Trump’s Successful Pivot to Asia – WSJ

Not only no more bowing before potentates or dropping billions in case for our Iranian, what? Friends? But pressuring rivals, as opposed to timidly conceding the game.

The president is regularly attacked by critics for withdrawing from the global stage and undermining the American-led world order, but his goal in Asia is consistent with that of previous administrations from both parties: preserving what the Trump administration calls a “free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Mr. Trump has energetically pursued this goal, overturning significant parts of America’s Indo-Pacific policy dating back to the 1970s. His decision to levy tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods made clear that Washington is dropping the fiction that China is a fair trading partner.

The U.S. military has increased freedom-of-navigation operations and flyovers near China’s new military bases in the South China Sea.


The writer adds cautions to this applause.

Though few in Washington will admit it publicly, policy makers on both sides of the aisle see Mr. Trump’s bold stance as long overdue. Yet his Asia pivot is also risky.

Some worry he will rush into an agreement with North Korea, perhaps withdrawing U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula in return for a promise of denuclearization. If Mr. Trump caves in to pressure from Pyongyang, Seoul and Beijing to reach a bad deal, it may be impossible to convince Tokyo and other allies that Washington won’t pack up its troops and leave them to face the Chinese threat on their own.


No one should be in any doubt about the stakes: Beijing is looking to hasten the day when it replaces the U.S. as the indispensable Indo-Pacific power. America’s allies in the region are watching—some fearfully—to see whether the time has come to cleave to China and support Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. Mr. Trump’s pivot may offer the last chance to forestall such an outcome.

Seems to be so.

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