Donald Trump's Big Trip to Asia: What Can Washington Do to Reassure ASEAN?


Michael Mazza


The National Interest


October 22, 2017


Last month, the White House announced that President Donald Trump will travel to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines in November. In Vietnam and the Philippines, he will participate in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, respectively. This is a great itinerary for Trump’s first presidential foray into the region—the lineup includes three of Washington’s five regional allies; Asia’s two largest economies; three of America’s top six trade partners; the crisis-prone Korean peninsula; a flight over the contested South China Sea; and two major summits in a region in which, as the saying goes, half of diplomacy is just showing up. In short, the trip will present the president and his team with a great learning opportunity and a superb chance to advance America’s interests in Asia.