The Trump administration’s vow to block Beijing from seizing territory in the South China Sea has sparked outrage among Chinese leaders, and Mr. Trump’s rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal has prompted confusion and unease among some key U.S. allies.
But such moves may be just what are needed to breathe new life into Washington ’s floundering strategy in East Asia, said a longtime analyst of the region, who argues that the U.S. and international media are overreacting to the broad-stroke shift in tone from the White House. Beyond the sharp rhetoric and policy swerves is a realization that the economic and strategic balance in the region was trending the wrong way for Washington.
“It’s not like the Chinese weren’t taking advantage of us,” said Patrick Cronin, who heads the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security in Washington. “People have to get some perspective here, and it’s hard to do that right now because it’s early and there’s a lack of clarity on the policy — because the new president is just getting his bearings.
Read the full article at the Washington Times.