The Trumping of Asia
Donald Trump’s first trip as president to Asia, where he has unnerved US allies and adversaries alike, will be dominated by the North Korean nuclear crisis. As that crisis has become by far the gravest threat to regional security and stability, other issues, such as trade and China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea, will take a back seat.
- Richard N. Haass predicts that Trump will come away disappointed from his journey to Beijing, because China’s leaders will seek to avoid difficult decisions on North Korea in the short run, even at the cost of damaging outcomes over time.
- But Brahma Chellaney thinks China is the problem, and calls for the Asia-Pacific's democratic powers – India, Japan, Australia, and the US – to create a strategic coalition to counter its increasingly aggressive behavior.
- Douglas H. Paal argues that, North Korea aside, Trump’s Asia agenda lacks ambition and, worse, pays little heed to key regional trends, which is particularly disappointing given historic opportunities for US influence and interests.