Asia, and specifically China, featured heavily in the debates which characterized a bitter election in the United States. It is too early to determine whether the rhetoric of Twitter and the stump will translate into policy. But the spectre raised, of a world of spheres of influence and great power de-globalization, hangs in the air. An Asia remodelled by Donald Trump’s off-the-cuff manifesto for American retrenchment – if it comes to pass – would mark a turning point for the post-war global order.
Speaking at a rally in April, Trump responded to a question about the prospect of Japan and North Korea coming into conflict by saying: ‘[I]t would be a terrible thing but if they do, they do. Good luck, enjoy yourself folks.’