Facing an Aggressive China: The US May Be Inching Towards Asian Alliance

The juxtaposition of speeches and leadership show a stark contrast. Under Xi Jinping, China is strategic in expanding its influence, while the United States and the Donald Trump administration seem to be floundering, lurching about with policies. “Since the 2016 election of Donald Trump, Xi has projected himself as a responsible global statesman committed to maintaining global norms and leading on tackling challenges such as climate change and global trade,” explains Harsh V Pant, professor of international relations. Asian nations assess the strength of commitments as Trump undertakes a 12-day visit with stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. “The Narendra Modi government has invested significant diplomatic capital in building ties with Washington, with Modi visiting the United States four times during the last three years,” Pant explains, adding that China’s fast rise may not go completely unchallenged. He concludes that the United States and India along with Japan and Australia could “emerge as guarantors of free trade and defense cooperation across a stretch of ocean from the South China Sea, across the Indian Ocean to Africa.” Again, much depends on the United States keeping its many commitments in word and deed. – YaleGlobal