The upcoming summit between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping offers an early test of the Trump Administration’s willingness to depart from the policies of global «unipolar» domination and pointless confrontation that have characterized the past three American presidencies. The very fact that the summit is taking place this early in the Trump presidency is an encouraging sign.
From the Philippines and the United States and Turkey to Guatemala, «populist» leaders have engaged in troubling name-calling and anti-democratic antics. In fact, the leaders who hammered out the ill-fated and hostility-ensuring Munich Agreement of 1938, including German chancellor Adolf Hitler and Italian prime minister Benito Mussolini, demonstrated more civility and decorum toward one another and for public display than many political leaders of today.
Candidate Donald Trump offered a sharp break from his predecessors. He was particularly critical of neoconservatives, who seemed to back war at every turn.
The sped-up deployment of America’s THAAD missile defense system in South Korea this week has triggered alarm over a new arms race in the Asia-Pacific region. Central to regional concerns is the following question: why is the US missile system capable of penetrating deep inside Chinese and Russian territory?..
The United States said on March 7 that it had the (THAAD) missile defense system in South Korea. The action was prompted by North Korean missile tests on March 6 supervised personally the nation’s leader Kim Jong Un. It was announced that the test was conducted in preparation for delivering a strike against US bases in Japan as American forces hold military drills with South Korea. The four ballistic missiles fired by North Korea landed in the sea off Japan's northwest, angering Seoul and Tokyo. The launchings led South Korea to call for the accelerated deployment of THAAD.
Throughout the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump blasted China for its protectionist trade policies, currency manipulation and a number of other accusations.
China recently confirmed it was participating in “joint counterterrorism operations” inside Afghanistan. The size of Beijing’s force is still unclear but reports began surfacing last November that it was patrolling in northeastern Afghanistan’s Little Pamir region. Chinese mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicles, known as the Norinco VP 11, and Humvee-type vehicles known as the Dongfeng EQ2050 were clearly photographed in the remote Shia-populated area.
On March 28, the South Korean government formalized the purchase of land for the installation of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system to be deployed this year. Last year, the US and South Korea agreed to build a missile defense system together. Both Russia and China have spoken out against THAAD, stating they will seek to intensify their opposition to the defense system. The Pentagon has more than 75,000 troops based in Japan and South Korea. South Korea hosts 28,000 of them.
One of the unintended consequences of pushing hard against Chinese claims in the South China Sea and the East China Sea (including Taiwan) is that these contested zones have given major impetus to China’s growing maritime ethos. What was once a rather far-fetched and controversial idea—the notion that China might build an aircraft carrier—has now morphed over time into the ultimate symbol of China’s re-rise. Now the only question is when the People’s Liberation Army Navy will have something that looks less like a Russian “starter” carrier and more like a Nimitz-class nuclear carrier with all the trimmings.
President Donald Trump’s oft-repeated slogan of «America First» is not a substitute phrase for American isolationism but a call to arms for aggressive unilateral military action on a global scale. Unlike the pre-World War II «America Firsters,» among whose ranks could be counted Trump’s father, Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s administration and the ranks of his followers are rife with those who believe in American exceptionalism and a robust «forward projection» of military might...