This over-400-page book explains why Asia is a lot bigger than anyone of us thinks. To many people, the first thing that comes to their mind when they think of Asia is China. This is probably because it is almost impossible to avoid hearing about the rise of China on popular media due to the recent episode of the US-China trade war and the ambitious “One Belt, One Road” initiative.
Parag Khanna, the author of ‘The Future is Asian’, explains that while China’s power is prominent in the context of the global political economy, Asia is not just about China. To put it into perspective, China only accounts for one-third of Asia’s population with less than half of Asia’s GDP. Therefore, the future of Asia is so much more than just China and what it wants.
Contrary to the common perception of the West, Asia does not conflate the entire region with China since Asia as a whole has been experiencing a new wave of growth led by many new nations with imminent growth mostly in Asean such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Moreover, the Asian economic zone spanning from the Arabian Peninsula and Turkey in the west to Japan and New Zealand in the east, and from Russia in the north to Australia in the south – now represents 50 percent of world GDP and two-thirds of global economic growth.
In addition, the author also explains why no aspect of life in the 21st century is immune from “Asianisation” phenomenon. The author also retells a brief history of Asia from thousands of years ago to the present with an emphasis on different economic, political, social and cultural perspective ranging from the new innovations in clean energy in Himalaya, the influence of K-Pop, and the challenges in the South China Sea.
In short, if you are interested in learning more about how Asia will continue to influence the world and determine the future, this book is a must read.
Author: Parag Khanna
Publication: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2019