America, the Sick Man of Asia

America, the Sick Man of Asia

China and the United States are reaffirming the tendency in Southeast Asia to see both in terms of specialist roles: Beijing as the economic partner bringing prosperity and Washington as guarding the peace. That dichotomy is understandable and in full view at a current crop of summits. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations wants China at arm's length from a security role as it flexes its muscles in the South China Sea, and while more trade with America is desired, that may drop off the radar if US priorities turn inward.

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