from Asia Unbound

Assessing Trump’s Asia Visit: He Put in the Time, But Got Little in Return

US President Donald J. Trump speaks during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 12 November 2017. Luong Thai Linh/Reuters

November 15, 2017

US President Donald J. Trump speaks during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 12 November 2017. Luong Thai Linh/Reuters
Blog Post
Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

During his marathon visit to Asia earlier this month, U.S. President Donald J. Trump at least demonstrated to Asian allies that he is not going to ignore the region. His trip was the longest by a U.S. president to Asia in over twenty-five years. In several stops on his trip, the U.S. president also had pleasant interactions with Asian leaders, clearly trying to use charm to build personal ties. He also (at least at times) offered somewhat reassuring rhetoric about his administration’s position on the most dangerous regional challenges, like North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Unfortunately, the White House did not deliver many substantial accomplishments from the president’s trip. This is not necessarily a fault of Trump’s personal diplomacy or deal-making—although in several instances, he made concessions to Asian leaders that seemed to make no sense. Rather, much of the trade, strategic, and political measures for Asia envisioned by the Trump administration simply does not mesh well with Asian nations’ desire for greater trade integration, and many Asian nations are hedging away from the United States on strategic issues, though they are looking to their own mechanisms to prevent being dominated by China. In addition, with Trump almost completely ignoring human rights throughout his visit, and in his policies toward Asia, he risks alienating large, pro-democracy segments of the population in many developing Asian nations.

More on:

Southeast Asia

Asia

Trump in Asia

For more on my assessment of Trump’s trip, see my new World Politics Review article.

More on:

Southeast Asia

Asia

Trump in Asia

Up
Creative Commons
Creative Commons: Some rights reserved.
Close
This work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) License.
View License Detail
Close