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I will give this piece a thorough going over when I have the time in a few days
Chinadaily has chosen to put this one up because it reflects official opinion on the topic.|
Compare this piece with the main post in this thread, and see if you guys could present a critique before I do it for you (I said "official" because it was presented in BLOCK LETTERS in the opinion page and ending with the academic title of the author).
If academicians were truly the best in prognosticating a nation's future we would never have had the Opium War.
China did not lack academicians during the period leading up to the Opium War.
The "trend' they were talking about was the use of opium and how Commissioner Lin drove the barbarians away from Canton.
Now we have an academician talking about a 'trend' again as if the EU model is suitable for the whole of Asia just because the Europeans have theirs established starting with the Euro as the common currency.
The trouble with university professors is that they don't have the finger on the right place on the arm to take the pulse because they usually live amongst books and journals in an air-conditioned room and never truly get down to brass tacks looking at the real world and analyzing the situation from Ground Zero.
That's why no American-trained academician was able to even come close to predicting 911 or what China would look like in 2004 at the time of Mao's death in 1976, and very few of them were optimistic of China's prospects during the time of the turmoil in T.A.M. Square fifteen years ago.
If they had gone to the Arab countries they would have known that the Israelis have given rise to a lot of hatred in the Arab world for the Americans and it was just a matter of time that something big -- not necessarily on the scale of 911-- would happen.
If they had come to China they would have known too that the dissidents had no future in erecting an American-style political institution on the mainland. The situation might not have develped as well as it had during the past fifteen years, but China definitely was not going to take the path of Gorbachev of the Soviet Union in the aftermath of the turmoil in T.A.M.
They had assumed all along that Arabs have low IQs (see Maggie's post in "Free Talk") and were incapable of organizing well-coordinated attacks on the Americans.
They had assumed that the Chinese were credulous enough to welcome American-style 'democracy.'
Well they were all wrong, and so is this author.
Like I said, we'll get at it when I have some more time.
But first let's take a look at this article before they take it down:
Speeding up East Asian integration
Zhao Huaipu Updated: 2004-10-22 09:59
As regional integration remains one of today's world's trends, booming East Asian co-operation is becoming a precursor of Asian integration.
How to push forward steady and continuous co-operation among East Asian countries, which are still divided on numerous concrete issues, must be resolved by regional members with time and experience.
The success of European countries, who once differed from each other on many issues, in advancing and realizing an integration on their continent, can lend this kind of experience for East Asian countries.
The emergence and development of integration in different regions at different historical periods needs different driving forces.
Aspirations to overcome various crises in the wake of World War II, to look for a path to peace and prosperity, and to rebuild a powerful Europe not controlled by the Former Soviet Union and the United States, have explained the success of Europeans in integrating themselves.
East Asia does not have the same driving forces, but today's world presents similar conditions for them under which they could become a more coherent regional entity.
With economic globalization rapidly sweeping every corner of the global village, the world has irreversibly entered a new global era, during which peace, development and co-operation remain the mainstream.
On the one hand, globalization can provide underdeveloped countries with more channels to enjoy new information and new technology created by other members, thus making it possible for them to make strides in economic development. On the other hand, the process also makes it possible that crises and risks within one country rapidly spread beyond to others.
The domino reaction of other East Asian members to an economic crisis first in Thailand in 1997 demonstrated how vulnerable other members are to local disasters.
The 1997 financial crisis has made East Asian countries aware that they have no choice but to stand together to avoid suffering a similar attack again.
The formation of the 10-3 framework, an annual summit between leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK) to discuss all-dimensional co-operation between them, has shown a collective resolution to overcome negative factors caused by globalization.
Regional integration worldwide has also been a key factor driving East Asian members to deepen co-operation with each other.
Since the 1990s, the development of the trend has led to the global market being split up into different pieces, thus forming several monopoly markets across the world, such as the EU, the North American Free Trade Area (NAFTA) and the African Union (AU).
A great stimulus to East Asian nations, the formation of these regional markets has caused a sense of urgency among them that they should strengthen dialogues and co-ordination, expand co-operation, and sharpen the overall competitive edge in the region to avoid being marginalized in the waves of booming globalization and regional integration.
East Asian nations have also enjoyed a more solid economic foundation for further co-operation.
The formation of an increasing economic interdependence among East Asian members since the end of the Cold War has led to the emergence of common regional interests. That has made it possible and also necessary for members to co-ordinate and unify varying positions to safeguard common interests.
Global issues and non-traditional security threats have also played a role in pushing East Asian countries to accelerate co-operation and integration efforts.
It has become undeniable that in a globalized era, the number of terrorist activities, financial crimes, and drug trafficking, which are all non-traditional issues that any individual country cannot effectively curb and resolve, have been on the increase.
To effectively deal with these threats, strengthening co-operation is the only choice.
Currently, a pessimistic tone about East Asian co-operation is spreading and prevailing among some scholars, at home and abroad.
Arguing the United States was a key factor prodding European nations towards integration, they said East Asian nations do not have a similar factor.
There have been no signs that China and Japan, two key East Asian members, can reach conciliation before historical problems are solved, making East Asian integration unrealistic, they said.
It is true there are numerous obstacles in the way of East Asian co-operation, especially lack of reconciliation between Beijing and Tokyo, but it is hard to deny that regional co-operation serves as the only way to East Asian peace and development in a globalized era. The story of Europeans tells that any obstacle to integration is conquerable.
The integration of the ASEAN has already set an example for East Asian co-operation.
That initial confrontations between Singapore and Malaysia and estrangement between Malaysia and the Philippines did not stop Southeast Asian nations' efforts to forge a collective body presents a model for co-operation within a wider region.
For East Asian nations, the establishment of a security relationship through co-operation on the basis of mutual benefit and mutual trust is an applicable path to their deepened co-operation.
The establishment of security links between EU members on a mutually beneficial footing, which has ensured peace, stability and development in their continent, has offered an important reference for East Asia.
Given its numerous potential uncertain factors, pursuing security through co-operation is undoubtedly a top choice for the region.
Actually, East Asian nations can completely settle their security predicaments by developing regional systematized co-operation and establishing a sense of mutual trust.
At the same time, cultural co-operation and exchanges between East Asian members can also play an important role in advancing regional co-operation.
Although culturally different, regional members still have much in common.
Through strengthening cultural co-operation and exchanges on the basis of Confucianism, it is possible for East Asian countries to become more intimate, thus forming a collective cultural consciousness and then a common sense of regional identity.
It is under just this emerging "East Asia consciousness" that regional members have resolved many thorny issues between them in recent years, such as the signing of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, a document signed between China and ASEAN members in 2002 aimed at preventing conflict in the region.
With this kind of spirit, regional members will also have the ability to settle similar ticklish issues through dialogues in the future. And by that time, East Asian integration and even a regional community would no longer have been a dream.
The author is an associate professor at the China Foreign Affairs University.