After teaching at the University
of Westminster I worked at The Guardian (UK) for twenty years as assistant foreign editor and chief foreign
leader-writer (1983-2003). With my wife and constant partner for over 50 years, Aelfthryth Gittings (who
died in December 2012), we brought up four sons and travelled widely in
South America, Asia and Europe. In 2001-03 we set up The Guardian's first staff office on the Chinese mainland, in Shanghai.
Afterwards we moved to Shipton under Wychwood in Oxfordshire, becoming
active in local historical research, CND, and the Labour Party. (I have now moved into Oxford).
Having specialised for many years on China and East Asia, I have been working on the history of peace thought for the
past ten years, publishing a new book, The Glorious Art of Peace (OUP, 2012), and many articles. The paperback edition
of my book was published in October 2018 (see below) with a new preface.
I am a Research Associate at the China
Institute, School of Oriental & African Studies, London University, and an Associate
Editor of the Oxford International Encyclopaedia of Peace. In November 2015 I served as a judge on the International People's Tribunal on 1965 Crimes against Humanity in
Indonesia, and co-edited the Final Report.
Tiananmen 1989: Reporting from the Square
Hiding in Plain Sight: Why we missed the threat of a pandemic -- and other existential risks. (July 2021).
Is there still a Middle Way? (May 2021)
Mao's View of China and the World
Could Tibet have reformed on its own? (Sept. 2020)
Hong Kong's National Security Law (Aug. 2020)
China in the 1980s: the lost chance. (June 2020)
UK 2020 Defence Review: Submission
Weighing the Risks: Nuclear v. Pandemic (Aug.2020)
Review: "Can we Prosecute Tony Blair?", (May 2020)
30 Years On: How Much Has Really Changed? (May 2020)
The real global poverty, (Dec. 2019)
Saving the Planet, 1949-2019 (July 2019)
Our perfect storm of crises -- new article for Open Democracy, (Jan. 2019)
The nuclear/climate challenge, (Mar. 2019)