@Noahpinion's latest substack illustrates an important general lesson for how 🇺🇸 approaches "Great Power Competition" w/ 🇨🇳: don't ignore "small states"

[THREAD] https://noahpinion.substack.com/p/ally-with-vietnam
Sure the Quad is important, but 🇨🇳 is also already in rivalry (🇦🇺), a simmering territorial dispute (🇯🇵), or full-on conflict (🇮🇳) with each of those members.
As such these states are unlikely to fully align with 🇨🇳...or fully align with one another: major regional powers like to keep other major regional powers at arms length.
Of course, 🇺🇸 -- as an external power -- should continue to support the formal alliances it has with two of the three quad members: 🇯🇵 (via the 1952 Security Treaty) & 🇦🇺 (via the 1951 ANZUS pact).
Indeed, building relations with smaller states, in and out of the region, appears to be a focus of 🇨🇳 policy.
So Noah is spot on: the focus of 🇺🇸policy in the region shouldn't be "The Quad" -- they'll "balance" 🇨🇳regardless -- but on 🇻🇳, the rest of @ASEAN, and other small states.

You can follow @ProfPaulPoast.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled: