Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The United States and the Asia-Pacific: Issues for 2009

2008 has been a static year with no major changes in the US position towards Asia and the Pacific though US Presidential candidates have all stressed changes. As we can see, the candidates for the Presidency and the Congress have not given high priority to Asia and the Pacific. The new US President will first tackle issues like the Iraq war, the problem in Southwest Asia, the standoff over Iranian nuclear programme which also tops the agenda of the current US government. For Asia and the Pacific, the new President will take over imperative regional issues such as nuclear weapon programme in Korea, the military junta in Myanmar. More importantly, he will try to maintain the positive but fragile balance in US relations with China. These and the domestic issues that the new possibly Republican  President is likely to face such as a Democrat-dominated Congress, economic recession, and high unemployment would compounded his position toward the region. Regional leaders should be well prepared to deal with the adverse effect of a lack of interest in the region by the new President.

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