West Decline is a blurred definition. Asia just having the growth of market share...
http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/loca...ce-not-a-givenAsian world dominance not a given
A favourite theme in international debate nowadays is whether Asia's rise signifies the West's decline. But the current focus on economic malaise in Europe and the United States is distracting attention from the many serious challenges that call into question Asia's continued success.
To be sure, today's ongoing global power shifts are primarily linked to Asia's phenomenal economic rise, the speed and scale of which have no parallel in world history.
With the world's fastest-growing economies, fastest-rising military expenditures, fiercest resource competition, and most serious hot spots, Asia obviously holds the key to the future global order.
But Asia faces major constraints. It must cope with entrenched territorial and maritime disputes, such as in the South China Sea; harmful historical legacies that weigh down its most important interstate relationships; increasingly fervent nationalism; growing religious extremism; and sharpening competition over water and energy.
Moreover, Asia's political integration badly lags behind its economic integration, and it has no security framework. Regional consultation mechanisms are weak. Differences persist over whether a security architecture or community should extend across Asia, or be confined to an ill-defined "East Asia".
One central concern is that, unlike Europe's bloody wars of the first half of the 20th century, which made war there unthinkable today, the wars in Asia in the second half of the 20th century only accentuated bitter rivalries. Several interstate wars have been fought in Asia since 1950, when both the Korean War and the annexation of Tibet started, without resolving the underlying Asian disputes.
more at link.
Last edited by digrar; 05-04-2012 at 06:05 AM. Reason: copyright
West Decline is a blurred definition. Asia just having the growth of market share...
The "rise of Asia/decline of the West" is not set in stone and this:
But Asia faces major constraints. It must cope with entrenched territorial and maritime disputes, such as in the South China Sea; harmful historical legacies that weigh down its most important interstate relationships; increasingly fervent nationalism; growing religious extremism; and sharpening competition over water and energy.Moreover, Asia's political integration badly lags behind its economic integration, and it has no security framework. Regional consultation mechanisms are weak. Differences persist over whether a security architecture or community should extend across Asia, or be confined to an ill-defined "East Asia".
pretty much sums up why. It's also not that sharply demarcated, any 'rise' or 'fall' is going to be relative. Prosperity doesn't have to be a zero-sum game.
The West is not in decline. Back in the 1980s everyone thought that Japan was leading Asia to be a powerhouse, and they were until 1990. China is similar but when the economy bubble bursts over there it will be as equally damaging to them as it was Japan.
take all the western companies and see how well china will fare ...
for decades we have been hearing about west decline but honestly i dont see that happening the only difference is that asia is also rising but thats it
We are witnessing the slow-motion real time decommissioning of the US Dollar.
The opportunity to reverse that process is quite possibly gone.
From what I've seen over the decades I've come to the conclusion prognostication is still a guessing game. It's like the 7 day forcast, one prediction followed by 6 guesses. Friday's 7 day forcast calls for rain Monday, Saturdays forcast calls for partly cloudy Monday, Sunday's forcast says Monday will be sunny and hot.
Excellent article, shinigami, although the thread title is somewhat misleading in its emphasis. The author of the article is highlighting the serious challenges facing Asia (despite all the economic growth), and is not being triumphalist in any way. Nevertheless, at times I almost felt like this guy was reading my mind in the way that he analyzed and framed the issues (cf: the other recent Japanese strategy thread). If the one unmistakeable test of genius is the extent to which a guy agrees with your opinions (the guiding definition on MP.net ), then this guy is a Metternich, I say .
-With regard to Asia vs. the rest of the world, I think that it's pretty obvious that Asia's economic share of the global pie will continue to increase for quite some time, although there may be ups and downs, occasionally spectacular, on its way. It's a question of numbers. Asia represents something like 60% of the world's population, and therefore, broadly speaking, its equilibrium upper limit relative to global GDP should be at least 40%, and possibly 50% or even more. It's currently at about 25-30%.
In my view, such long-term forecasts are more robust than, say, a century ago, because the world is, from the point of view of economic activity, as well as the free flow of human resources, technology, and ideas, a much smaller and more integrated place. There is less opportunity for localized developments (e.g. capitalism, an industrial revolution, a leap in information technology) to create a sustainable arbitrage that allows such locales to maintain disproportionate advantage.
On the other hand, it should also be kept firmly in mind that this works the other way as well. In the long-term, I personally think it highly unlikely that Asia will economically "take over the world", for exactly the same reasons. If, at some point in the future, demographic trends decrease Asia's share of population, then the upper limit of Asia's economic share will similarly decrease. Such a scenario, it seems to me, is quite plausible in the long-term, as economic maturity shapes social trends, and as Asian economies start hitting basic resource barriers (as the author alludes). Coupled with long-delayed takeoffs (both in terms of economic development and population) in areas such as Africa and Latin America, Asia's economic share should peak, plateau, and then even start to decline, all within our lifetime.
Whether Asia will reach its economic peak in 30 years or 100, however, will very much depend on a host of non-economic factors, as the author describes in a cogent way, including inter-regional conflict, regime stability, and how soon resource constraints start to kick in.
Asia's economic rise, moreover, is a relative phenomenon (like the concept of 'market share'), as mentioned by illyrian34. In the sense that this does not conflict with growth in the overall size of the pie. Asian economic development is, in fact, one of the key drivers for growing the whole pie, thereby increasing the economic well-being of the developed economies on absolute measures. The genius of capitalism is that it is not a beggar-thy-neighbor system, if all of the players are smart about it. On the contrary, Adam Smith is the ur-poster child for the idea that a rising tide lifts all boats.
-The other key takeaway of the article (which I agree with) is that Asia's potential for political/strategic influence will, for some time to come, be focused on and spent within the region, given the breadth and depth of the divides that exist.
The strategic issue that dwarfs all others is China's ambitions to dominate the region. As argued in other threads and posts, my own view is that we are entering a period when all other regional strategic considerations will be viewed through this lens, and be shaped by it. Just so that I'm not misunderstood, this is not to say that this will inevitably lead to major active shooting wars. Just that China has begun to try to openly position itself as the pole around which the region revolves. But as is recognized in physics, magnetic monopoles do not naturally exist in nature.
As the author points out in a nuanced way, what makes Chinese ambitions for regional dominance ultimately problematic is that it has come of age when 1) there are already other significant players who have gotten to the developmental finish line first (e.g. Japan, Korea), as well as 2) those (e.g. India, and to a lesser extent, Indonesia) who have the potential to compete on the basis of (population) size.
The implication of his article is that, while the issues to be overcome are not trivial (historical legacy issues, for example), the capabilities to counter/restrain China's "muscular" ambitions very much reside within the region, particularly on a collective basis.
In my opinion, it is very much in the interest of the West (the US and Europe) to support these developments.
Just wait until Asia has to provide all the health/education/public services and social security of the West.
Instead of buying USA Brands we were and still are buying Japan Brands. Not the same for China, although it may be built there the R&D, the company has no hold in China. If companies see it cheaper to manufacture goods in other countries around the globe they will do so.
US % of global GDP has relatively crashed in the last 20 years.......as has it's liquidity as a former creditor now debtor nation.
Peak Cheap Oil(which we briefly experienced in 2007-08) is real.....and it's going to hurt......because when nations collectively comprehend that small bits of paper are simply not worth exchanging for the greatest, most portable, most dense, and relatively safe form of energy...petroleum.
The US Dollar is in serious trouble.....which means the US is in serious trouble.
My hope is that we are able to quickly harness existing technology(like 100mpg mini diesels) and tweak it further to extend our economy, while at the same time seeing gentle oil field depletion curves......because if we can't make our economies more energy efficient and if oil field depletion curves steepen...we will see excessive competition for resources that will end badly.
We've had Economic Mutually Assured Destruction for some time now.....but actual Asian reliance on the US(beyond many nations using the US as a counter to China's growing influence and control) is waning.
How's that sound?
That is in no way defeatist.........it's very much realist.
I'm an eternal optomist.....I reckon there must be something that can be done to stem the tide or even reverse it....but it literally has to be done NOW.
And I see no possible chance of decisive change occurring anytime soon....so the show's nearly over.
The US simply needs to revamp its manufacturing base.
Easier said than done but still there's a industrial tradition there that can be revamped.
For a while this would mean trying to out-China China with low wages but it is still a lot better than no jobs at all.
Problem is this needs government support, not so much in the way of subsidies but in the way of vocational training for workers and engineers.
The US top down attitude is part of the problem. Education centered around producing half a dozen nobel prize winners won't cut it.
They need to turn out engineers, shift leaders and skilled workers.