Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or took a vow against reading the news to get through 2020, it’s likely you’ve recently been bombarded by the wish lists the punditry has drawn up for a post- Donald Trump world order. For the West’s “Asia hands” – many batting for their home countries’ national interests while they are based in the region – everything must be viewed through the lens of the United States-China rivalry. You would have seen this manifest in their commentaries: ranking top of their wish lists, at least in the majority of the ones I’ve read, is a hope that even if Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden Jnr wins on November 3 , the current bruising approach towards Beijing will continue. Donald Trump or Joe Biden? What will change for Asean after the US election? Never mind that this is by and large not the wish of those of us who live and make our livelihoods in Asia. Here we are, shouting into the ether: “We are not a background arr!” Seriously, there are so many issues worth caring about – and which require American advice, involvement and resources – that don’t directly involve China. The Rohingya crisis is one such issue that comes to mind. If I were to set my expectations really low, my hope for the next four years is that the person occupying the White House doesn’t ask “Where is that?” when asked what he would do to help Rohingyas in Bangladeshi refugee camps – as Trump did last year. A large number of these refugees – Muslims living in Buddhist-majority Myanmar – arrived in Bangladesh in 2017, following military operations against them that have been alleged to have genocidal intent. Despite the president’s gaffe, his administration admittedly has not stood on the sidelines: last week it pledged a fresh US$200 million in humanitarian support to the nearly 1 million Rohingya refugees. Whether he or Biden wins, there is more that can be done. Trump says China wants him to lose 2020 re-election race to Biden The UN refugee agency says humanitarian funding alone will not solve the crisis; it requires Myanmar to find a lasting solution to allow these refugees back within its borders with their safety assured. It is the US – more than any other regional nation, and even the UN – that has the powers of moral suasion to make this happen. Former US president Barack Obama gave democracy in Myanmar a major nudge during his time in office, with his open support for State Counsellor Aung San Suu Ky i and a crucial rollback of decades-old sanctions. The president to be sworn in on January 20 could use these same tools to end Southeast Asia’s most grievous humanitarian crisis. We in Asia will be grateful for a return of values-based US leadership, rather than one in which all actions are viewed through the prism of taming the dragon.