Senior U. S. Diplomat says that Trump team is inexperienced in dealing with North Korea. That American allies in the region see China as uncertain, and the U. S. unpredictable with the Trump administration.
All in all, the situation is unstable.
The TPP is problematic. The U. S. has opted out. The Chinese free trade zone, RCEP, is China-centered. This is the largest free trade zone in the world and nobody knows what's going on.
Meanwhile, North Asia wonders if North Korea does not change its ways, is the world back to the Cold War? What after all were the Six Party Talks? Russia, China, U. S. Japan, South Korea, North Korea. A total failure.
It all began with the Russo-Japanese war in 1904-1905 in which Japan was victorious. It led to Japanese militarization leading up to World War II. Boom. Defeat.
The establishment of U. S. dominance in the region led to the Korean War. That conflict is still not resolved.
China is militarizing the South China Sea and the East China Sea. China wants the role of regional power, and wants the U. S. out of Asia. The Vietnamese are challenging China in the South China Sea and building islands of their own.
The United States military issues reports once a year on the Chinese military modernizing and expanding. The various powers engage in joint military exercises. Until now, the United States had the most powerful blue water navy, but China is building up its forces.
As much as Americans on the East Coast think of the Atlantic as The Pond and the Atlantic alliance as defining American interests, the greatest economic growth is in the Pacific. The U. S. has been a Pacific power since WWII. The Pacific Rim is where the rise of The Tigers is defining the twenty-first century. It is cross-cultural thinking of a different kind.
This is the Great Game for influence in Asia back on the front burner again. The more things change, the more they remain the same. Power politics. Shiny new skyscrapers. New submarines for China. Will Japan re-militarize and go nuclear? Stay tuned. The reportage will be here.