Wise for Trump to maintain security partnerships in Asia

I am glad to learn that President-elect Donald Trump has affirmed the United States' commitment to security partnerships in Asia ("Seoul says Donald Trump pledges commitment to defend South Korea"; ST Online, Nov 10).

Indeed, it is a wise move that fits in with the vast spectrum of US interests in the Asia-Pacific region, including bilateral trade, security and foreign relations.

It would not be rational for the US to abandon its longstandingleadership and pivotal role among its strategic and security alliances and partners, such as Japan, South Korea and the Philippines in the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr Trump's strategic foreign approach must be able to counterbalance a rising and increasingly assertive China, as well as guard against the persistent nuclear threat from North Korea.

However, how long the United States will successfully sustain its obligations and promises with its global security alliances will depend on several factors.

The first is whether the US will be able to uphold its long-term political and social stability, and achieve steady or long-term economic development and remarkable growth.

The second is whether the United States consistently equips all its security partners with financial and military capability, in mutual support and reciprocity.

The third is whether the US continues facing trouble at home, such as high unemployment and foreign debt.

Teo Kueh Liang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2016, with the headline 'Wise for Trump to maintain security partnerships in Asia'. Print Edition | Subscribe