Monday, September 25, 2006

America pursuing grand design in Asia

A recent comment piece in the Financial Times outlines America's possible role in promoting a new regional order to check China's growing power in Asia and the world.

Entitled, "America is pursuing a grand design in Asia", the piece is written by Daniel Twining, a former advisor to US Senator John McCain. Here is a bit of the opening:

Asia’s strong states will shape the future of international politics more than the weak states and terrorists of Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon. But China’s continuing authoritarian rise, like Thailand’s descent into military dictatorship, suggests that the quality of democracy within Asian nations will be important in determining the course of the emerging Asian century.

Recognising this, the Bush administration – anticipating a future Chinese challenge to American primacy – is pursuing a grand design in Asia as ambitious as its campaign to transform the Middle East, and as bold in its use of military power and democratic values as strategic assets.

The author goes on to suggest that America should and will continue to cultivate regional powers who might check any designs China may have on the future. Countries such as India, Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam are mentioned as possible allies in this scheme to contain China's rising power and influence. Twining adds,

America’s Asian design is more interesting than a crude effort to contain China. Rather than a neo-conservative plot to prolong US dominance, Washington is actually diffusing its preponderant power by encouraging the rise of friendly Asian partners to help manage a future multipolar order.

Interesting the way the world's leaders plan our fate as though it were all part of some international game of chess.

As far as the commentator's proposals, I'm not too sure what to make of them. I just wonder when we'll learn to associate through mutual cooperation and leave these mobilizations of force behind.