Asian nations pulled into China’s orbit as Trump puts America first

Across Asia, more and more countries are being pulled into Beijing’s orbit, with the timid stance adopted by Southeast Asian nations on the South China Sea at a weekend summit a clear sign this fundamental geostrategic shift is gathering momentum.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s flurry of calls at the weekend to the leaders of the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore might cheer those who fear his predecessor Barack Obama’s “pivot” to Asia has been abandoned in favor of an “America First” agenda.

But White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the conversations were aimed at lining up Asian partners in case tensions over North Korea lead to “nuclear and massive destruction in Asia”, and mentioned no broader strategic goal.

Southeast Asian nations will need more than that to convince them the United States still has their backs.

Source: Asian nations pulled into China’s orbit as Trump puts America first

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