Under the leadership of the imperious Xi Jinping, China has practiced a pugnacious foreign policy that has alienated its neighbors and pushed them closer to the United States.

This holds true for U.S. treaty allies like Japan, Australia and the Philippines as well as historically nonaligned India.

South Korea is different. Though Seoul has deepened security cooperation with the Washington, it remains wary of angering China, its top trading partner and the country it sees as most capable of restraining its nuclear-armed archrival, North Korea.