Responsible Futures Matter
Edited by Moazzem Hossain, Tapan Sarker and Malcolm McIntosh
Chapter 12: The Asian century is the Chinese century and the century of turbulence
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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