Dal 5 al 12 novembre 2017 il Presidente statunitense Donald Trump visiterà cinque paesi dell’Asia. Anche se recentemente nel lessico diplomatico statunitense si fa riferimento alla regione come “Indo-Pacifico” anziché “Asia-Pacifico” per sottolineare il maggiore peso che l’attuale amministrazione dà ai rapporti con l’India, i cinque paesi (Giappone, Corea del Sud, Repubblica Popolare Cinese, Vietnam e Filippine) sono tutti in Asia orientale.
When Presidents Barack Obama and Xi Jinping meet in Beijing this week, they will try to reverse the downward spiral in relations between their two countries. There is a growing sense that a promising partnership, one that was captured by the agreement to forge a “new type of major country relations,” has lost its momentum and threatens to run off the rails.
While the US is seeking a way of rebalancing China in East Asia its approach left space for interpretation. The strategy of positioning itself in Asia on basis of concrete security issues and alliances while keeping its involvement open is seemingly only one aspect of the new game. Today a more or less refined toolbox of ‘strategic persuasion’ was designed in order to deal with an increasingly influential and powerful China. Instead of engaging in a non-desirable and costly direct military opposition to China, the US tries to pull all the strings in order influence its behavior towards moderation particularly in East Asia. In so doing, Washington is encountering an expectation-perception gap. So far the strategy has not necessarily proven successful. In Beijing, strategic maneuvers were often not fully understood and responses did not turn out not as initially desired. The US’ pivot to Asia has aroused a primordial fear in modern China: containment by outside powers. With a return to more traditional language of balancing, in China the situation was better understood. Yet, the implication remains the same. China has in reaction adopted a more assertive stance in military affairs while gradually trying to limit political damage in the ASEAN framework.