Robert Delaney

Robert Delaney

US Bureau Chief; Columnist

Robert Delaney is a contributor to Inkstone. He is the US bureau chief for the South China Morning Post.

Language spoken
English, Mandarin
Areas of Expertise
China news, market news, international relations
Don’t expect US-China relations to improve under a President Biden
As the US heads toward its November elections, Republicans and Democrats are pitching two distinct visions of America. Except when it comes to China. The proposed 90-page Democratic Party platform contains passages that echo some of the rhetoric that has defined the attacks on China made by President Donald Trump’s administration even as it criticizes the “reckless” trade war it started with China more than two years ago. The Democratic platform, crafted as a statement of the agenda of the party and its presidential nominee, Joe Biden, “lambasts the Trump administration’s handling of China in all issue arenas: trade, human rights, national security, public health and so on,” said Allen Carls
US puts Chinese apps on notice as Trump gives TikTok 45 days to sell
President Donald Trump will take action against TikTok, WeChat and “countless” Chinese software companies that pose a national security threat to America, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday, apparently widening the scope of attention the US government is paying to online tech platforms developed in China. “These Chinese software companies doing business with the United States, whether it’s TikTok or WeChat, there are countless more,” Pompeo said in a Fox News interview on Sunday, accusing Chinese technology firms of “feeding data” to the ruling Communist Party’s security apparatus. Pompeo’s warning to Chinese software companies came as Trump agreed to a 45-day timeline for the Chi
Trump says he ‘doesn’t want to speak’ to Xi
President Donald Trump expressed doubts over his recent trade agreement with Beijing because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  He also suggested that America would save $500 billion if Washington “cut off” the bilateral relationship. Speaking about a wide range of grievances with China in a pre-recorded Fox Business Network interview, Trump said: “I have a very good relationship [with China’s President Xi Jinping], but I just, right now I don’t want to speak to him.” “They should have never let [the pandemic] happen. So I make a great trade deal and now I say this doesn’t feel the same to me,” Trump said. “I’m very disappointed in China.” The relationship between the US and China has soured over r
Trump and Biden talk tough on China. Can they afford to walk the walk?
US presidential candidates are trying to win support by advocating for a hawkish stance toward Beijing, but they may need to think twice about the anti-China rhetoric due to the need to restore an economy devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.  As President Donald Trump and his presumptive Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, compete to portray themselves as being the toughest on Beijing, the only factor that will prevent a complete diplomatic severance, former government officials and experts said, will be the economy. US media reported on Thursday that the Trump administration was pursuing conspiracy theories about the coronavirus’ origins, and was formulating a raft of measures to hold Chin
China warns US cut to WHO funding weakens global coronavirus response
China has denounced Washington’s plan to suspend funding to the World Health Organization, saying it would weaken the coordinated effort needed to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Wednesday that Beijing was concerned about the Trump administration’s announcement to withhold funding to the global health agency over alleged missteps it made in responding to the coronavirus outbreak in China.  “The decision of the US will weaken the WHO’s ability to handle the pandemic, especially the nations whose capabilities are not well developed,” Zhao said. President Donald Trump on Tuesday said the US would suspend funding to the WHO for a planned 60-
Did Trump’s White House receive coronavirus intelligence in November?
US media reports that American intelligence officials had started tracking in November a rapidly spreading illness in China – now known as Covid-19 – have raised questions about what and when the White House knew about the gathering threat. CNN, ABC and NBC reported this week that an agency of the US defense department’s intelligence arm began holding meetings about the illness in China more than a month before Beijing notified the World Health Organization, on December 31, of the spreading contagion. The National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI) tracked details of the apparent epidemic through “analysis of wire and computer intercepts, coupled with satellite images,” according to ABC.
Bill Gates has good and bad news on Covid-19 vaccines
Bill Gates, whose foundation has been funding Covid-19 vaccine trials, said ten of the 100 vaccine candidates under development “are very promising.” During a Wednesday live chat with LinkedIn, Gates said the development efforts funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will move at “full speed, … taking a little bit of risk on the side effects.”  The ten promising vaccines include the Moderna-NIAID vaccine funded by an international consortium based in Oslo, Norway. It went into its first phase of human trials on March 16, and others will start testing within the next month. However, Gates predicts that an effective Covid-19 vaccine is not likely until somewhere around September 2021.
Americans warned to brace themselves for surge in coronavirus deaths
US health officials on Tuesday said the spread of the coronavirus in the states of California and Washington appear to be slowing, suggesting that social distancing practices are making a difference as the country struggles to contain the pandemic. But the US death toll could rise to a range of 100,000 to 240,000, according to models tracked by the White House coronavirus task force. The models suggest the toll could end up lower if people across the country strictly follow the mitigation measures that have been in place since mid-March, based on the experience of the two west coast states, the first to implement social distancing policies. “What we’re going to see, and that’s why we’ve got
China blocks foreigners as coronavirus center shifts to US and Europe
China will ban most foreigners from entering the country starting at midnight on Friday in an effort to block the spread of the coronavirus through imported cases. Entry visas issued to foreigners will be suspended as an “interim measure,” according to a statement late Thursday by the country’s foreign ministry. “In view of the rapid spread of the new coronavirus epidemic worldwide, China has decided to temporarily suspend entry of foreigners with currently valid visas and residence permits in China,” the ministry said. “The Chinese side will adjust the above measures according to the epidemic situation through separate announcements.” While the global pandemic originated in China months ago
Trump wants the US ‘open’ by Easter despite health experts’ warnings
President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he aims to end strict social distancing measures intended to halt the spread of the coronavirus by Easter to avoid prolonged economic damage. “We’re opening up this incredible country — because we have to do that,” said Trump in a Fox News interview in the White House Rose Garden. “I’d love to have it open by Easter.” Easter is April 12 this year. “More people are going to die” unless businesses are allowed to reopen, the president said. “Our country has to get back to work, otherwise it’s going to be very hard to start it up again.” Trump has become increasingly vocal in the past two days about the need to end stay-at-home orders imposed on nearl