President Trump during his inauguration on 20 January 2017.
In a preface to the January 2017 issue of Asian Politics & Policy, Professor Aileen Baviera of the UP Asian Center reflects how "the assumption of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States" can or will possibly affect the security and foreign policy landscape in Asia.
Dr. Baviera, who is editor in chief of the journal, remarks that Trump's election "creates many new uncertainties for U.S. foreign policy, causing trepidation in many countries in the Asian region. She said the fact that the previous administration had many foreign policy failures does not absolve the new one of responsibility; "those failures will rather weigh heavily on (Trump's) shoulders."
Noting Trump's campaign slogan, "America must be made great again," she then underscores the difficulty in attaining that goal. "Considering how some of the country's core institutions that used to underpin democracy and prosperity are in such poor condition, one may have to look further and deeper for where new hope may spring."
TOWARDS AN ALTERNATIVE ORDER?
What might this mean? "On the international front," Dr. Baviera writes, "those who are dissatisfied with America's role as the world's top dog—a role it has played for seven decades—may seize the moment to try to build an alternative order. Those who have long predicted the decline of American power may find more arguments on their side. The greatest bastion of American influence—its soft power, more specifically attraction to its values as an open society—may yet become the greatest casualty of Trump's flawed logic and ideological biases."
WHAT ASIA CAN EXPECT
And what of Asia? "Will [it] be greatly affected by the new situation? China's power and influence have been growing in Asia, and it is seen as the closest peer competitor to the United States. There is an alliance system, as well as new security partnerships that help preserve American interests. The United States' relationships in East Asia are based largely on interest congruence and convergence rather than coercion, and the healthy state of ties depends on continuing harmony of interests. If continuity in America's approach to its Asian relationships is too much to expect, a soft landing and a process of gradual adjustment would still be preferred."
Professor Baviera segues into summaries of several articles comprising the Asian Politics & Policy issue for January 2017, all of which can be viewed and downloaded for free.
AILEEN BAVIERA: PROFILE
Dr. Aileen SP. Baviera is Professor at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman. She specializes on and writes about contemporary China studies, China-Southeast Asia relations, Asia-Pacific security, territorial and maritime disputes, and regional integration. The editor in chief of the journal, "Asian Politics & Policy," she is the author of many academic publications, including the "The Domestic Mediations of China's Influence in the Philippines," which appears in Rising China's Influence in Developing Asia, edited by Evelyn Goh and published by Oxford University Press. She completed her Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of the Philippines Diliman. VIEW FULL PROFILE.
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