and strengthening ties with allies, a senior Trump administration official said on Thursday. In remarks that underscored growing competition between the US government and an increasingly powerful Chinese military, Chad Sbragia, deputy assistant secretary of defense for China, said the Pentagon needs to “build and deploy a more lethal, resilient joint force.”  That includes more hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence, robots and laser weapons, Sbragia told the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, which was set up by Congress in 2000 to evaluate the defense implicat
Arrest of Harvard professor rattles science world
The Trump administration is adopting increasingly aggressive tactics in its bid to counter Chinese theft of trade secrets with the arrest of a prominent Harvard professor and high-profile investigations into top universities. The move against one of the nation’s foremost scientists – Charles Lieber, chairman of the Harvard chemistry department – and the threat of criminal charges against Harvard, Yale and other prestigious universities over reporting violations has sent shock waves through the scientific establishment. Unlike many other recent cases involving scientists of Chinese descent, Lieber is Caucasian. He and leading universities are also being accused of failing to disclose ties to
US Senate proposes spending $1 billion to fight Huawei’s 5G dominance
New legislation introduced in the US Senate on Tuesday aims to create a viable Western alternative to China’s telecoms giant Huawei and undercut the country’s dominance in global 5G networks. The lack of global alternatives to Huawei has been one of the biggest problems in Washington’s bid to counter Chinese strength in 5G networks – the faster and higher capacity fifth generation of telecommunication systems. The Senate bill tries to address that gap. If passed, it would spend more than $1 billion to bolster US competitiveness, allocate new spectrum and support research and development in the telecommunications industry. “We are at a critical point in history for defining the future of the
Museums grappling with how best to tell the story of Chinese Americans
A gravestone. Massive rocks. A mouldy qipao that has been sitting in an attic for 80 years. Among the challenges for America’s hundred or so private museums devoted to showcasing Chinese culture is how to turn down beloved donations from the public. This is just one of the hurdles Chinese-American museums face as they increase in number and prominence in line with the community. Even as the soon-to-officially-open Chinese American Museum in Washington scrambles for artefacts to fill out its collection, established museums routinely turn away old postcards, souvenirs from some recent holiday in China or dusty statues of obscure deities – without hurting prospective donors’ feelings. “Someone’