(Real Clear World) Trump inherited an Asia in which China was making gains at the expense of the United States. During his time in office, President Obama attempted a strategic reassessment of U.S. priorities in the region, a move often referred to as the Asia rebalance.
In short, Beijing was diluting U.S. influence in the critical first island chain: the countries and territories running from Japan through parts of Indonesia.
The Obama administration should be credited for engaging with Southeast Asia, attempting to reconcile South Korea and Japan, and finalizing new security agreements with the Philippines and Vietnam. However, Obama’s belated attempts to negotiate and finalize the Trans-Pacific Partnership, in addition to his clumsy domestic salesmanship during an election year, helped doom that agreement.