Asia’s Changing Power Dynamics

Never before have China, Japan, and India all been strong at the same time. But there can be no denying that these three leading Asian powers and the US have different playbooks: America wants a uni-polar world but a multi-polar Asia; China seeks a multi-polar world but a uni-polar Asia; and Japan and India desire a multi-polar Asia and a multi-polar world.

NEW DELHI – At a time when Asia is in transition, with the specter of a power imbalance looming large, it has become imperative to invest in institutionalized cooperation to reinforce the region’s strategic stability. After all, not only is Asia becoming the pivot of global geopolitical change, but Asian challenges are also playing into international strategic challenges.

Asia’s changing power dynamics are reflected in China’s increasingly assertive foreign policy, the new Japanese government’s demand for an “equal” relationship with the United States, and the sharpening Sino-Indian rivalry, which has led to renewed Himalayan border tensions.

All of this is highlighting America’s own challenges, which are being exacerbated by its eroding global economic preeminence and involvement in two overseas wars. Such challenges dictate greater US-China cooperation to ensure continued large capital inflows from China, as well as Chinese political support on difficult issues ranging from North Korea and Burma to Pakistan and Iran.