Managing Hegemonic Decline, Retaining Influence in the Trump Era
Edited by Andrew T.H. Tan
Chapter 2: The USA’s strategic challenge in Asia
While President Obama correctly identified Asia as being the most important region in the world for the future of the United States, and his Asia Pivot (or ‘rebalancing’) is meant to shore up its dominant position in Asia, there are significant challenges in doing so. Domestically, there has been rising isolationism, a backlash against free trade, calls for ‘restraint’ in US foreign engagements and the growing pressure on the US budget as a result of its economic problems. Externally, there is a long list of security issues and challenges in the region, including and especially the rise of China. While the new Trump administration’s foreign policy towards Asia remains unclear, the loss of the United States’ position in Asia would have very serious long-term political, strategic and economic consequences for it as well as for the stability of the region.
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