Why Trump’s no-show at Asia summits wasn’t all bad: it helped countries focus on the substance of U.S. foreign policy

It was a rarity in the era of US President Donald Trump – a diplomatic summit season in Asia where the iconoclast, late-night tweeting leader was not the one providing the high drama.
Within Washington’s think tank circles, there had been some bellyaching that the president’s decision to dispatch Mike Pence as a stand-in for him would hurt American diplomacy in the region – especially with China’s top leaders gracing these events.
But as Pence returned to the…