TOKYO (AP) – As Asia faces the reality of a Joe Biden administration, relief and hopes for economic and environmental recovery jostle with anxiety and fear of inattention.
From security, trade to climate change, a mighty America reaches nearly every corner of the Asia-Pacific. During his four years in office, President Donald Trump has shaken the foundations of US relations here as he flirts with traditional opponents and attacks allies with frequency and interest.
Now, as Biden seeks to tackle turbulent domestic issues, there are fears that Asia will end up as a belated thought. Allies will go unintended. Rivals ̵1; and especially China, America’s great competitor for regional supremacy – will do as they please.
After perhaps the most controversial presidency in recent US history, here’s a look at how its aftermath – a White House in Biden – will play out in one of the key regions. The most important and volatile in the world:
Biden will probably look here first.
The two countries are closely tied economically and politically, even as the United States’ military presence in the Pacific contradicts China’s expansionist effort to achieve the goal it considers. is my natural sphere of influence.
Under Trump, the two rivals engaged in a trade war and a heated exchange of verbal hostility. According to Alexander Huang, a professor of strategic studies at Tamkang University in Taipei and a former Taiwanese national security official, the Biden administration could have the effect of defusing those rifting relations.
“I hope Biden will return to a more moderate, less confrontational Obama-era approach to Sino-US relations,” he said.
Huang added that a broader approach to China could cause Washington to lessen support for Taiwan, which China claims to be its own territory, without necessarily undermining US commitments. to ensure the island can defend itself against threats from China.
Retired chemical engineer Tang Ruiguo echoes China’s shared view of the United States’ unstoppable decline from its global superpower status. “Whoever is elected, I feel America could fall into chaos and instability and its development will suffer,” Tang said.
Say goodbye to the summits.
Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have gone from war threats to the unprecedented three sit-down events, despite a popular media event, but have done nothing to remove North Korea from a range of missiles. Far from carrying nuclear is prohibited.
Kim now has to adjust to fit a man whose propaganda services were once convicted of being a “wild dog” “beaten to death”.
For his part, Biden referred to Kim as a “butcher” and a “ruffian”, and said that Trump had endowed a dictator with legitimacy with “three dedicated TV summits.” does not make progress in disarmament.
Biden has endorsed a slower approach built from work-level meetings and has said he will be ready to tighten sanctions on North Korea until it takes nuclear-free steps. specific chemistry.
North Korea, which has yet to show any readiness to fully tackle its nuclear arsenal that Kim can consider its strongest survival guarantee, prefers a summit-led process for The country has a better chance of making immediate concessions that would otherwise be rejected by lower level diplomats.
As for South Korea, the new president is likely to show more respect for treaty ally Trump, who unilaterally cut down on joint military training and has repeatedly complained about the costs of 28,500 soldiers. The US was stationed in the South to defend against North Korea.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s resignation this year brought an end to one of Trump’s few close, effective relationships with a foreign leader.
In Tokyo, there is hope that Biden’s more progressive eco-policies will help Japan’s green companies, and that he will take a tough stance with China, which Japan is in constant competition. .
But there is also worry.
According to Biden, “America cannot afford to take care of other nations, and they have to prioritize their own reconstruction,” said Hiro Aida, professor of modern history and politics at Kansai University.
As Biden is facing many domestic troubles of his country, from racial instability to economic anxiety, healthcare and coronavirus, Japan could be left behind as China pursues greed. North Korea expands its nuclear efforts, according to Peter Tasker, a Tokyo-based Analyst at Arcus Research.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND
Australia’s conservative Prime Minister, who took power when Trump was elected, Malcolm Turnbull, may have told many as he tweeted Biden: “It’s a relief that you’ve won.”
There’s hope that Biden will do better than the Trump administration, which gave Australian producers tax-free U.S. steel and aluminum in 2018 before a change of opinion a year later.
For New Zealand, there is an aspiration to sell more milk and beef under the administration of the US government that is more open to free trade.
New Zealand and other Pacific nations also hope that Biden can help ease tensions with China.
New Zealand finds itself trapped between two superpowers, relying on China as its largest trading partner while maintaining traditional intelligence and defense relations with the United States.
Not much will change with the host of security and defense ties shared by India and the United States. But the Biden administration may mean a closer look at India’s many recent human rights and religious freedom records, both of which Trump overlooked.
According to Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the Washington-based Wilson Center, Biden is also expected to be more critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist-Hindu policies.
The countries will cooperate more closely to counter China, a common opponent, Kugelman said. A White House in Biden would not “risk a confrontation with a country considered by many to be America’s best strategy in South Asia,” he said.
Some countries in the region, such as Malaysia, have turned to China because of their large investment and focus on economic recovery, and “it will take time for the US to rebuild confidence,” Bridget Welsh, Honorary research associate at the University of Nottingham in Malaysia. “The power of the United States will never be the same as it used to be.”
Mr. Richard Heydarian, an analyst in the Philippines, said Biden could also be more cautious in deals with strong leaders such as Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, Prayut Chan-o-cha of Thailand and Hun Sen. of Cambodia.
“A more cautious Biden also means a degree of stability in relations with fastidious allies and partners in Southeast Asia and the region,” he said. “We will see American leadership, but more than a combination of regional rivals and powers, including Japan, Australia, India, and European powers” and Southeast Asia.
Foster Klug, AP’s news director for Korea, Japan, Australia and the South Pacific, has been reporting on Asia since 2005.
Associated Press writers Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul, Korea, Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo, Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, Nick Perry in Wellington, New Zealand, Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Sheikh Saaliq in New Delhi have Contribute to this report.