Handbook on the United States in Asia
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Handbook on the United States in Asia

Managing Hegemonic Decline, Retaining Influence in the Trump Era

Edited by Andrew T.H. Tan

The centre of gravity in today’s global economy arguably now resides in Asia. As a result of this, the maintenance of geopolitical and economic security in Asia has become pivotal to global stability. This indispensable Handbook examines the crucial and multifaceted role of the United States as a force in the region that has been, and continues to be, necessary for the continuation of Asian prosperity.
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Chapter 23: Problems and opportunities for the U.S. in Asia

Robert Sutter


The 2016 U.S. presidential election and victory of now President Trump showed that domestic drivers have posed the main problems for the United States in Asia. There are few obvious opportunities for the United States in this new situation. The regional challenges facing America are the immediate threat of nuclear North Korea and various longer term challenges posed by rising China. U.S. domestic politics and divisions led to changes under President Trump creating more tensions in relations with Asia; they made coherent and effective U.S. policy difficult. Whether or not rising China is able and willing to fill the perceived leadership gap in Asia as American government attention is seen as episodic and often focused elsewhere remains to be seen.

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