Sunday, May 17, 2015

17/5/15: Two Asias and the U.S. European Incentives

If you want to see the context to the ongoing geopolitical re-distribution of power that is threatening the world order, do not look at the margins of the European realm, like Ukraine. Look at Asia.

Here is an excellent discourse that supports the thesis of the emergence of two Asia:

  • Asia dominated (already) economically by China; and
  • Asia dominated (for now) military-wise and geopolitically by the U.S.

Europe has already decoupled with the U.S. on the issue of Chinese-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, while BRICS have decoupled from the U.S. on a vast range of initiatives. But European signals of willingness to engage with the new Asia are going to continue being half-hearted, principally because of the second bullet point above - economic cooperation will not resolve the growing tension on geopolitical stage. Sooner or later, the U.S. dominance in Asia Pacific will be weakened to the point of the Western block playing a second (albeit not insignificant, by any means) role.

There are two levers for retaining direct and active links to the Asia Pacific centre of power that are currently available to Europe: India and Russia. Alas, both are lost to Europeans for now, one for the reason of perpetual neglect and the other for the reason of perpetual antagonisation.

Oh, and one last piece of 'food for thought' breakfast: as the U.S. is being squeezed in Asia Pacific, is it more or less likely that the U.S. will need to amplify cohesion of its allies around the Atlantic? And if you think the answer to this question is 'more likely' (as I do), what other means can the U.S. find to doing so other than by playing centuries old angsts across EU's Eastern borders? 

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