The agreement could be as good as dead, if, instead of pushing ahead without the US, its members decide to explore bilateral trade agreements with the country.
If Beijing can bring its neighbours to accept its regional leadership, China would have successfully achieved a dramatic reduction of US influence.
Obama managed to build stronger rapport with many countries in Southeast Asia,but lacked foreign policy initiatives. China neatly plugged that gap.
Security and economic interests, in the guise of the 12-member Trans-Pacific Partnership (seven of which hail from the Asia-Pacific), are causing anxiety among US friends and allies.