By Invitation

US, Asia and the geopolitics of human rights

The promotion of democracy and human rights is on the incoming Democratic White House's agenda but executing it is a different matter


If Asia's problem with Donald Trump's presidency was his brutally transactional approach to trade and security, could human rights promotion become the new source of friction with US President-elect Joe Biden's Democratic administration?

Although many in Asia worry about the sweeping rhetoric of the Democrats on democracy promotion, realists believe Washington will be under pressure to balance America's human rights concerns against its geopolitical and economic interests.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2021, with the headline 'US, Asia and the geopolitics of human rights'. Print Edition | Subscribe