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The economics-security nexus under Trump and Xi: policy implications for Asia-Pacific countries

International trade Defence Diplomacy Asia-Pacific

In this Centre of Gravity paper, Professor Robert Ayson explores how the links between economic and security considerations are intensifying in Asia. Yet, rather than anticipating an all-or-nothing choice between security interests with the US and economic interests with China, he shows that many Asia-Pacific countries have been making smaller choices to work with both great powers to encourage a regional equilibrium. The paper also explores how North Korea’s nuclear and missile provocations have also encouraged some economics-security cooperation between China and the US in the Trump Xi era. For policymakers in middle and smaller sized states, Professor Ayson urges an attempt to deepen their bilateral and plurilateral collaboration to reduce their exposure to the changing mix of pressure and reassurance coming from Beijing and Washington.

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