Open Forum

Donald Trump keeps seizing the initiative, overshadowing Abe Shinzo at the G20 meetings, changing the narrative at will in diplomacy with Xi Jinping and Kim Jong-un, and, on every occasion, relegating human rights and democratization to the sidelines. Just as he sets the agenda on the world stage, he drives the discussion at DC think tanks. Distracting from warnings of a showdown between Trump and Xi, which could lead to decoupling the world’s largest economies, Trump briefly hinted at a “deal” he could trumpet as a unique achievement on which he could run for reelection, but soon it became clear that progress toward a deal was not visible. Trump also shifted attention from a breakdown in his diplomacy with Kim Jong-un to a breakthrough on the basis of a “small deal” “delaying” denuclearization—timely for Trump’s reelection⁠—but that too appeared to be a mirage, given the slow pace of bilateral follow-up. In the aftermath of the G20 summit in Osaka, not a lot has changed in US policy toward East Asia.

Read full article at
facebook share twitter share google+ share