April 28, 2014
Manning: Asia Pivot Is the Right Policy, But the Wrong Tactics
In the conduct of foreign policy, how you do things often matters as much as the content of what you do. President Obama’s four-nation Asia tour is designed to underscore what the administration calls its “pivot” to Asia. Like too much of Obama foreign policy, this is a case of right policy, wrong tactics.
The logic of U.S. policy is undeniable. The Asia-Pacific is the most economically dynamic region of the world, with a more than $14 trillion gross domestic product and $1.2 trillion in trade with the U.S. It features major U.S. treaty allies Japan, South Korea, Australia and the Philippines. The U.S. role as security guarantor of the region since World War II has underpinned Asia’s remarkable economic success and stability. China’s rise from a $200 billion economy in 1979 to more than $7 trillion today would not have occurred absent the U.S. opening. And China’s re-emergence as a global power is one of the major 21st century challenges to world order.