‘An epochal change’: what a Trump presidency means for the Asia Pacific region

From China and Japan to India and the countries of south-east Asia, leaders are being confronted by the unknowns of a new American president. Donald Trump’s victory has the potential to radically redraw the geopolitical landscape in Asia, where Barack Obama has been trying to counterbalance China’s growing regional influence with his “pivot” strategy. Some believe a Trump presidency could represent the biggest threat to Washington’s security ties with its two biggest allies in the Asia-Pacific – Japan and South Korea – since the end of the second world war. But the rest of the region will be watching intently. “There is a sense that this is a big epochal change, that this is the end of the old order and we are not sure what is coming,” said Nick Bisley, an international relations expert from La Trobe University in Melbourne. “And I think this is especially true in Asia because it is the place where you have seen American influence most obviously challenged, politically and economically, by a rising China.

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