How Not to Lose Asia to China

This week, the foreign ministers of the 10 countries that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are coming to Washington for an annual U.S.-ASEAN dialogue. Usually, this meeting takes place among “senior officials,” but some combination of anxiety over American engagement, and 2017 being the 40th anniversary of U.S.-ASEAN relations, has ASEAN sending its top diplomats.

To date, President Donald Trump’s administration has maintained President Barack Obama’s intense pace of high-level engagement in the Asia-Pacific. And while Trump’s policies in Northeast Asia — wild posturing with North Korea, insufficient coordination with allies, and a hazardously transactional approach with China — have depleted America’s leadership and credibility in the region, Trump still has an opportunity to get Southeast Asia right.

The above excerpt was originally published in Foreign Policy.