Although widely portrayed as the opening shots in a trade war between the US and China, new US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports confirmed by President Donald Trump on Thursday clearly are not.
The White House announcement that Admiral Harry B. Harris, the current commander of the US Pacific Command, is President Donald Trump’s choice for ambassador to Australia is unambiguously good news for our alliance relationship. The posting sends the clearest possible signal that the US is intent on strengthening its Asian alliances. Europeans may still puzzle over Trump’s disaffection with NATO, but there should be no doubt that the White House sees America’s alliances in Asia as critical to sustaining an increasingly challenged strategic balance.
Peter Jennings is executive director of ASPI
Zha Daojiong, Peking University