‘Prag­matic Trump com­mit­ted to Asia’

> Aussie PM says US pres­i­dent-elect will main­tain pres­ence in re­gion

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

SYD­NEY: Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump is com­mit­ted to en­hanc­ing US mil­i­tary power and main­tain­ing its pres­ence in Asia, Aus­tralia’s prime min­is­ter said yes­ter­day after “warm and frank” talks with the mav­er­ick ty­coon.

Un­der Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, the US has pur­sued a for­eign pol­icy “pivot” to­wards the Asia-Pa­cific, in­clud­ing sta­tion­ing marines in Aus­tralia, against the back­ground of Bei­jing’s in­creas­ing as­sertive­ness.

But there has been con­cern about what di­rec­tion bom­bas­tic Repub­li­can Trump will take in for­eign pol­icy after he trashtalked US al­liances dur­ing his ac­ri­mo­nious elec­tion cam­paign against Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull, who like Trump has a busi­ness back­ground, said the bil­lion­aire was “a deal maker and he will, I have no doubt, view the world in a very prac­ti­cal and prag­matic way”.

Dur­ing a tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion, the pair “dis­cussed the vi­tal im­por­tance of the US’ con­tin­ued strong pres­ence in our re­gion”.

“Na­tions have en­dur­ing na­tional in­ter­ests and I have ab­so­lutely no doubt the com­mit­ment of the US to the al­liance, its pres­ence in the re­gion, its com­mit­ment to its al­lies and our neigh­bours will con­tinue,” Turn­bull said.

“We agreed that that pres­ence has been an ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial foun­da­tion of the peace and sta­bil­ity that has en­abled the re­mark­able growth and pros­per­ity, the re­mark­able eco­nomic growth we have seen over the last 40 years.”

Turn­bull added that Trump, who will take con­trol of the world’s sole su­per­power in 10 weeks, was com­mit­ted to ex­pand­ing the US mil­i­tary as he faces up to se­cu­rity threats around the world.

While the two al­lies found com­mon ground on se­cu­rity mat­ters, it seems the sweep­ing Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship (TPP) trade pact, which Aus­tralia sup­ports, is doomed. The deal be­tween 12 Asia-Pa­cific coun­tries has been signed but not yet rat­i­fied by law­mak­ers in the US and with Trump run­ning his cam­paign on an an­tifree trade mes­sage, Turn­bull ad­mit­ted it did not look good. – AFP

A news­pa­per seller holds a copy of the Jawa Pos with an ar­ti­cle about Trump's win, in Jakarta, In­done­sia, yes­ter­day. The head­line reads ‘Why Trump?’

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