Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Market Decline Will Lead To Pension Collapse, USD Devaluation, And NWO - Raymond_Matison
2.Uber’s Nightmare Has Just Started - Stephen_McBride
3.Stock Market Crash Black Swan Event Set Up Sept 12th? - Brad_Gudgeon
4.GDow Stock Market Trend Forecast Update - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Gold Significant Correction Has Started - Clive_Maund
6.British Pound GBP vs Brexit Chaos Timeline - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Cameco Crash, Uranium Sector Won’t Catch a break - Richard_Mills
8.Recession 2020 Forecast : The New Risks & New Profits Of A Grand Experiment - Dan_Amerman
9.Gold When Global Insanity Prevails - Michael Ballanger
10.UK General Election Forecast 2019 - Betting Market Odds - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
What to Do NOW in Case of a Future Banking System Breakdown - 13th Nov 19
Why China is likely to remain the ‘world’s factory’ for some time to come - 13th Nov 19
Gold Price Breaks Down, Waving Good-bye to the 2019 Rally - 12th Nov 19
Fed Can't See the Bubbles Through the Lather - 12th Nov 19
Double 11 Record Sales Signal Strength of Chinese Consumption - 12th Nov 19
Welcome to the Zombie-land Of Oil, Gold and Stocks Investing – Part II - 12th Nov 19
Gold Retest Coming - 12th Nov 19
New Evidence Futures Markets Are Built for Manipulation - 12th Nov 19
Next 5 Year Future Proof Gaming PC Build Spec November 2019 - Ryzen 9 3900x, RTX 2080Ti... - 12th Nov 19
Gold and Silver - The Two Horsemen - 11th Nov 19
Towards a Diverging BRIC Future - 11th Nov 19
Welcome to the Zombie-land Of Stock Market Investing - 11th Nov 19
Illiquidity & Gold And Silver In The End Game - 11th Nov 19
Key Things You Need to Know When Starting a Business - 11th Nov 19
Stock Market Cycles Peaking - 11th Nov 19
Avoid Emotional Investing in Cryptocurrency - 11th Nov 19
Australian Lithium Mines NOT Viable at Current Prices - 10th Nov 19
The 10 Highest Paying Jobs In Oil & Gas - 10th Nov 19
World's Major Gold Miners Target Copper Porphyries - 10th Nov 19
AMAZON NOVEMBER 2019 BARGAIN PRICES - WD My Book 8TB External Drive for £126 - 10th Nov 19
Gold & Silver to Head Dramatically Higher, Mirroring Palladium - 9th Nov 19
How Do YOU Know the Direction of a Market's Larger Trend? - 9th Nov 19
BEST Amazon SMART Scale To Aid Weight Loss for Christmas 2019 - 9th Nov 19
Why Every Investor Should Invest in Water - 8th Nov 19
Wait… Was That a Bullish Silver Reversal? - 8th Nov 19
Gold, Silver and Copper The 3 Metallic Amigos and the Macro Message - 8th Nov 19
Is China locking up Indonesian Nickel? - 8th Nov 19
Where is the Top for Natural Gas? - 7th Nov 19
Why Fractional Shares Don’t Make Sense - 7th Nov 19
The Fed Is Chasing Its Own Tail; It Doesn’t Care What You Think - 7th Nov 19
China’s path from World’s Factory to World Market - 7th Nov 19
Where Is That Confounded Recession? - 7th Nov 19
FREE eBook - The Investment Strategy that could change your future - 7th Nov 19
Is There a Stock Market Breakout Ahead? - 6th Nov 19
These Indicators Aren’t Putting to an Economic Resurgence - 6th Nov 19
Understanding the Different Types of Travel Insurance - 6th Nov 19
The Biggest Gold Story Of 2020 - 6th Nov 19
Best Money Saving FREE Bonfire Night Fire Works Show Sheffield 2019 - 5th Nov 19
Is the Run on the US Dollar Due to Panic or Greed? - 5th Nov 19
Reasons Why Madrid Attracts Young Professionals - 5th Nov 19
Larger Bullish Move in USD/JPY May Just Be Getting Started - 5th Nov 19
Constructive Action in Gold & Silver Stocks - 5th Nov 19
The Boring Industry That Hands +500% Gains - 5th Nov 19
Stock Market Chartology vs Fundamentals - 4th Nov 19
The Fed’s Policy Is Like Swatting Flies with Nuclear Weapons - 4th Nov 19
Stock Market Warning: US Credit Delinquencies To Skyrocket In Q4 - 4th Nov 19
Stock Market Intermediate Topping Process Continues - 4th Nov 19
Stock Market $SPY Expanded Flat, Déjà Vu All Over Again - 4th Nov 19
How To Buy Gold For $3 An Ounce - 4th Nov 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How To Buy Gold For $3 An Ounce

Trump’s Indecision about North Korea May Cost Him Allies in Asia Pacific

Politics / GeoPolitics Oct 26, 2017 - 10:32 AM GMT

By: John_Mauldin

Politics

BY GEORGE FRIEDMAN AND JACOB L. SHAPIRO : China’s 19th National Congress of the Communist Party is getting a lot of attention right now. In the opening ceremony, President Xi Jinping heralded the beginning of a new era in China. Surprisingly, he was also very honest about the inadequacy of his first term.

Although the congress will continue into this week, most of the major events have already taken place.


Much of Asia had been in a holding pattern in the lead-up to the congress. But now that holding pattern is over, we can look ahead to some key events in the region that will have a global impact.

Japan in a Tough Spot

In Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s coalition decisively won another term in elections over the weekend. It is a remarkable political comeback for Abe.

He has overcome some of the scandals dogging his regime and won another mandate, allowing him to continue his economic reforms and take a controversial step in revisiting its pacifist constitution. (I wrote about Japan’s geopolitical realities and its strategy in my exclusive ebook, The World Explained in Maps, which you can download here.)

Abe can thank North Korea in part for his political resurgence.

North Korea’s missiles over Japan and the inability to halt Pyongyang’s nuclear program have given Abe new life. But the important issue here is not so much Abe as it is a potential shift in Japan’s overall posture.

China admitted some of its weaknesses during the National Congress. In spite of that, Japan cannot bet that China will remain weak, no matter how difficult China’s problems are.

Further, the inability of the US to control the situation in North Korea raises hard questions for Japan. A country shielded by a US security guarantee can afford to be a pacifist nation. But a country highly dependent on raw material imports and threatened by an adversary that may soon become a nuclear power cannot.

Add to this the fact that Japan conquered much of the Asian coast in the early 20th century and treated its colonial subjects as inferiors. This leaves Japan in a tough spot.

Japan has no shortage of enemies, and it can’t count on the US to prevent North Korea from acquiring a nuclear weapon. Japan will have to fend for itself. Meanwhile, North Korea remains as recalcitrant as ever.

In the past week, Pyongyang has threatened imminent nuclear war against the United States and vowed to “mercilessly smash the war frenzy of the US and South Korean puppet warmongers” in response to US-South Korean naval drills.

This rhetoric is typical for the North Koreans. But there are some statements related to the North Korean crisis that shouldn’t be dismissed.

The CIA director recently said that North Korea was on the verge of possessing nuclear weapons capable of striking the US—and that President Donald Trump would not allow that to happen.

US Commitment to Asia

Rising tension in Asia is the reason Trump will travel to five Asian countries—Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and the Philippines—in early November. It’s a fitting trip for the one-year anniversary of Trump’s election.

Trump’s visits to Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines are to demonstrate that the US is still committed to Asia, and not only because of North Korea. But photo ops won’t be enough to prove this commitment.

Japan and South Korea will want to know what the US plans to do about Pyongyang. Meanwhile, the Philippines wants to know whether it can still depend on the US to protect its interests—or whether it should cut a deal with China now while it has all the leverage.

Trump’s trip to Vietnam is proof of a fundamental premise in geopolitics: Individual leaders don’t matter nearly as much as most people think they do. A country’s foreign policy will change very little when a new president takes office.

President Barack Obama lifted an arms embargo against Vietnam during a visit to Hanoi. Now, President Trump is set to take his own trip to the communist country. The two nations may have an uneasiness toward each other because of the Vietnam War, but they share an interest in containing China. And this is more important than ideology and their historical animosity.

Trump won’t eat noodles with Anthony Bourdain on the streets of Hanoi, as his predecessor did. But like Obama, he will look to strengthen the bilateral relationship to isolate China in the region as much as possible.

This leads us, of course, to China.

It remains unclear what Trump plans to do when he meets the Chinese president on his home turf. When they last met in April, Xi agreed to help the US contain North Korea in return for the Trump administration’s backing off on its China trade policies.

Six months later, there has been no tangible progress on North Korea. More hawkish, anti-China voices in Trump’s ear have been sidelined. And now, according to Politico, the White House is reportedly conducting a comprehensive, bottom-up review of its China policy.

Rumors are swirling over what could result from Trump’s trip to China. But the only things that are certain are that the US is not getting what it wants out of China, and China cannot give the US what it wants.

Trump’s meeting with Xi won’t solve these issues. Until the US decides what it will do about North Korea, its policy in Asia will remain hostage to the regime in Pyongyang.

This plays into China’s hands and leaves other US partners looking for alternatives.

Grab George Friedman's Exclusive eBook, The World Explained in Maps

The World Explained in Maps reveals the panorama of geopolitical landscapes influencing today's governments and global financial systems. Don't miss this chance to prepare for the year ahead with the straight facts about every major country’s and region's current geopolitical climate. You won't find political rhetoric or media hype here.

The World Explained in Maps is an essential guide for every investor as 2017 takes shape. Get your copy now—free!

John Mauldin Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules