Půvab Asie

Americký prezident Bush pobývá v Asii; zúčastní se jednání Asijsko-tichomořské hospodářské rady v Číně, ale pozornost by měl věnovat jinému asijskému summitu, na který pozván nebyl. V prosinci bude Malajsie hostit schůzku východoasijských zemí, která záměrně nepočítá s účastí Spojených států. Podle mnoha zasvěcených pozorovatelů se atraktivita Ameriky v této oblasti snižuje, zatímco půvab neboli „měkká síla“ jiných států se naopak zvýšila.

Asijské země mají impozantní potenciální zdroje měkké síly. Umění, móda i kuchyně starodávných asijských kultur měly po staletí značný vliv na ostatní části světa, avšak Asie má za sebou období relativního úpadku, neboť neudržela krok s průmyslovou revolucí na Západě, což její vliv podkopalo.

V padesátých letech dvacátého století evokovala Asie obrazy chudoby a hladu. V šedesátých letech se někteří lidé na Západě nechali politicky poblouznit nehrúovskými kabátci a maoistickou revolucí, avšak tento jev neměl dlouhého trvání. Jak v roce 1968 zpíval John Lennon, „pokud nosíš fotky předsedy Maa, neuděláš na nikoho dojem“.

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