Key U.S. allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific have been strengthening their defense ties with regional actors over the past two decades. To what extent is this a response to the perceived threat of a rising, assertive China? And how will these new commitments affect the United States?
A more forceful U.S. posture in the Asia-Pacific would likely strengthen America's long-term position in the region. The effort should rehabilitate key bilateral alliances, especially with Tokyo and Seoul, and compete with or at least supplement the roster of economic initiatives that China is advancing across the region.
Ali Wyne urges President Trump to reassure U.S. allies that the United States has both the capacity and the willingness to maintain an enduring presence in the Asia-Pacific. That reassurance must be grounded in credible geo-economic pledges.
President Xi Jinping became the first Chinese leader to appear at the annual gathering of the World Economic Forum last week. He gave a keynote speech that defended global trade and criticized protectionism. His speech reflected, in part, the reality that China has profited enormously from decades of globalization.
China and Japan have a long history of antagonism but their competition for influence in Asia has recently expanded in the economic, diplomatic, and security domains. The U.S., although a staunch ally of Japan, has served as a mediator. Weakening the U.S. role could aggravate Sino-Japanese tensions to a destabilizing degree.
The U.S. pivot to the Indo-Pacific has improved U.S. popularity and influence, and positioned it for gains in regional economic, diplomatic, and military cooperation. The incoming administration would be wise to embrace these gains and build on them to preserve and further develop U.S. interests and influence in the region.
Chinese President Xi Jinping's meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe raised hope for the near term that the leaders of both countries can ease tensions between Asia's two largest economies. This marked a welcome turn from the past few years, which saw a serious downturn in China-Japan relations.
The relocation of the Marines is a first step toward a more sustainable US military presence in the Asia-Pacific. Yet policymakers in Washington and Tokyo should not expect this move to eliminate an enduring source of tension in US-Japanese relations, write Stacie L. Pettyjohn and Alan J. Vick.
Assesses the factors contributing to the decisions by the United States and Japan to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and the meaning of those decisions for bilateral cooperation on trade expansion.
Assistant Policy Researcher; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Education M.Phil. in policy analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School; M.S. in green technologies, University of Southern California; B.S. in electrical engineering, University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore
Director, RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy; Senior Economist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Education Ph.D. in finance, Northwestern University; M.B.A. in finance & economics, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta; B.A. in economics, St. Stephen's College, Delhi