Asia should focus on its own 'pivot to Asia'
Much has been made of the intensifying strategic competition between the U.S. and China, with Beijing working to edge America out of its Asian neighborhood even as Washington doubles down on its regional partnerships and presence. Less attention has been paid to regional dynamics underneath the umbrella of a U.S.-China relationship that mixes nascent rivalry with cautious engagement. In fact, Asia is undergoing a wider set of geopolitical realignments that could reset conventional expectations about the region's strategic future.
Russia is tilting toward China and away from the West, as demonstrated by several recent energy-supply deals worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Russia's invasion of Ukraine and ensuing U.S. and European sanctions have led President Vladimir Putin to pivot eastwards in the hopes of building an anti-Western alliance with Beijing. Chinese and Russian armed forces are stepping up joint exercises. Both countries' leaders are ideologically united in ruthless defense of one-party rule at home and against Western leadership in international institutions.
Daniel Twining is a senior fellow for Asia at the German Marshall Fund, and a former member of the U.S. secretary of state's policy planning staff 2007-09.