Mr. Trump's absence in Asia could `give ground` to China 0Mr. Trump's absence in Asia could `give ground` to China 0

(Dan Tri) – President Donald Trump’s failure to participate in two important summits in Asia next November raises concerns about America’s reliability as a counterweight to China in

President Xi Jinping welcomed President Trump in Beijing in 2017 (Photo: AFP)

The White House announced last week that US Vice President Mike Pence would go to Singapore to attend a summit of 18 countries organized by ASEAN before going to Papua New Guinea to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (

President Trump’s failure to attend two important summits in November has closed the prospect of a bilateral meeting between the US leader and President Xi Jinping in Asia amid the trade war.

Trump administration officials are promoting a new “Indo-Pacific” strategy to increase Washington’s commitment to a region seen as fast-growing.

“Mr. Trump’s absence will certainly deepen the impression that the United States has essentially abandoned its traditional presence in the Asia-Pacific, let alone the Indian-Pacific region.

According to Conor Cronin, a researcher at the Center for International Strategic Studies in Washington, President Trump’s absence from two important summits is not a `positive move` in the context of the US’s efforts to demonstrate its integrity.

Opportunity for China

Mr. Trump's absence in Asia could `give ground` to China

President Trump attended the APEC conference in Vietnam in 2017 (Photo: AFP)

If President Trump is absent, President Xi Jinping will have more space to call for support for China’s development and trade projects, such as the Belt and Road Initiative.

Mr. Trump is not the first US president to be absent from summits in Asia.

“The symbolic image (of leadership) is very important.

Mr. Obama’s absence in 2013 was considered a `gift` to China in the context of Chinese officials affirming their interest in countries in the region.

America’s commitment is difficult to change

Mr. Trump's absence in Asia could `give ground` to China

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (center) attended the ASEAN-US foreign ministers meeting in Singapore on August 3, 2018.

Allies also sought to protect President Trump.

The Asia summits take place just days after the US congressional midterm elections.

Collin Koh Swee Lean, a researcher at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, said that recent efforts by US officials in the region will help compensate for President Trump’s absence.

`The US is expected to maintain its commitment and attachment to the region, and at the same time countries in the region will still make efforts to maintain the US presence when China is casting a shadow in its backyard,` said expert Koh.

Although President Trump is absent, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs still welcomes Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to Singapore to attend the conference.


According to Bloomberg

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