Australia says US under Trump must stay strong in Asia

0

SYDNEY: Australia said Wednesday it was crucial for Washington to stay focused on Asia if Donald Trump wins the presidential election, with Canberra keen to see more US involvement in the region, not less.

Advertisements

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

With tensions high over China’s claims in the South China Sea and fears Trump could be a negative for the region’s trade prospects, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said it was critical that the US remain fully engaged.

Supporters of Donald Trump cheer during the election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on Tuesday. Among them, an attendee holds up a sign that reads “Women For Trump” SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES/AFP

Supporters of Donald Trump cheer during the election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on Tuesday. Among them, an attendee holds up a sign that reads “Women For Trump” SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES/AFP

“Countries in our region are looking for more US leadership and not less in the Asia-Pacific,” she told Sky News in the first Australian reaction to a potential Trump win over former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

The billionaire populist has claimed a string of swing states for the Republicans and appears poised for a shock victory, jolting world markets and stunning Clinton supporters.

As parliament sat on Wednesday, Bishop and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull closely watched results flow through on their mobile phones.

Supporters of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton reacts to early polls results during election night at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on Tuesday. AFP/ROBYN BECK

Supporters of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton reacts to early polls results during election night at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York on Tuesday. AFP/ROBYN BECK

Bishop said Canberra wanted to continue working closely with any new administration and meet soon “to ensure it focuses on our region and the importance of US leadership and a US presence in the Asia-Pacific”.

“We have particular areas of interest that must align and we will do what we can to ensure the new US administration is focused on our region because that is in our national interest,” she said.

“The United States is our largest foreign direct investor, our second largest trading partner, so it’s important for the Australian government to be ready to work with whomever becomes the next president of the United States and at this stage it would appear to be Donald Trump.”

The bombastic Trump, who has little or no foreign policy experience, has threatened to tear up free trade deals and seal the US border.

He has also expressed a willingness to work with any country that shares his goals of stability, prosperity and security.

Anti-immigration politician Pauline Hanson, whose One Nation party rode a populist wave in July to win four Senate seats in Australia, congratulated him on Twitter.

“Mr President my door will always be open. Congrats on behalf of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party of OZ,” she said.

AFP

Share.
loading...
Loading...

Please follow our commenting guidelines.

Comments are closed.