US primacy has provided not only the political foundation of America’s many long-standing relationships in the region, but also the foundation of the regional order’s most fundamental norms and aspirations, in addition to the public goods needed for their pursuit. But the regional environment is now facing transformation in the face of both China’s ongoing challenge to the existing political order and the prospect of a US no longer willing to unilaterally guarantee regional security now, or perhaps in the future either. US allies and partners in Asia committed to a ‘rules-based’ liberal order, then, increasingly need to recalibrate their expectations of the US, but also to do more in asserting the authority of the order’s principles and rules in ways that continue to support US leadership but still recognize the current, and likely future, limits imposed by America’s status as a non-resident power in the region.
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