Kishore: Can Asian Think?



Can Asian Think?

If answer "No" to "Can Asian Think?", reasons:

Only Japan catches up with the West in modern history.

(The most painful thing that happened to Asia was not the physical but the mental colonisation.)

If answer "Yes" to "Can Asian Think?", reasons:

1. Incredible economic performance of East Asian societies. (There is a change that Asian is waking that their minds are not inferior.)

2. Asian realize that they can work out their own solutions without copying the West;

3. Today is not the only period when Asian minds have begun to stir, looking at history.

Be cautious, still many challenges ahead, economic, political, security, social, values.

Western minds have a clear advantage over Asian minds, as they are convinced that their successful leap into modernity was to a large extent a result of the compatibility of their value systems with the modern universe.

ASEAN saved Southeast Asia

Japan's success inspired the rest of Asia.

Asian intellectuals - including those from China - agree that the ultimate political destination of all societies is democracy. The destination is not in question, only the route and the timing are.

One of key reasons why ASEAN became very strong in the 1980s and 1990s was because of an informal strategic agreement between Beijing and Washington to work together to strengthen ASEAN. Now ASEAN is in danger of facing the opposite: both Beijing and Washington may be tempted to use ASEAN as an instrument to embarrass the other.

Beijing has called for a new model of great power relations. It should also create a new model of great power - middle/small power relations.

Myanmar and VN are wary of China among ten ASEAN countries due to historical cautiousness.

Bilahari quoted from a senior VN official that "Every Vietnamese leader must be able to stand up to China and get along with China and if anyone thinks this cannot be done at the same time, he doesn't deserve to be a leader."

CN and VN have one common interest that is to preserve the legitimacy of the ruling communist parties in Beijing and Hanoi.

Najib's father, PM Tun Razak, established Malaysian diplomatic relations with China.

Only ASEAN is trusted by all the great powers to be a neutral and effective platform through which they can engage with one another.

Secrets leading Singapore to succeed: Meritocracy, Pragmatism, Honesty.

No countries can match America's conceptual output in volume. But the quality is another story.

American decisions were driven by short-term considerations; all Chinese decisions have been driven by clear long-term goals.

America is one of the most open societies in the world, yet when it comes to the rest of the world or understanding the views of others, America instead resembles a closed society.

India is an open society with a closed mind; China is a closed society with an open mind.

Many more political appointees on ambassadorial postings in US Foreign Service makes brightest US youth away from the Foreign Service because they can less possibly become ambassadors. In contrast, Chinese Foreign Service is attracting the best and brightest youth.

A  democratic China may not be able to restrain nationalist forces and voices in China. West should be careful about wishing for early democracy in China.

Bill Clinton saw spoke in Yale in 2003 that:

"If you believe that maintaining power and control and absolute freedom of movement and sovereignty is important to your country's future, there's nothing inconsistent in that (the US continuing to behaving unilaterally). The US is the biggest, most powerful country in the world now. We've got the juice and we're going to use it ...But if you believe that we should be trying to create a world with rules and partnerships and habits of behavior that we would like to live in when we're no longer the military political economic superpower in the world, then you wouldn't do that. It just depends on what you believe."

In 1997, Myanmar military government shot monks. And its foreign minister joined the rest 9 ASEAN countries' counterparts to issue a statement criticizing Myanmar government because ASEAN was the only platform they had, and they didn't want to get close to neither US nor China.

If, after 100 years, there is no change in P5 in UN Security Council, UNSC will lose its credibility. P5 face Hobson's choice in next 3 decades that they can retain either composition or their credibility. They cannot have both.

UK and France are self-aware that their legitimacy of permanent membership in UNSC is in peril, therefore they keep avoiding using veto because they know that any unilateral veto would lead to a political explosion. They must earn their legitimacy daily though extraordinary performance in the UNSC.

UNSC decided to grant humanitarian supplies to Iraqi people, and most of the contracts were awarded to companies from P5 countries. Corruption. 

7-7-7 formula for UNSC reform. 7 Permanent Members, 7 Semi-permanent Members, 7 elected member. Shall make the total number within 21 coz US made it absolutely clear its preference is to have no more than 20 members in a reformed UNSC.

7 permanent members shall be EU, US, China, India, Russia, Brazil and Nigeria.

There are two candidates that can custodian ASEAN, one internal candidate, Indonesia; one external candidate, Australia. 


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