Time for Asia to lead
It's time for Asian countries to demonstrate leadership in the process of globalization
By Wen Qing  ·  2022-01-14  ·   Source: Web exclusive

Attendees of the launching event of the The Asian 21st Century pose for a picture on January 11, in Beijing (COURTESY PHOTO)

Asia needs to take more responsibility for maintaining global multilateral institutions and learn to provide more leadership in today’s globalized world, Kishore Mahbubani, Distinguished Fellow with the Asia Research Institute at the National University of Singapore, said at a book launch in Beijing on January 11.

“The West generated globalization, both in the colonial era, and in the post-colonial era. And as we know, the West was the longest promoter of globalization, because they thought they would be the beneficiaries,” Mahbubani said via video link. But now, as Asian countries benefit from globalization and the U.S. is increasingly frightened of it, it’s time for Asian countries to strengthen their cultural confidence and demonstrate leadership in the process of globalization, he added.

The Asian 21st Century, written by Mahbubani, is the latest release in the China and Globalization Series, which has been conceived in partnership with the Center for China and Globalization (CCG), a think tank based in Beijing and Springer Nature, a global academic publishing group. The book series seeks to create a balanced global perspective by gathering the views of highly influential opinion leaders around the world, according to President of CCG Wang Huiyao.

“I think we're entering a very dangerous period where we're seeing a transition away from a Western dominance,” said David Blair, Vice-President and Senior Economist at the CCG. There is no sign that the U.S. would be willing to give up the position of dominating the world, therefore the transition of world power will not be an easy one, he added. “We really need to think about how to stop the inevitable crises from turning into a great catastrophe,” he said.

The international community can no longer retreat into historical cycles such as the confrontations during the Cold War. Countries should promote regional cooperation and integration on which a new global framework can be established, said Su Hao, a professor at China Foreign Affairs University.

Asian countries are willing to cooperate and there is also broad space for cooperation among them, said Wang Huiyao. China has remained ASEAN's largest trading partner for 12 consecutive years, and ASEAN also became China's largest trading partner in 2020. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which came in force on January 1, will form a large regional market connecting 15 countries and accelerate regional economic integration, said Wang Huiyao. Moreover, China and Asia are also building infrastructure to enhance transnational connectivity. “The recent opening of the China-Laos railway means ASEAN and China now have a strong overland connection. We'll see more infrastructure being built up in the in the years ahead to improve connectivity in Asia,” Wang said.

Copyedited by G.P. Wilson
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