Kishore Mahbubani: Is the West afraid of a rising Asia?
Kishore Mahbubani was appointed Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy on 16 August 2004 after having served 33 years in the Singapore Foreign Service (with postings in Cambodia, Malaysia, Washington DC and twice as Ambassador to the UN, during which he also served as President of the Security Council). He was the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry from 1993-1998.
He is the author of Can Asians Think? published in Singapore, Canada, US, Mexico, India and People’s Republic of China and of Beyond The Age of Innocence: Rebuilding Trust between America and the World. His new book entitled The New Asian Hemisphere: the Irresistible Shift of Gobal Power to the East was published in New York in February 2008. He was also listed as one of the top 100 public intellectuals in the world by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazines in September 2005.
Kishore Mahbubani: Yeah, I am afraid so. I am afraid there is...part of the reason why I wrote the book was to tell the west that at the end of the day my message is in optimistic one. The Asians as they rise do not want to dominate the west. They want to replicate the west. They want to create modern, open middle-class societies in Asia as you have in the west, and so the west should reach out today and establish new partnerships on the basis of equality and not on the basis of domination, and the west should stop insisting that it should continue to control all these globally situations. I mean, even today you have a rule that says to become the head of the IMF you must be a European. To become the head of the World Bank, you must be an American, and guess what? 3.5 billion Asians will now have the world fastest growing economies, who have the worlds largest pool of foreign reserves, 3 trillion dollars, and who probably produce more PhDs in economics than the west does. Guess what? We don’t qualify to run the IMF or the world bank, now that is the kind of absurd anachronism that has got to be removed.
Question: Isn’t this happening organically anyway?
Transcript:I think globalization is a wonderful thing, and, indeed, the remarkable thing is it that the west, as you know, created globalization. But the paradox you have today is that even though the west created globalization, the west is now afraid of globalization increasingly so, while the east is embracing globalization. In fact, one of my predications for the 21st century is that you will see the Asianization of globalization where the Asians will say, “hey! we love globalization, because in an open level playing field we can compete and we can succeed.” So, in the business sector, for example, businessmen are aware of the importance of Asia. Businessman realize that you got to have all the major multinational companies realize, you cannot have a global strategy without having a China strategy or India strategy, but if you see whereas the business minds have been opened to the new prospects in Asia, policymakers minds have not been opened, and they are still remain rooted in the past, and that's why I had to write the book at this point of time
His book, Mahbubani says, brings good news.
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