For whatever reason, July has been a particularly active month in the various cockpits where I do my work — coffee shops, trains rocketing between Leeds and London, my university office, and British libraries — and consequently a few things have actually gotten finished. Some of the work that follows is purely opportunistic, but at least a portion of it reflects more deeply on my fieldwork in China and on the border with North Korea this past April.
The Hong Kong essay was a production very much led by Alexander Shaw, who continues to work with me at Leeds on a very exciting PhD project on British intelligence in southeast Asia in the early Cold War. My contribution to this piece was to incorporate the newly-released Thatcher Papers on Sino-British negotiations in the 1980s, channel my limited but tangible experience in Hong Kong during the Occupy protests, and read Xi Jinping’s visit to the former colony this month.
Early/mid-August will see publications in South China Morning Post and The Diplomat, and interviews produced by Reuters’ War College podcast and Tariq Ali’s “Global Empires” series.
Finally, I am nearly complete with a big chunk of a research project (ongoing since March) which investigates the role of Chinese border defense and drills on the North Korean border. This particular essay requires a few last desperate hacks before submission, but it should appear in the Jamestown China Brief next month, with the help of expert editor Peter Wood.