Foreign Policy: How Not to Lose Asia to China

An “America First” policy has prompted concern from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations about whether the United States is a dependable partner for countering Chinese influence. The foreign ministers of ASEAN’s 10 member states will meet for dialogue in Washington, DC. Recommendations from Michael H. Fuchs and Nina Hachigian would require the Trump administration to back away from some of its America First promises: providing broad, regional economic engagement and appreciating that ASEAN is the fourth largest market for US exports; avoiding excessive pressure for the bloc on regional issues but maintaining pressure on the South China Sea; strengthening the East Asia Summit; addressing principles that uphold the rule of law and human rights while commending progress; and supporting ASEAN’s Young Southeast Asia Leaders Initiative. “Trump’s decision to invite Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte and Thailand’s coup leader, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-Ocha, send a message that the United States has lowered its standards on human rights,” the writers note. The final suggestion is that US leaders must show up and participate in ASEAN and other summits, demonstrating commitment, to instill confidence in regional partners. – YaleGlobal

Foreign Policy: How Not to Lose Asia to China

ASEAN is fourth largest export market for the United States; courting the bloc requires the Trump administration to back off from “America First” promises
Michael H. Fuchs and Nina Hachigian
Friday, May 5, 2017
Copyright Foreign Policy 2017

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