The Rise of Asia
The historical rise of Asia in the late twentieth and early twenty century is due to three reasons -
1. The result of the Second World War altered the role of major political powers in World politics especially in Asian politics.
2. The experience of the War reformed the approaches and ideas of the leaders across the World on how to maintain peace and promote development.
3. The outcome of the War determined the features of the international relations in the next century.
The weakening and decreasing power of Europe, America and Japan in Asia after the end of Second World War created room for the emergence of independent Nation States. Also at the end of the Second World War the US and the Soviet Union emerged as the rival super powers in the World. The ideological differences between these superpowers immediately led to the onset of the Cold War. They competed with each other to get support from the newly formed Asian Nation States as assets for their power blocs. This struggle was only for power within the US led capitalist bloc and the Soviet Union led communist bloc during the Cold War. It was ironically complemented with a parallel commitment towards the Westphalian Notion of Sovereignty without any outside interference by super powers. But most of the Asian Nationalistic leaders made a clear choice to take an independent stance while adopting a neo- liberal path of industrialisation and high growth. The super powers nevertheless presented restrictive choices before the Asian Nation States while the Cold War was in progress. The Cold War produced a two- way -tussle between the nationalistic leaders and the superpowers resulting in an extremely volatile situation in the case of three divided States in Asia – Korea, China and Vietnam.
The end of the Cold War proved to be a dramatic turning point for rising Asia. The bipolar struggle terminated and after this Asian International relations followed a new course which was marked by the following events -
• The reduction of the geopolitical tensions between Asian Nation States and the World .
• The rapprochement of the US and China.
• The End of the Vietnam War.
• The rise of Japan as an alternative pole of economic power.
• The economic take off in South Korea.
• Taiwan and the South East Asia tigers emerging as economic powerhouses.
• The rise of China as a sophisticated player in global affairs.
• The evolution of India as a major power in the Indian Ocean area.
• The democratisation of authoritarian regimes in South Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia.
• The steady advance in Asian Multilateralism on regional and broader issues.
These dramatic shifts in economic and political power has resulted in Asia cumulatively emerging as the area to watch in the geo-political evolution of humanity towards a more peaceful and secure future.