President-elect Donald Trump, accompanied by his wife Melania, speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016, following a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky.
AP/Molly Riley
UP prof: Trump may adapt 'peace through strength' policy in Asia Pacific
FEEL THE GAME - Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - November 14, 2016 - 5:17pm

MANILA, Philippines — A Trump presidency may bring a "peace through strength" policy in the Asia-Pacific region, emphasizing military presence in the area, an analyst said.

Jay Batongbacal, director of the University of the Philippines (UP) Institute of Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, said that an impending Trump presidency indicates such policy.

"There are indications that a Trump presidency would adapt what has been called a peace through strength policy at the Asia Pacific which means in a way a kind of harder edge and emphasis on military policy in the Asia Pacific," Batongbacal said in a forum at the UP College of Law on Monday.

Batongbacal added that the United States would focus less on the economic aspect and would be open to a so-called "grand bargain" with China.

The professor also noted that it is still uncertain whether the economic reorientation of the new American administration would be inward or otherwise.

The US economic reorientation would affect its relationship with China, as well as its relations with trading partners in Southeast Asia including the Philippines.

"And probably the ongoing challenge for the United States in the region is not the South China Sea but the North Korean situation," Batongbacal said.

Batongbacal also noted that social restiveness has been triggered in the US after Donald Trump's victory in the presidential elections.

"We see that in the massive protests that have erupted since the election and this has added on basically the existing protests and unrest arising from racial problems," Batongbacal said.

"These kinds of factors would probably influence the way in which the United States would deal with the Asia Pacific and particularly in the Philippines," the professor said.

Meanwhile, De La Salle University professor Dindo Manhit said that a Trump presidency would sow division in Asia.

Manhit noted that Trump had called for the US to break away from its Asian allies. He has also supported Japan and South Korea in developing nuclear weapons.

"Is this the end of the Asia pivot? No one can say for sure, but despite its sometimes flawed implementation the pivot was supported by both Republicans and Democrats in the United States," Manhit said.

ASIA PACIFIC DONALD TRUMP SOUTH CHINA SEA
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