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Asian century and a community of shared future

Shi Xiaohu / No Comments Share:
Li Baodong, secretary general of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA), speaks at a welcome dinner of the BFA Manila Conference in Manila, the Philippines, April 22, 2019. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)

Asia is the most dynamic and promising region in the world today, but it is also facing enormous risks and challenges due to internal diversity, complexity and external forces.

Notwithstanding some challenges, it is widely recognized by the international community that the 21st century belongs to Asia and the world is entering the Asian century.

The restoration of Asia’s central position in the world economy is not only the success of Asian countries in exploring the development path in line with their national conditions, but also the result from the rapid ride of economic globalization. To consolidate and strengthen the momentum of Asia’s development requires the building of an Asian community with a shared future.

Building an Asian community with a shared future is conducive to sustainable security in Asia. Asian security issues are extremely complex and sensitive, involving ethnic, religious, territorial disputes, terrorism and other aspects. Traditional security issues and non-traditional security issues are intertwined, which is very difficult to be resolved.

Controlling the spread of security issues, enhancing political mutual trust between countries and shaping a good surrounding environment are real problems in many Asian countries. The formation of a consensus on Asian community with a shared future and the establishment of an Asian community with a shared future will help the relevant Asian parties to respect each other, seek common ground while preserving differences, put aside disputes, and resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiation, or at least contain further deterioration of the situation and leave it to be resolved when the time is right.

As long as Asian countries adhere to the concept of common security and hope to resolve disputes by the Asians themselves, external forces can be prevented from intervening the Asian affairs which will help to safeguard the common well-being of Asians.

Building an Asian community with a shared future is conducive to the sustainable development of Asia. The imbalance in the development of Asia is more prominent, and the factors affecting the development are more diversified. Only by shaping a sense of Asian destiny community and seeking common prosperity in Asia can we promote the common and sustainable development of regions and countries.

At the regional level, we should uphold the concept of freedom, openness and inclusiveness, open markets to each other and promote the free flow of capital, manpower and other factors, so that the comparative advantages of all countries will be highlighted. At the international level, we should safeguard the collective economic interests of Asia, oppose unilateralism and trade bullying, and promote multilateral cooperation.

Building an Asian community with a shared future is also helpful to the coordinated governance in Asia. There are some problems such as cross-border water resource management and utilization, cross-border crime and the spread of infectious diseases existing in different degrees in Asian countries, which need to be solved through consultation and jointly creation an internal and external environment conducive to the development of Asian countries.

Only based on the destiny of Asia and the future of Asia to form an Asian community with a shared future, strengthening the coordination of governance, the problems above can be resolved. In this regard, Asian countries need to think innovatively, adhere to collective participation, come up with effective solutions to take care of the demands of all parties, and avoid discussing without decision, deciding without action, acting without success.

What’s more, building an Asian community with a shared future will assist Asia to better shoulder its global responsibilities. At present, the world economy is a bit cold, international friction is a bit hot, Asia as the engine of world economic development has taken on more responsibility and has been conflicted with more expectations.

However, bounded by the current inter-Asian relations, international public goods and services are often provided through individual national channels. This is not in line with the overall strengths of Asia and the expectations of the international community. Once Asian countries have formed a sense of community with a shared future , they can provide more Asian wisdom and power through collective force to reduce poverty in the world, address climate change, promote multilateralism and shape a more just and rational international order, while building an Asian community with a shared future .


Shi Xiaohu, Dean of the School of International Relations, Beijing International Studies University


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