Barrie Maguire

From Community to Security in Asia

Barack Obama’s just concluded visit to Asia may catalyze Asia and its leaders to reflect on just what sort of regional community they are building. Like Europe, Asia should use the existing umbrella of Pax Americana to accelerate economic, security, and political integration.

MANILA – Visitors are often catalysts for change. Barack Obama’s just concluded visit to Asia may be no different, for his trip left Asia and its leaders wondering just what sort of regional community they are building.

The modern sense of building a pan-Asian community began with the traumatic East Asian financial and economic crisis of 1997, when all the countries of the Asia-Pacific region learned the hard way that national reforms and protections could turn out to be woefully inadequate. Soon afterwards, a consensus formed among many Asian leaders that broader cooperation and coordination was needed.

Even during that 1997 crisis, this lesson was already being recognized, for the members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Community (APEC) remained committed to trade liberalization, one of the key forces that helped restart growth in Asia’s economies. Indeed, the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in 1997 designated 15 major sectors – including automobiles, chemicals, energy assets, and environmental measures – for early liberalization. Looking back at Asia’s economic growth over the past 12 years, it is clear that liberalization of trade and investment paid off.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/5wHkyyQ;
  1. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

    Angela Merkel’s Endgame?

    The collapse of coalition negotiations has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing a stark choice between forming a minority government or calling for a new election. But would a minority government necessarily be as bad as Germans have traditionally thought?

  2. Trump Trade speech Bill Pugliano/Getty Images .

    Preparing for the Trump Trade Wars

    In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.

  3. A GrabBike rider uses his mobile phone Bay Ismoyo/Getty Images

    The Platform Economy

    While developed countries in Europe, North America, and Asia are rapidly aging, emerging economies are predominantly youthful. Nigerian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese young people will shape global work trends at an increasingly rapid pace, bringing to bear their experience in dynamic informal markets on a tech-enabled gig economy.

  4. Trump Mario Tama/Getty Images

    Profiles in Discouragement

    One day, the United States will turn the page on Donald Trump. But, as Americans prepare to observe their Thanksgiving holiday, they should reflect that their country's culture and global standing will never recover fully from the wounds that his presidency is inflicting on them.

  5. Mugabe kisses Grace JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images

    How Women Shape Coups

    In Zimbabwe, as in all coups, much behind-the-scenes plotting continues to take place in the aftermath of the military's overthrow of President Robert Mugabe. But who the eventual winners and losers are may depend, among other things, on the gender of the plotters.

  6. Oil barrels Ahmad Al-Rubaye/Getty Images

    The Abnormality of Oil

    At the 2017 Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, the consensus among industry executives was that oil prices will still be around $60 per barrel in November 2018. But there is evidence to suggest that the uptick in global growth and developments in Saudi Arabia will push the price as high as $80 in the meantime.

  7. Israeli soldier Menahem Kahana/Getty Images

    The Saudi Prince’s Dangerous War Games

    Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is working hard to consolidate power and establish his country as the Middle East’s only hegemon. But his efforts – which include an attempt to trigger a war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon – increasingly look like the work of an immature gambler.