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Sat Apr 21, 2018, 08:10 AM

Asian Regional Order US Allies to the Rescue

Yale Global Journal
April 19, 2018
By Atman Trivedi. He is managing director at Hills & Company, International Consultants. He recently worked as an appointee at the US Commerce and State Departments, and as a Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer on Asia issues.

Japan’s leadership reflects a developing trend, sometimes lost in Washington’s chaos, of Asian allies and partners working overtime in response to America’s rejection of traditional diplomacy and shifting regional power dynamics. The White House can ill-afford to take these friends for granted.
... rather than resign themselves to living in China’s Asia or demonize Beijing as Public Enemy No. 1, countries are now finding ways to recalibrate their foreign policy. TPP-11 reflects a common, affirmative vision for competing against China – not containing it – and other nations in today’s digital economy. That approach lies in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s unilateral tactics to address China’s harmful intellectual property and trade practices, leading to predictable promises of retaliation and threatening to put the entire global economy in disarray.

However, caution cannot be overstated: Over the long-term, only steady and engaged American leadership can preserve this order. Even the world’s third-largest economy, Japan, with its constitutional limits on using force, can’t fill US shoes. In the near-term, no one possesses the resources or ambition on security issues – not even China. Fortunately, the United States still claims unique military, economic, and technological characteristics, an unmatched system of alliances, and residual goodwill from its post–World War II leadership.

But these advantages are shrinking. Serious diplomatic missteps, including an unfortunate underestimation of how allies like South Korea and Japan are advancing American interests, have closed the gap...For the time being, one must find solace in the reality that Asia’s rules-based order, which generations of Americans and Asians worked so hard and sacrificed so much to build, is staying alive thanks to the efforts of friends around the globe and a dwindling number of farsighted leaders in the United States.


Worth a read.

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