Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

Trump’s Summit No-Show Draws Asian Nations Closer Together

Trump’s Summit No-Show Draws  Asian Nations Closer Together

SINGAPORE - U.S. President Donald Trump didn’t make it to this week’s summit of Asian nations in Singapore, but his influence was still keenly felt among the leaders who gathered in the city.
One prime minister warned that the trade war between Washington and Beijing could trigger a “domino effect” of protectionist steps by other countries. Another fretted that the international order could splinter into rival blocs.
“The most important and talked-about ... leader, President Trump, is the only one that did not turn up,” said Malcolm Cook, a senior fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore.
And yet, in Trump’s absence, countries from South to East Asia pressed on with forging multilateral ties on trade and investment among themselves, including with China.
China’s representative at the meetings, Premier Li Keqiang, egged them on.
“Now the world is facing rising protectionism. It is all the more important for us to come together and respond to the complex world situation to uphold multilateralism and free trade,” Li said on Thursday.
The U.S. president’s lack of engagement with Asian nations came just days after a trip to France for World War One commemorations at which he appeared isolated from NATO allies. (Reuters)