Frederick Kempe

  • Great Powers, Big Questions

    Welcome to the new era of great power competition.

    While the Trump administration’s decision to invite a Chinese delegation for a new round of trade talks has granted investors a momentary reprieve from an escalating economic conflict, the news shouldn’t distract from the new reality that Inflection Points has been observing for some time.

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  • China, Trump and an 'Epochal Shift'

    Is this what the end of an era looks like?
    This was a week that President Trump closed by dramatically escalating his trade dispute with China, threatening new tariffs on nearly $500 billion of Chinese goods. He did so even while facing mounting tensions within his own administration, underscored by an anonymous New York Times op-ed and a new book by Bob Woodward.
    In a bit of symbolic theater on the eve of Trump’s trade announcement, China’s Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai was hosting a party in Washington for his African counterparts to celebrate this week’s Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing. 

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  • Kempe Joins CNBC to Discuss US-China tensions

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  • McCain's 'Causes Greater Than Ourselves'

    History will recall this week’s passing of Senator John McCain, freedom fighter and democracy defender, as either the passing of an era or the rekindling of American purpose. 

    McCain himself would humorously dismiss much of the lionizing of his life’s contributions in the few days since his passing, culminating in this weekend’s memorial service at the Washington National Cathedral. Yet he would also concede there’s dramatic timing to his death, coinciding as it does with new threats to US global leadership and the principles for which it should stand: democratic rule, protection of individual rights and equal justice before law.

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  • China's 'Project of the Century' vs. Trump's Good Week

    Most encouraging about President Trump’s trade deal with the European Union this week wasn’t the escalating conflict it defused but rather the historic possibility it opened. 

    While President Trump had been applying new aluminum and steel tariffs to allies, triggering retaliatory measures against everything from US agricultural products to Harley Davidson motorcycles, China had been rapidly advancing what its leader Xi Jinping immodestly has called “the project of the century.”

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  • Kempe Joins CNBC to Discuss Trump's Meeting with Juncker

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  • Navigating ‘A Very Grave Period’

    It was only a few minutes after his failed Vienna Summit with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had ended, but US President John F. Kennedy already feared the worst. Khrushchev had outmaneuvered and brutalized him, and Kennedy worried that he had left an impression of weakness that his adversary would exploit.

    In a darkened room and behind closed blinds, a scene designed to conceal the meeting from other reporters, Kennedy sunk into a sofa and candidly answered a simply put question from the New York Times’ James “Scotty” Reston: “How was it?”

    “Worst thing in my life,” Kennedy said. “He savaged me.”

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  • Kempe Joins CNBC to Discuss Trump's Trade Policy and China

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  • Trump in Three Acts

    What we learned from President Trump’s performance at the NATO Summit this week, the first scenes of a European three act play ending in Helsinki with Vladimir Putin on Monday, was that the American leader will go to great lengths to control the narrative.

    Right down to last-minute plot shifts.

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  • Kempe Joins CNBC to Discuss Trump's Next Move with Russia

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