Indo - Pacific

  • Rywalizacja Stanów Zjednoczonych i Chińskiej Republiki Ludowej w Azji Południowo-Wschodniej w latach 2017–2018

    Author: Krzysztof Szumski
    Institution: retired diplomat, expert on Thailand
    Year of publication: 2019
    Source: Show
    Pages: 119-152
    DOI Address:
    PDF: ap/22/ap2206.pdf

    The rivalry between the United States and China in the Southeast Asia in 2017 and 2018.

    The rivalry of great powers between the United States and China embraces all regions of East Asia, including Southeast Asia and the South China Sea. The situation changed and became even more dynamic at the beginning of 2017, with the arrival of Donald Trump, the new American President. Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership had a significant influence on the situation in Southeast Asia and started a trade war with China as well as a race in the field of new technologies. The Trump Administration also introduced a new strategy of “free and open Indo – Pacific” which shared some basic strategic similarities with its predecessor – the Pivot. Washington has labeled China a strategic rival and a military threat. The American activities are strongly supported by Japan. The Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe considers supporting Trump’s policy of trade war and general confrontation with China is in Japanese national interest. China was surprised by the evolution of American policy and its reaction was rather defensive. The Chinese president Xi Jinping suspects that the US’s real goal is to prevent China from rising or projecting power and influence abroad, especially in Southeast Asia and South China Sea. However China’s leadership has firmly decided to oppose the American administration policy, particularly in the above mentioned region.
    The countries of the region of Southeast Asia started to be severely challenged by China but also by the United States and Japan, especially in the South Chinese Sea. The majority of these countries are likely to continue the “hedge” policy.

  • Joe Biden’s Strategy in the Asia-Pacific Region: Change or Continuity. A Comparative Analysis

    Author: Marcin Grabowski
    Institution: Jagiellonian University
    Published online: 2 November 2021
    Final submission: 12 October 2021
    Printed issue: 2021
    Source: Show
    Page no: 11
    Pages: 95-105
    DOI Address:
    PDF: ppsy/50/ppsy202152.pdf

    The election of Joseph Biden for the office of the President of the United States has brought expectations of fundamental change in American foreign policy, including policy toward the Asia-Pacific/Indo-Pacific region. As observed in the last few months, the reality has been more complex as definite changes in the US Indo-Pacific policy are not as visible as expected. It is especially in respect of the US policy toward China being more a continuation than a change from Donald Trump’s approach. Changes are rhetorical rather than actual policies. The situation is different in the case of alliances, as Joe Biden offers much more commitment to allies like Japan or South Korea. Also, multilateral dimensions (both regional and global) witness some – however still limited – change. The main goal is to make a comparative analysis of Joe Biden’s policy toward Asia, referring to the administrations of Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Hence the strategies of pivot/re-balance toward the Asia of Obama, and the free and open Indo-Pacific strategy of Trump, will be examined. The analysis refers to the complex interdependence theory and the power transition theory. Methodologically, it is based on document analysis with comparative analysis.

  • Strategic Ambiguity in US-Taiwan Relations During the Donald Trump Administration

    Author: Filip Grzegorzewski
    Institution: University of Warsaw (Poland)
    Published online: 30 January 2022
    Final submission: 23 January 2022
    Printed issue: March 2022
    Source: Show
    Page no: 16
    DOI Address:
    PDF: ppsy/51/ppsy202210.pdf

    Strategic ambiguity, or the deliberate policy of uncertainty as to whether the United States would use force to defend Taiwan against an invasion by the People's Republic of China, has been the centrepiece of US policy towards the Taiwan issue for decades. This paper discusses the factors driving the redefinition of strategic ambiguity and its recalibration throughout Donald Trump's presidency (2017–2021). The fundamental driver of this change was to balance the rising power of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The paper applied offensive realism as a theoretical framework for its analysis. Under President Donald Trump, Washington modified its policy of strategic ambiguity, explicitly framing relations with Taiwan within a broader Indo-Pacific strategy. While the US retained key elements of strategic ambiguity, including the 'One China' policy, it added new features to deploy it offensively against Beijing's growing regional hegemony. The increased dynamism and unpredictability of relations with Taiwan were matched by a welcoming attitude towards strengthening Taiwanese identity and highlighting the systemic differences between communist China and democratic Taiwan. America stepped up arms sales and encouraged Taiwan to build its self-defence capabilities. Washington engaged in countering Chinese attempts to isolate Taiwan internationally and included it in restructuring global supply chains. Although the United States has not formally revised the boundaries of the 'One China' policy, the modification of strategic ambiguity increased Taiwan's prominence in US-China power competition and pushed back the prospect of peaceful unification.

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