Readers React: America’s influence in the Pacific is waning. That’s a good thing

President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping speak at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on April 7, 2017.
(Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images)

To the editor: Your article “Under Trump, America’s influence in the western Pacific may be on the decline” reflects a much-belated recognition that Washington’s century-long dominance of the Pacific Rim (since the illegal annexation of Hawaii in 1898) has now given way to emerging powers’ rising influence in a truly “Pacific century.”

Unfortunately, the article’s reliance on remarks of retired U.S. government officials and other traditional think-tank pundits (such as the one who expressed the Cold War mentality of “if we pull out of Korea, we are basically giving China 60 yards on the field for free”) reveals that Uncle Sam’s historical imperial perspective hasn’t changed much since 1898.

The truth of the matter is, our much more interdependent planetary future and survival in the 21st century will require that Uncle Sam’s officialdom begins to accept a graceful transition to the new reality of a multipolar world community, rather than the anachronistic 20th century history of the Pacific as an “American lake.”

Danny H.C. Li, Keaau, Hawaii


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