Over the summer of 2017, all eyes have been on the Northern Tier of Asia: North Korean relations with the United States, Sino-US relations and the Korean Peninsula, US-ROK relations, and Japan as a factor in these cases with Russia occasionally entering the picture. The Trump effect further south in Asia has drawn much less attention. In this collection of four articles, we cross Asia’s Southern Tier, ranging from Australia to ASEAN to India, while also exploring Japanese views of Southeast Asia. This is a transitional period after a major shift in US leadership and in light of acceleration of Chinese involvement across this region. While it is early to conclude clearly how this transition will unfold—given the inconclusive aftermath of the May Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) summit in China and the troubled atmosphere in US politics and policymaking—it is important to keep our eyes looking southward as an arena of potential conflict over the South China Sea, disputed border between China and India, Sino-US/Japan competition, and uncertainty over ASEAN Centrality.