November 01, 2018

Trumping Asia

By Abigail Grace

In a cavernous Manila exhibition hall, flooded with light, U.S. President Donald Trump stood flanked by members of his national security team to deliver remarks to the press in November 2017. Joking that the White House press corps would need a day to recover from his first Asia trip – which covered five countries – the president observed, “It’s been an incredible 12 days. I’ve made a lot of friends at the highest levels.”

After intense public back-and-forth over Trump’s attendance at the 2017 East Asia Summit in the Philippines, he departed immediately following the leaders’ lunch, but before delivering official remarks. Officials cited a tight schedule, noting that the summit was running behind. Then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was left behind to speak in the president’s stead.

Nearly one year later, onlookers are still seeking clarity about the Trump administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy. Characterized by a newly declared strategic competition with China, “fair and reciprocal” trade deals, a free and open Indo-Pacific region, and increased emphasis on the Quad – a diplomatic grouping of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States – Trump’s approach is in some respects a predictable evolution of U.S. regional policy, while in other ways deeply disruptive. The administration’s ability to reconcile these competing forces into affirmative policy solutions will be the single largest factor that determines its relative success.

Read the full article in The Diplomat.

  • Video
    • May 20, 2020
    U.S.-China relations are in a free fall, says expert

    Former State Department official Anja Manuel joins Morning Joe to discuss why she says U.S.-China relations are in a free fall. Watch the full conversation on MSNBC....

    By Anja Manuel

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • May 13, 2020
    The United States Can’t Afford to Turn Away Chinese Talent

    Intellectual property theft is a real concern, and China has been the world’s foremost infringer. But a blanket exclusion of Chinese students from U.S. academic and scien...

    By Elsa B. Kania & Lindsay Gorman

  • Commentary
    • POLITICO Magazine
    • May 12, 2020
    What Afghanistan Can Teach Us About Fighting Coronavirus

    As worried Americans look for answers in the midst of a global pandemic, it is no surprise that many have turned to the symbols and language of war. Public officials from Gove...

    By Pat A. Basu & Dr. Jason Dempsey

  • Commentary
    • The Washington Post
    • May 11, 2020
    How to use the next stimulus to counter China

    “Build back better” was the mantra New Orleans adopted after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. It should be our country’s motto as we work to recover from the economic and...

    By Stephen J. Hadley & Anja Manuel

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia