The Asian Century, Sustainable Growth and Climate Change

The Asian Century, Sustainable Growth and Climate Change

Responsible Futures Matter

Edited by Moazzem Hossain, Tapan Sarker and Malcolm McIntosh

This path-breaking book investigates the challenges of realizing the Asian century. Prosperity in Asia does not only mean economic growth; the issues of public health, sanitation, income equality, the social safety net and efficient use of natural resources are also important. It argues for new policy initiatives in social, environmental and natural resource areas of South, Southeast and East Asia.

Chapter 12: The Asian century is the Chinese century and the century of turbulence

Malcolm McIntosh

Subjects: asian studies, asian economics, economics and finance, asian economics, environmental economics, environment, climate change, environmental economics

Extract

What is described as the Asian century may more accurately be described as the Chinese century or the BRIICS century (Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, China and South Africa) as it these countries that are in the economic ascendant. But however the century is described geographically it will also be the age of turbulence and disruption. This is because we have entered the Anthropocene age: the age where we must learn to live as one race, on one planet within planetary limits, or we may not see the next century. According to the current debate there is a transfer of economic and political power back to Asia after some 500 years of dominance by the European model. Most latterly this has been driven by the United States of America’s neo-liberal market-dominated model. Across Asia the lack of homogeneity and the vast disparities that exist in these regions begs the question of what is meant by ‘Asia’. To compare Asia to Europe or North America may be to mix apples and pears, or persimmons and lychees. The idea of an Asian century requires further discussion and deconstruction because it may be an illusion. It is not an homogenous region at all, and the Asian attribution may be a post imperial feeling of ‘it’s our turn again’ or ‘it’s not the American century, that’s so last century’ or ‘it’s not the European century, that’s so nineteenth century’.

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