October 23, 2017

Trump's Nov visit can be his defining moment in Asia

By Patrick M. Cronin

United States President Donald Trump's first official visit to East Asia next month is historic in its combination of low expectations and high potential impact.

The President will visit Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines, marking a potentially defining moment in the next chapter of US-Asia relations.

There is considerable benefit to making a first visit to Asia after rather than before the spectacle that has been the 19th Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. It is also of inestimable help to hear the private wisdom of Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, whom the President hosts today in Washington.

But as a five-nation tour ushers in America's post-pivot Asia policy, three harsh realities will precede the President's arrival at every stop on his itinerary.

Read the full op-ed in The Straits Times.

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