A Bull in the China Shop? Asia Policy in the Age of Trump
Philadelphia Inquirer Worldview columnist Trudy Rubin (back from a pre-inauguration trip to Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei and Hong Kong) and FPRI Asia Program Director Jacques deLisle discuss U.S. policy toward East Asia and reactions in China, Taiwan, and the region at the beginning of the Trump administration. Surprise at Trump’s victory, perplexity over the conflicting policy signals sent by the president and members of his administration, and the limited role in the Trump administration of members of the established U.S. foreign policy community have left analysts and practitioners somewhat at sea. In China, some see an opportunity for China to step into the vacuum left by the apparent retrenchment of America’s roles where others worry about a new volatility in the relationship. In Taiwan, Trump’s pre-inauguration phone call with President Tsai Ing-wen, his subsequent statement that the “one China policy” might be abandoned, and his still-later reaffirmation of the one China policy in a call with Chinese President Xi Jinping variously and collectively stirred hope, confusion, and concern.