Der Reiz Asiens

Präsident Bush ist in Asien, um am Asiatisch-Pazifischen Wirtschaftsforum in China teilzunehmen, doch sollte er seine Aufmerksamkeit einem anderen asiatischen Gipfel widmen, zu dem er nicht eingeladen wurde. Im Dezember ist Malaysia Gastgeber eines ostasiatischen Treffens, von dem die Vereinigten Staaten bewusst ausgeschlossen sind. Laut vieler genauer Beobachter sinkt Amerikas Attraktivität in der Region, während der Reiz oder die „Soft Power“ anderer gestiegen ist.

Asiatische Länder verfügen über beeindruckende potenzielle Ressourcen für Soft Power. Kunst, Mode und Küche der alten asiatischen Kulturen haben jahrhundertelang starken Einfluss auf andere Teile der Welt gehabt, doch erlebte Asien eine Zeit des relativen Verfalls, als es der industriellen Revolution im Westen hinterherhinkte, was seinen Einfluss schwächte.

In den 50er Jahren verband man mit Asien Bilder der Armut und des Hungerns. In den 60ern gab es bei manchen Westlern eine kurze politische Vernarrtheit in Nehru-Jacken und die maoistische Revolution, doch war sie von kurzer Dauer. Wie John Lennon 1968 sang: „If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow.“ (Wenn du Bilder des Vorsitzenden Mao herumträgst, schaffst du es sowieso niemals bei irgendjemandem.)

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