On 17 January 2018, Dr. Parag Khanna, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre on Asia and Globalisation delivered a talk on his upcoming book Our Asian Future: The Asianization of Asia - And the World at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
Dr. Khanna expressed his views about the emerging economic system in Asia. He saw it as a multipolar system whose sub-regions were increasingly interconnected by growing commercial and transport linkages. Politically, there was also a trend towards multilateral decision-making due to the rising importance of Asian powers coupled with the decline of the US. Dr. Khanna referred to this process as the “Asianization of Asia”.
He also saw Asianization occurring on a global scale. Growing connectivity with the rest of the world in the form of transportation infrastructure and trading ties allowed Asian states to spread their economic, political and social influence overseas. Asia’s presence can be felt in Europe, the Americas and even Africa.
Dr. Khanna was also aware of the persistent challenges to Asianization that remained. Historical enmities and unresolved disputes continue to act as sources of tension and division that obstruct regional integration.
Overall, Dr. Khanna remained optimistic about the future of the Asian system, believing that states would be driven towards greater economic integration by its potential benefits. Disputes however, would have to be carefully managed through mutual accommodation and confidence building measures.