Last week a very interesting interview was broadcast on Dutch television. A 50 minutes interview with Mahbubani, unfortunately the introduction (till
3:00 minutes) is in Dutch, but the interview is in English and can be watched here:
The screen can be enlarged by right clicking on the screen -> 'in- en uitzoemen'-> volledig scherm
For over two thousand years, Asia was the centre of the world. After a break of a couple of hundreds of years, Asia starts to change back to its
original position. The 21st century will be the Asian century, and it is in everyone's interest to accept this, Kishore Mahbubani says.
Mahbubani is ex-ambassador of Singapore to the UN and author of the much discussed book 'The New Asian Hemisphere: The irresistible Shift of Global
Power to the East'.
If we compare our situation to a food chain, it is obvious that the West is on top, followed by the rising powers such as India. Most of these rising
powers are far from being able to take a lead on us in the coming decades. China is an exception. Within decades follow, they will evolve into a
superpower more powerful than the West, making it a huge threat to those in control of our countries.
Perhaps the US will be able to maintain its position of superpower, but the state of its economy, social unrest, make me doubt they will really be
able. Even if so, they would not continue to police the world like they currently do.
Self-evidently, those who control global politics (the West) fear being controlled by others instead. That's why China has become an enemy. Over the
years, more media attention will be focussed on China than on the Middle East. You might want to read Webster Tarpley's speech on how ''they''
have recently replaced the strategy in which Al Qaeda was our number one enemy by Russia and China:
Webster Tarpley: From War on Terror to War on China and Russia
Europe as often been characterized as being afraid of going to war and implement sanctions, as often proposed by the US. Mahbubani says that instead
of isolating these countries, we should embrace them. If we wouldn't have threatened Iran on a daily basis they most likely would have had a much
friendlier attitude towards the West. Instead, we have pushed them towards Russia and isolated them, taking into account Iran's huge oil and gas
reserves, that cannot be in our interest.
In my opinion, the most pre-dominant reason is Israel's fears of losing its position as singular dominant power in the Middle East, hence putting a
lot of pressure, through lobbying and bribing, on US politicians, explaining the current US foreign policy towards Iran.
Bear in mind that we have been lied to before, when our leaders claimed Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, while weapon inspectors could not
find any evidence to back up that claim. We should not forget that and thus not taking their claims about Iran automatically for granted.
Russia is not happy with the West either. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the West basically told them how good it is they had become a democracy
while leaving them without any support when they needed it. They haven't forgotten about that and in my opinion they will take revenge once our
powerful position is damaged as a consequence of the world economy.
China is constantly being criticized by the West about everything possible. Especially about its human right violations. Previously, they unofficially
agreed that the West criticism was founded, but after Guantanamo Bay much has changed in this world. The double standards the West have, greatly
damaged our integrity, particularly through the eyes of non-Western countries.
Instead of making China look like a dangerous threat, we should support them in developing into a democracy.
The American idea is that a country can be turned into a democracy from one day to another. In reality, it takes years, if not decades.
China's Prime-minister has already said China should develop into a democracy. The question is how. As we all know, China has a very strict regime,
every possible detail seems to be regulated. However, China's history knows thousands years of civil unrest, making it understandable that the
current regime is so strict. Particularly, because of the huge social-economical differences within the Chinese society.
As Mahbubani says, China has a closed society, but an open mind
Let's take advantage of that and support them in becoming a partner of the
West. It is in the interest of our people and in the interest of the world to have China as a friend rather than as an enemy.
[edit on 7-9-2008 by Mdv2]