In most respects, the White House meeting between President Trump and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was fairly routine. The two leaders lauded each other and the alliance that binds their countries. They issued a joint statement pledging joint action in security, on economics and other issues. And then, after their Oval Office talks, the American president and the Japanese prime minister jetted off for a weekend of golf in Florida.
All this is typical fare by the standards of summit diplomacy, and that in itself was remarkable given the uncertainty around Washington’s approach to Asia. The president made no reference to his campaign-era portrayal of Japan as a free-riding trade competitor—or to his previous demands that the alliance change shape dramatically. Given Japan’s role as the pillar of American strategy in northeast Asia, the silence (until North Korea’s unwelcome disruption) was happily deafening.
This first visit from an Asian ally may augur something more unexpected still: the mainstreaming of Trump’s approach to American relations with the Asia-Pacific.
Read the full article at The National Interest.
More from CNAS
CommentaryRetooling Democratic Good Governance
Online and offline, illiberal governance technologies are proliferating across Southeast Asia....
By Coby Goldberg & Kristine Lee
CommentarySharper: America's Alliances and Partnerships
Cooperation with allies and partners is vital for achieving U.S. foreign policy goals, especially with respect to global challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, the sprea...
By Carisa Nietsche, Jeff Cirillo, Chris Estep & Cole Stevens
ReportsRenew, Elevate, Modernize: A Blueprint for a 21st-Century U.S.-ROK Alliance Strategy
The U.S.-South Korean alliance has the potential to play a central role in bolstering a rules-based order in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond....
By Kristine Lee, Joshua Fitt & Coby Goldberg
CommentaryA Divided Washington Is (Sort of) United on China
The two parties might be divided on almost everything else, but their legislative agendas for China have a lot in common....
By Jordan Schneider & Coby Goldberg