Analysis & Opinions - The Straits Times

Pence's Visit to Indonesia a Good Signal for Southeast Asia

| Apr. 25, 2017

United States Vice-President Mike Pence's visit to Indonesia last week marked a welcome statement of American confidence in Indonesia and, by extension, South-east Asia.

It is clear that, following a bruising presidential campaign and the first few wobbly weeks in power, the Trump presidency has embarked on a journey of recognition: both of itself as the pre-eminent global power, and of the stakes which regions and countries have in its ability to carry out its historical responsibilities. 

South-east Asia provides crucial support for America's continuing global role.

It is interesting that Mr Pence's trip to Indonesia followed his visit to South Korea. North-east Asia today presents a classic security dilemma for the US. Washington will embolden North Korea if it allows it to get away with a nuclear programme that clearly threatens American allies South Korea and Japan, and potentially Australia along with the mainland US itself.

However, the price of action can be unacceptably high if Pyongyang carries out its threat to decimate South Korea and Japan, attack Australia and sink an American aircraft carrier that is headed for the Korean peninsula. Even as the Americans might be mulling over pre-emptive action, so are the North Koreans.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Pereira, Derwin.“Pence's Visit to Indonesia a Good Signal for Southeast Asia.” The Straits Times, April 25, 2017.

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