The Pacific Era How can Europe stand up to the rise of Asia?
There are more young people living in Asia than anywhere else in the world. The new generation of Beijing and Delhi is studious, assiduous and no longer willing to content itself with playing second fiddle to the West. The future will be staged in the Pacific region – but will Europe be able to hold its ground against the inexorable rise of Asia?
Europe and the United States are still the dominant global economic powers and close allies to date. But with the rapid expansion of Asian economies, a large middle class is emerging in the Far East with very different visions and far more opportunities than their forebears. Shanghai, Beijing, Jakarta, Seoul, Delhi and Mumbai are among the world’s largest urban centres and are continuing to grow inexorably. No longer content to serve as a contract industry for Western multinationals, Asia is rapidly cultivating its own ideas, specializing in biotech, design and software.
Thomas Seifert describes the compelling social and economic developments in Asia and considers how Europe might stand up to Asia’s transformation and maintain its position as a global player. Europe’s only hope is to abandon nationalism, regionalism, dissent and resignation, returning instead to the core principles that play to its strengths: traditional civic values and a social market economy.