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
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
Trump stops calling coronavirus ‘Chinese virus’ after using the term 16 times
President Donald Trump on Monday stopped referring to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” and called for the protection of Asian-Americans. “It’s very important that we totally protect our Asian-American community in the United States and all around the world,” Trump said at a White House briefing. “They’re amazing people and the spreading of the virus is not their fault in any way shape or form,” he said.  Trump’s shift in tone was abrupt, having called the coronavirus the “Chinese virus” at least once every day since March 17 – a reference that was made at least eight times on Twitter and another eight times in the White House. Asked in the briefing why he stopped using the term, Trump
US labels 5 Chinese state media outlets as Beijing’s operatives
The US State Department on Tuesday said it will officially treat five Chinese state media outlets as government agencies controlled by Beijing. These media organizations include China’s state news agency Xinhua, CGTN, China Radio International, China Daily and a distribution branch for the People’s Daily, the Communist Party mouthpiece, called Hai Tian Development USA.  The decision will require the staff of these entities to register with the US State Department the same way that embassy and consular employees do, a State Department official said. “These five entities all meet the definition of a foreign mission under the Foreign Missions Act,” the official said. They are “substantially own
Did the US overreact to the coronavirus outbreak?
The outbreak of a new coronavirus in China has added a new and intensifying source of tension to an already fractured relationship with the United States. With threats to public health, transport and the global economy looming, it was no surprise that the two countries would clash as the epidemic that apparently started at a seafood and live animal market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan spread to the US, among other countries. But the mysteries of a coronavirus that jumps species to find a home in humans – also known as a zoonotic disease – has opened a new, acrimonious rip into bilateral ties that were already tearing apart. It has pitted science against politics. Amid confusion among
WHO declares coronavirus outbreak a global public health emergency
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global public health emergency over the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus on Thursday, citing the potential of the virus to spread to countries not prepared to deal with the contagion. Declaring the public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus emphasized multiple times during a press conference in Geneva that the move was not “a vote of no confidence” in China’s ability to control the outbreak. The latest PHEIC is only the WHO’s sixth since the UN agency was given the power to make such declarations in 2005. “Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries wit
US has the upper hand in ideological rivalry with China. The problem: Trump
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and the US Congress’ 150-odd other pieces of China-related legislation underscore elder statesman Henry Kissinger’s recent assertion that the US and China are “in the foothills” of a new cold war. Perhaps we’re even further up, above the tree line. As recriminations beget more recriminations and new fronts in the ideological battle seem to open every week, Washington’s wannabe cold warriors need to pause and reassess. The non-stop news around the advance of the Hong Kong act and the stand-off at Polytechnic University last week obscured new data released by the Institute of International Education and the State Department showing that the number o
Hong Kong rights bill moves to Trump’s table
A US bill that could leverage diplomatic and economic pressure to ensure the “sufficient autonomy” of Hong Kong moved quickly through the American legislative process and has now arrived on the desk of President Donald Trump. Trump has the power to veto the legislation. But with the bill having almost no objections from lawmakers, he is expected to sign it into law. To give an idea, the Senate passed its version of the bill unanimously and the House pushed it through with a vote of 417-1.  The legislation has infuriated China, who view it as “meddling in the internal affairs of China.” Beijing summoned a senior US diplomat to complain and the Communist Party mouthpiece People’s Daily said t
Hong Kong democracy bill clears hurdle as city fights ‘for their lives’
The US Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that could put diplomatic and economic pressure on the Hong Kong and Beijing governments over what American lawmakers said were human rights abuses.  While not yet law, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act could alter the relationships between Washington, Beijing and Hong Kong. What does the act do? The bill’s sponsor, Florida Republican Marco Rubio, said it would hold accountable officials for Hong Kong’s “eroding autonomy and human rights violations.” In practice, the act calls for sanctions against anyone deemed to have violated freedoms guaranteed under Hong Kong’s Basic Law, a constitutional document that underpins the city’s special statu
Why Chinese students keep coming to the US (for now)
Sun Hang, a 19-year-old first-year student from eastern China’s Zhejiang province, decided to study in the United States at George Washington University despite his concern about growing US-China tensions and the US government’s increasingly restrictive visa policy. “It will allow me to have a good resume, get a good job in China and enjoy myself,” said Sun, a history major dressed in a long black coat against the cold.  “US education is much better” than that in Australia or England, partly because of its better reputation, he added.  The allure of a US education for many Chinese appears, at first glance, to be holding firm.  Despite the US-China trade war, growing mutual distrust and a ram