Lisa Curtis, senior director of the U.S. National Security Council for South and Central Asia, said President Trump is willing to take the risks involved in forging partnerships with Asian countries to confront the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 

Curtis, in her keynote speech at a webinar on “China’s Growing Regional Influence and Strategy,” outlined a list of countries bordering or close to China, including India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, which the United States will be strengthening economic and military ties.

These new relationships, strategically designed to deal with the power of the CCP, are obviously not well received by CCP authorities given the tension between the CCP and Trump administration especially since the beginning of the CCP Virus pandemic.

“The U.S. is willing to accept more risk in the [US-CCP] relationship, and I think each side will have to get used to these new guidelines that will be directing U.S. policy in the region as we move forward,” Curtis said.

The deep relationship that the United States and India are building is based, according to Curtis, on a recognition of both countries’ commitment to the development of a free, open, and transparent Indo-Pacific region, and also on ensuring that the other nations of Central and South Asia can maintain their own sovereignty. 

The Trump administration’s so-called Indo-Pacific strategy is a strategic geopolitical attempt to extend and develop connections and alliances from South Asia to the Pacific Coast of the United States, including India and Japan. This is seen by the CCP as a threat to its rise to power in the region.

As Ali Wyne, a senior nonresident member of the Atlantic Council and a nonresident member of the Modern War Institute, said in a South China Morning Post note, the recent armed border confrontation between India and the CCP, the tension over maritime claims in the South China Sea, and the increased military and economic pressure on Taiwan may have helped put pressure on the countries in the region to cooperate more with the United States, the reality is that the Trump administration will have to make many efforts to strengthen its relationship with Asian countries.

According to Wyne, there are at least two reasons why it is not yet clear whether the Asian countries which the United States is trying to deepen relations will finally cooperate in the fight to counter the Chinese Communist Party. 

“First, geographical proximity and economic dependence constrain the extent to which they can push back against Beijing’s assertiveness without undercutting their own national interests,” Wyne said. “Second, many of them are reluctant to make common cause with the United States in view of the transactional diplomacy that it has pursued in recent years.” continued Ali Wyne.

As reported by South China Morning Post, CCP Foreign Minister Wang Yi criticized U.S. strategic actions saying the United States has broken the basic rules of international relations. And that it will cause the world to fall into a crisis of division, endangering the destiny and future of humanity.

Contrary to what Minister Wang said, acting Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs David Helvey said the United States must join with Asian countries to meet the long-term challenge of defending and respecting the basic principles of sovereignty, transparency, peaceful dispute resolution, and freedom of movement in international waters.