søndag 8. august 2021

Putting light on China’s shadow over SE Asia

«The first four months of his term passed without a single meeting or telephone conversation with a Southeast Asian leader, although during the same period he had fifteen phone conversations with heads of state in the Middle East, fourteen from Europe, seven from Latin America, six from Northeast Asia, three from Africa, two from North America and one from South Asia.»

So writes David Shambaugh in Where Great Powers Meet about President Donald Trump. Give or take a figure or two, including over six months and not four, he could be just as pointedly writing about US President Joe Biden. Whether planned to coincide with an election year or not, Shambaugh’s book and two others from 2020 – Murray Hiebert’s Under Beijing’s Shadow and Sebastian Strangio’s In the Dragon’s Shadow – offer America’s president three pitches for why not to strike out in Southeast Asia.