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Washington will get tougher with China in Asia

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Significance

The informal dialogue normally acts as a pressure valve for major powers in the Asia-Pacific, but this meeting perhaps unintentionally worsened US-China trade and security tensions, US-North Korea denuclearisation-related frictions and the Japan-South Korea controversy over war reparations, since the meeting came in a week of occurrences that denoted high regional tension.

Impacts

  • Washington will still need Chinese (and other countries’) support in its rapprochement push with North Korea.
  • Washington will expand cooperation with fellow Quad countries Australia, India and Japan in the Asia-Pacific.
  • Involvement of out-of-region states and high-profile international issues could weaken ASEAN efficiency in tackling ASEAN issues.
  • This ARF meeting will help warm US-Thai relations, with further such moves likely at the East Asia Summit this November, also in Thailand.
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