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It’s all change in Washington with the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden only a matter of hours away, but will we also see a sea-change in terms of U.S. policy in Asia under the new American administration?

In an API Geoeconomic Briefing, think tank chairman Yoichi Funabashi argues that the U.S. has been left behind in efforts to construct a new regional architecture in the Asia-Pacific under Donald Trump, and the signs are positive of a re-pivot back to the region under Biden.

As Japan loosens curbs on defense cooperation, now is the time for the country to forge closer ties with the U.S. in science and tech for the sake of security in Asia, argue Benjamin McMartin and Bernice Glenn. The latest U.S. National Strategy for Critical and Emerging Technologies identifies 20 key fields in which the two countries could pool their strengths, they write.

Will China and the U.S. go to war over Taiwan? | FINANCIAL TIMES
Will China and the U.S. go to war over Taiwan? | FINANCIAL TIMES

One of the parting “political landmines” for Biden left by the Trump administration is the last-minute lifting of curbs on contact between American and Taiwanese officials. Other than infuriating Beijing, it’s difficult to imagine the exact future ramifications of the provocative move, writes Kuni Miyake.

U.S. envoy to the U.N. Kelly Craft was set to visit Taiwan last week to meet with her counterparts for what would have been the first official interaction at that level since the Republic of China was replaced in the U.N. by the People’s Republic of China in 1971. However, on the eve of her departure, Craft’s trip was suddenly canceled due to the “upcoming presidential transition.”

What was behind this whiplash-like turnaround? Robert D. Eldridge fears many people in the Indo-Pacific region hoping for the U.S. to maintain a strong line on Taiwan under the new administration are about to be let down.

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