Trump Hands the Chinese a Gift: The Chance for Global Leadership

 WASHINGTON — President Trump has managed to turn America First into America Isolated.

In pulling out of the Paris climate accord, Mr. Trump has created a vacuum of global leadership that presents ripe opportunities to allies and adversaries alike to reorder the world’s power structure. His decision is perhaps the greatest strategic gift to the Chinese, who are eager to fill the void that Washington is leaving around the world on everything from setting the rules of trade and environmental standards to financing the infrastructure projects that give Beijing vast influence. Continue reading “Trump Hands the Chinese a Gift: The Chance for Global Leadership”

Facing facts at the Shangri-La Dialogue

30 May 2017 / by Hugh White, ANU / EAF

Each year, the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore provides a platform for Washington to affirm the United States’ strategic commitment to Asia, strengthen US regional leadership and push back against China’s encroachments. And it gives US friends and allies in Asia an opportunity to line up in support. Continue reading “Facing facts at the Shangri-La Dialogue”

How China has become America’s equal, as showcased at a Harvard forum

by Robert Delaney / 25 April, 2017/ SCMP

On the campus of Harvard Business School this past weekend there was little doubt among corporate leaders and investors gathered for an annual conference that China had arrived as an equal to the United States. Continue reading “How China has become America’s equal, as showcased at a Harvard forum”

Trump’s protectionism leaves the world open to Chinese global expansion

by Toh Han Shih /

Since taking the helm, Trump has pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, leaving the world open to further Chinese economic expansion. China’s rise on the international stage is also buttressed by the blistering growth of its investments and infrastructure projects around the world. Continue reading “Trump’s protectionism leaves the world open to Chinese global expansion”

Emerging Consistencies in Philippine Foreign Policy Amidst Continuing U.S.-China Frictions

by Lucio Pitlo III / Apr 27 , 2017 / Originally Posted at ChinaUSFocus

Although critics often point to the apparent discrepancies and unpredictability in Philippine foreign policy as expressed by its chief architect, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, several emerging consistencies can be gathered. In the same vein as other countries that opted not to spell out the specifics of their foreign policy strategy, especially on critical and sensitive issues, in order to have ample room for maneuver and negotiation, these incipient consistencies have yet to be formally articulated in a coherent form, more so applied in reference to a certain foreign policy priority. Although not definitive, an appreciation of some of these nascent consistencies can give one a better outlook of the continuously evolving Philippine diplomacy. Furthermore, beyond his infamous rhetoric which surely played a lot in getting him Times’ 2017 Most Influential Person Award, Duterte’s actions, by and large, resonate as regional responses to the brewing US-China tussle. Continue reading “Emerging Consistencies in Philippine Foreign Policy Amidst Continuing U.S.-China Frictions”

The Fragile Diplomacy between China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong that Trump Upended

by Jessie Yang / February 24, 2017 /

Identity Politics in Southeast Asia

With political tensions taut, a Trump presidency may well destabilize an already-delicate coexistence.

Back in December 2016, then-president-elect Donald Trump set a U.S. diplomatic precedent with China and Taiwan by taking a congratulatory call from the Taiwanese president, Tsai Ing-wen. Continue reading “The Fragile Diplomacy between China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong that Trump Upended”

Beyond unilateralism in South China Sea FONOPs

18 February 2017  / Jeffrey Ordaniel /  East Asia Forum

Since Donald Trump’s inauguration, many analysts have anticipated that the United States would return to a unilateralist approach to international security. Initial statements from the new administration hinted at a change in Washington’s Asia policy away from the multilateral diplomacy and engagement championed by Obama’s ‘rebalance’ to Asia. In particular, Trump’s emphasis on ‘America First’ worried many. It did not sound inclusive, and was not reassuring to allies dealing with the security implications of China’s rise. Will unilateralism serve US interests in the South China Sea? Continue reading “Beyond unilateralism in South China Sea FONOPs”

The U.S. Should Not Demand In-Kind Reciprocity from China 

James Zimmerman /  February 13, 2017/ ChinaFile

In a well-drafted task force report issued last week by the Asia Society and the University of California San Diego, a group of scholars and former government officials recommend that the Trump administration take steps to make the U.S.-China bilateral economic relationship “more reciprocal” and that trade agreements should “significantly restore greater reciprocity in trade and investment.” Such aspirational goals are reasonable to achieve greater parity and mutuality in the relationship. Continue reading “The U.S. Should Not Demand In-Kind Reciprocity from China”