“Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak’s arrival in Beijing, hard on the heels of Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, reflects swiftly changing strategic loyalties in our region that should be an urgent wake-up call for Washington. Both visits have left little doubt about China’s determination to take advantage of the leadership vacuum arising from the Obama administration’s failure to give real effect to its “pivot” to Asia and the deep uncertainty surrounding US policy after next week’s election.”
“Beijing is seeking to fill the vacuum left by the US at the same time Vladimir Putin is asserting himself in the Middle East. There, years of compounded US policy failures have virtually left the field to the former KGB colonel.
“As The Washington Post recounted, Mr Obama’s “self-defeating passivity” was evident at a recent US National Security Council meeting. Presented with a range of options for dealing with the Aleppo catastrophe, he “decided not to decide” to do anything. Such feebleness is costly. Whoever wins the White House must end the malaise.”
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