Asian CrosstalkONE STORY told FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES
The visit, Mr. Trump’s second with a head of government since being sworn in last month, was an opportunity for the president to highlight a positive dynamic with a leader with whom he had already developed a relationship. But it could prove awkward, after a show of détente on Thursday night between Mr. Trump and President Xi Jinping of China.
Abe seeks to demonstrate an "unwavering Japan-U.S. alliance" to both the domestic and international community through the bilateral summit meeting, symbolized by the reaffirmation of the Senkaku Islands by the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. Even though that goal was achieved during the bilateral talks, the Trump government's policy toward China remains unclear.
One key reason that Abe is particularly keen to be close to Trump is Japanese concerns about a ‘rising China’ in Asia-Pacific and beyond. In the context of the uncertainties under a Trump presidency, China’s influence in Asia looks set to grow—particularly as the unraveling of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) opens up a ‘window of opportunity’ for Beijing to assert itself into the vacuum of power that now exists around the trade and investment deal’s apparent collapse.