Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Akhilesh Pillalamarri — India Needs to Join Asia's Emerging 'Chinese Order'

A new Asian order is emerging and South Asia — including India — needs to be a part of it.
In the aftermath of the G20 and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summits, it is becoming increasingly obvious that a new Asian order, complete with an economic architecture, has emerged. Whether this order is referred to as the “Pacific Age” or a New Silk Road or a pan-Eurasian system, all these terms refer to the same thing: a web of economic interdependence in Asia whose hub is the littoral around the East and South China seas, connecting China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. This network of economic prosperity is increasingly being spread by Beijing westward to the rest of Eurasia in an initiative called the “New Silk Road.” Thus, it might not be inaccurate to write that the new Asian economic order can be described as described as the “Chinese Order” in which all roads lead to Zhongnanhai. This is because China’s economy and physical location constitute the hub that drives and connects the rest of Asia. 
Yet as China invests more than $40 billion in overland routes through Central Asia and Russia into Europe and maritime routes from Southeast Asia to the Middle East and Africa, there is one vital region in Asia that is at risk of missing out on joining this new Asian economic and infrastructure network. This region is South Asia, the region that perhaps needs to become part of this hub the most. This would better integrate South Asian countries with each other as well as with their neighbors in Southeast and East Asia. Economic integration within the region and with countries outside of the region is very low. This is despite the fact that China is both India and Pakistan’s largest trade partner (India and Pakistan hardly trade with each other). Most of this trade is one-sided and has not led to massive Chinese investment in infrastructure in either of these countries. South Asian integration into the Asian economic order would benefit all of the region’s countries and would especially help some of the poorest, like Nepal and Afghanistan.
Those who have been following my posts on geopolitics and geostrategy, especially about the world island the geographical pivot of history, will recognize that this is Zbigniew Brzezinski's worst nightmare coming true.

The Diplomat
India Needs to Join Asia's Emerging 'Chinese Order'
A new Asian order is emerging and South Asia — including India — needs to be a part of it.
Akhilesh Pillalamarri


Can India Become the Next China?
Anthony Fensom
Based on OECD projections, the report predicts India outpacing rivals by growing at an average annual rate of 6.8 percent from 2018 to 2030 and 4.3 percent from 2031 to 2060, ahead of China’s 5.4 percent and 2.1 percent, respectively. 
“The demographics of India are more favorable than those of China as China’s labor force has already peaked. Conversely, India still has a young population and will grow at least through 2045 when the country is projected to be home to just under 1 billion workers…India will have 25 percent more workers than China by 2060 while China has 24 percent more today,” the report said. 
The report suggests the “demographic window” that has helped power economic development will close in China by 2020, remaining open in Indonesia until 2035, Malaysia until 2040 and not shutting in India until 2045. 
While China is expected to have a $30.6 trillion economy by 2030 compared to India’s $13.7 trillion, India’s growth is “poised to remain elevated for the foreseeable future, even as China’s economy slows.” Yet the report also cited challenges to the world’s most populous democracy, including its gridlocked lower house, compared to China’s “highly centralized and authoritarian government.”

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