Power balance towards china? Trump's foreign policy towards Asia Pacific

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Valentina Taborda Sánchez

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Abstract

This article provides readers with context concerning Trump ́s foreign policy towards Asia Pacific, power fluctuations in the region and the main reasons behind them according to statements and forecasts of International Relations experts. It addresses Asia Pacific’s current balance of power as it has become a controversial topic by demonstrating signs of alteration given Trump ́s Asian foreign policy and China ́s reaction, propelled by American withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). Power fluctuations have been partially fomented by Trump and also by the consequence of Beijing’s reaction in its own favor. China is taking advantage of America’s foreign policy and its latent economic takeoff with the purpose of enhancing Chinese positioning in the region by acquiring even more power. It is important to clarify that this article states that the power balance issue in Asia Pacific relays in two major aspects: economic and military power and also in the alliances developed as a result of both. The research determined that United States provides allies with protection (military power) and China with investment (economic power).


In addition, power fluctuations are going to be captured through the pre- sent situation of some countries in the region, countries which have been vi- sited by Trump so far, aside from China: Japan (visit: November 5-7, 2017), South Korea (visit: November 7-8, 2017), Vietnam (visit: November 10-12, 2017), and the Philippines (visit: November 12-14, 2017). Emphasis on these countries relays on the fact that they are the focus of the problem (militarism), by being strategic in the reinforcement of dominance in the Asia Pacific region. Given Trump ́s foreign policy, characterized by “America first” slogan, American foreign policy became a conundrum, especially for American allies. For that reason, Asian Pacific countries are showing symptoms of rapprochement to Beijing. The region ́s panorama relies on countries’ efforts to balance their relationships with both powers while the region ́s power it tries to find its balance.

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