US presence in Asia gives countries more wiggle room in China: panelists on Bloomberg forum, political news and top stories – Community News
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US presence in Asia gives countries more wiggle room in China: panelists on Bloomberg forum, political news and top stories

SINGAPORE – The United States’ moves to strengthen its leadership and strengthen its military presence in Asia will give countries in the region more room for maneuver when dealing with Beijing, and are vital to strategic balance, Bloomberg panelists said. New Economy Forum.

In that regard, the new Aukus strategic defense alliance between the US, UK and Australia, and the strengthened Quad partnership between the US, Australia, India and Japan are likely to still have a stabilizing effect in the region, even if the moves China have provoked. and other countries, said former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Rudd, who is president and chief executive officer of the Asia Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to fostering understanding about Asia, said the moves should be seen as a series of actions in the region to address emerging power inequalities caused by to restore the rise of China.

He was part of a panel that discussed the impact of the US-China rivalry on Asia.

The president of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore, Bilahari Kausikan, said the ASEAN countries had a better appreciation that “everyone needs a good relationship with Beijing, but the necessary precondition is that there are Americans in the be near”.

Some countries may not declare it openly due to domestic politics and other considerations, but this is the common view, the former diplomat added.

Even then, there will be tensions over the state of play, and ASEAN countries will be in a difficult and uncomfortable position if the US adopts policies that force them to make a choice, said Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs dean Merit Janow.

“And so I think we need to create a positive agenda in a region that has its own dynamics and that doesn’t force choice,” she added.

She suggested that the digital economy could be a potential area for collaboration, noting that many countries are still trying to devise regulatory systems and are only beginning to think about issues of privacy and cybersecurity.

However, Mr Bilahari said it was in fact the US presence in the region that gives the countries freedom of choice.

He added: “So when we say we don’t want to choose, what we really mean is that we don’t see a need to align our interests neatly in one direction in all areas. Some of our interests will lead us in that direction.” from China, some towards Australia, Japan, United States, India, Botswana.

“We have an agency, and the US presence gives us the agency, because if there’s no balance, there’s no small country agency.”

Meanwhile, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in a separate panel discussion, also on the US-China rivalry and its impact on the world, that he believes Europe will want to stay with the US, on a very fundamental level.

“Europe will not want to be seen or navigate between China and the US as if they were equidistant,” he added.

While European countries must ultimately look out for their interests, it will still be values, such as the belief in democracy, that will bind them to the US, he said.

Noting that the West is trying to find the right relationship with China, he added: “People will understand that you have to work with China – be it on the climate, pandemics or the stability of the global economy – but at the same time, in the realization that China has changed course in recent years: it has become more repressive internally and more aggressive externally.

“I think the West will want to maintain the upper hand militarily in terms of technology and economics.”