U.S. President Donald Trump, left, with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Palm Beach, Florida, 6 April 2017 (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

By Kyle Hong and Jack Kim

The South China Sea is a strategic region in global politics, and in recent years it has become the focal point of a major power struggle between China and the United States.

We wanted to interview an expert on this sensitive region and on China’s relations with neighbouring countries. Former Reuters Editor-in-Chief David Schelsinger, a News-Decoder correspondent, kindly agreed to do so.

Schelsinger is the founder and managing director of Tripod Advisors, a consultancy that advises on political risk and strategy, and on running global organizations with an emphasis on China and the media sector. After leading Reuters’ global news operations, he served as chairman of Thomson Reuters China.

In our interview, we explored a range of issues, including geopolitics and the shifting, multipolar world; how China’s neighbours are responding to U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s growing influence; why Western perceptions of China have changed in recent years; and the likelihood the United States will strengthen its strategic ties with other Asian nations.


  1. Why is U.S. foreign policy under the Trump administration “contradictory,” according to David Schelsinger?
  2. Why is Taiwan such a sensitive issue for Beijing, the people of Taiwan and foreign governments?
  3. What is China’s competitive advantage? What is India’s?

Kyle HongKyle Hong is in his second-to-last year at Chadwick International School in Incheon, South Korea. He is interested in International Relations, Political Science and Economics, and hopes to work as a diplomat in the future.




Jack KimJack Kim is in his second-to-last year at Chadwick International School. He is interested in International Relations and Political Psychology, especially in human rights and policy-making. He hopes to work as an international relations lawyer in the future.

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