Trump’s Asian Pivot: ‘US to Jump on One Belt, One Road Bandwagon’

Trump’s Asian Pivot: ‘US to Jump on One Belt, One Road Bandwagon’ by Ekaterina Blinova

Newly elected US President Donald Trump is likely to abolish Barack Obama’s pivot to Asia policy and stop encouraging Asian Pacific nations to aggravate tensions in the South China Sea, Tom McGregor, Commentator and Editor at China Network Television (CNTV) suggested in an interview with Sputnik.

Donald Trump is likely to bring about a change in the US foreign policy, Tom McGregor, Commentator and Editor at CNTV and News Republic APP Asia-Pacific geopolitical columnist, believes. According to the journalist, after Trump’s election the US may break the ice with China and ASEAN nations.

Killing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) project will become Trump’s first step in this direction, he noted.

‘Trump Will Stop Obama’s Pivot to Asia’

“Trump will stop Obama’s Pivot to Asia, and he’s already ended TPP. He will no longer encourage Asian governments behind-the-scenes to spark territorial disputes in the South China Sea,” McGregor assumed.

Indeed, Politico.com reports that Trump will quit the controversial trade pact within the first 100 days, citing an internal transition team document shared with the media outlet.

Speaking to Sputnik, Dr. Seijiro Takeshita of the University of Shizuoka and Philip Levy, Senior Fellow on the Global Economy, underscored that TPP was the cornerstone of Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia” policy.

McGregor assumed that tensions between Beijing and Washington may “devolve into trade and global currency disputes.”

“Japan and China are considered to be flagrant ‘currency manipulators’ and Trump will confront Beijing and Tokyo over this matter,” the journalist noted.

For its part, “Beijing will criticize Trump for disregarding the Climate Change agreement, because so many Chinese companies invested big bucks into Green Energy companies and countless renewables energy will go into bankruptcy, causing problems to China’s economy,” according to McGregor.

However, there are also signs of potential improvements in US-China relations.

In his interview with the South China Morning Post senior adviser to Trump on national security and intelligence James Woolsey underscored that the Obama administration’s disregard for the Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was a “strategic mistake.”

Woolsey also added that he expected a “much warmer” response from Trump to Beijing’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative.

“Trump has an ambitious plan to rebuild America’s infrastructure,” McGregor pointed out.

“China’s Belt & Road can play a pivotal role to help Trump make American infrastructure great again. The first step will be for Trump to sign the US up as a member of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB),” he predicted.

‘New Dawn’ Will Rise for ASEAN Nations

As for ASEAN nations, McGregor assumed that “a new dawn will arise” for them “with Trump in the White House.”

Will Trump stop their “drift” toward China? ”

ASEAN members were drifting to China, because Obama and the prospects of Hillary Clinton becoming US President moved them in that direction. They did not support the bullying tactics of Obama and Clinton, so who could blame them for befriending Beijing,” the journalist explained.

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