As the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) meet in Manila, Senior Fellows at the Institute for ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute Malcom Cook and Ian Storey say President Trump’s interaction and engagement with the region has been limited thus far, and that early fears that the Trump administration would change US policy on East Asia, US- China relations, and the country’s foreign policy approach to territorial disputes in the South China Sea. The report was released a day after Asean leaders began their 30th Summit in Manila.
Relations between the US and China may have stabilized after Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to President Trump’s Florida home in early April. During his visit, Xi told President Trump that they had “a thousand reasons” to get bilateral relations right, and no reason to spoil them. In their op-ed for Project Syndicate, Distinguished Fellow Andrew Sheng and HKU Professor Geng Xiao note that the meeting showed that the US and China have plenty in common, including the need to generate employment opportunities in their respective domestic economies.
The views expressed in the reports featured are the authors’ own and do not necessarily reflect Asia Global Institute’s editorial policy.