Thursday, July 31, 2008

The New Asian Hemisphere

Kishore Mahbubani (2008), The New Asian Hemisphere: The Irresistible Shift of Global Power to the East, New York: PublicAffairs

Kishore Mahbubani is the Professor of Public Policy of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. His previous books carry the interesting titles of Can Asian Think? and Beyond the Age of Innocence.

In this book, Kishore, a former diplomat explores the reaction of the West especially the United States towards the shift of global power to the east. By 2050, the world's three largest economies will be in Asia: Japan, India, and China.

Kishore's thesis is that the east like to replicate, not dominate. This was always so with Asian and Western countries. However much depends on the response of the United States. If the United States are willing to share and not dominate, then there will be much benefit to everyone. However if the United States decide to try to dominate the rising economies, there will be much chaos.

History unfortunately has shown that the Western response when threatened by the east was always a retreat into protectionism and attacks. The Japan-bashing of the 1980s, have been replaced by India-bashing of the 1990s (due to outsourcing) and now we have China-bashing in the 2000s. Looks like we are in a stormy ride.


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