Jul 16, 2019 in Research
The Future of Asia Geopolitics

The future strategy of the Asian development and growth will be largely determined by the preferences and power of its main players. If the Chinese economy starts to lose its strength, the United States will mainly prevail in the eastern part of this huge region. On the other hand, if the USA stumbles and loses it balance, the probability that China will dominate and take the lead in the international relations will increase in the future. If both superpowers remain active and strong, ideological and geographic factors will affect the formation of Asian geopolitics. The likelihood of other events depends on the driving forces that are beyond the normal scope of geopolitical context. If the People’s Republic of China and the USA share the same democratic views and values, they will continue to closely collaborate to maintain stability and keep order on the Asian continent. 


The geostrategic perspectives will depend on the constant growth of the communist nation and retention of the political will and resources by the USA. It will suggest that the superpower stays engaged in the region’s affairs. The present-day tendencies demonstrate that the Chinese dominance and the regional division into the maritime and continental spheres of influence in the international affairs will continue. China is unlikely to elaborate the comprehensive political reform in the upcoming years. In this case, the United States should develop own regional strategy, not paying significant attention to its liberal partners.


It is often argued that the southeastern part of Asia will try to benefit from the Chinese and American competition. However, the region must strictly regulate its efforts. For a long time, the Asian countries have been crucially important players in the global politics. International experts and analysts have expressed an opinion that the development and events on the largest continent will determine the direction of international politics in the future.


The belief is supported by unprecedented growth of Chinese economy, which is likely to become the largest one in the world in the next decades. In the recent years, the country has immensely progressed in establishing new strong economic ties with the region, which has been previously excluded from. China has provided a great support in the times of economic crisis occurred in the distant 1990s. The Chinese authorities have promoted the regional partnership pursuing favorable economic intentions based on the meaningful cooperation with the neighboring countries. However, the great geopolitical game in Southeast Asia flourishes and revives. The ongoing territorial and sea disputes lead to the clashes between the regional states and implacable Beijing despite the fact that they become dependent on China. 


In order to take advantage of the opportunities brought by the Chinese growth and America’s strategic re-balancing of its interests, the Southeastern Asian states have to stand together in the geopolitical conflicts and competition. It will difficult to get out of this situation and successfully address the challenges. However, if Southeastern Asia pays little attention to the short-term benefits of bilateral relations and emphasizes the resumption of regional multilateral structures, it will it can avoid the absorption of the superpowers. 


The economic and political community of the strongest Asian countries includes a market of over 500 million people and Gross Domestic Product growth that is currently twice the world average. However, despite the mutual agreement on many issues, the approach to the development of the regional economic integration is not well-prepared to implement the task of establishing a regional strategy. Therefore, the union of the powerful Asian states ASEAN needs renewal and comprehensive reforms. The states are involved in the new geopolitical system of Southeast Asia owing to the successful accomplishments. Their power and authority will also help to alleviate the strategic rivalry between Chinese and Americans. If the countries fail to realize these initiatives, it will indicate that they surrender the region’s future to the interests of extra-regional forces. The alternative is that the regional states themselves must empower ASEAN to take into account their collective strategic interests. In the course of time, it will also help the South-East Asia to steadily and gradually move forward. 


The international order in Eastern Asia is on the verge of major and, at the same time, uncertain changes. China and Russia as the autocratic great powers and the democratic stated Japan and the USA will continue their struggle for influence, dominance and power. These countries have to pay particular attention to the risks and potential implications taking into consideration the historical changes in the global balance. It is projected to demonstrate Asia’s assertion at the core of world power and the decrease of European influence.


The recent visit of naval ships and exchange of goodwill between Chinese and Japanese demonstrate an improvement in the bilateral relations between the two nations, which have not been always successful. According to Smith, the long-term partnership between China and Japan is likely to be focused on such pressing issues as nationalism, territorial controversies, military strength, and the American-Chinese security union. The method that the concerned parties will choose to address the issues will play a crucial role in the formation of Asian geopolitics, and close relationship between China and Japan.


The presence of divergent views complicates the relationship. While Chinese authorities are the convinced realists in the international affairs, their Japanese partners stand for institutionalism and liberal values. The two states may choose different approaches addressing the same challenges and incidents potentially generating misunderstanding. However, Sino-American cooperation reflects a dynamic and reasonable mutual accommodation of interests and power. No one nation can dominate or prosper in geopolitics without stable and lasting collaboration with the neighboring countries. 


According to Kang, China and the USA will be required to confront mutual problems such as proliferation of nuclear weapons, insurgency, terrorism, and environmental degradation. The rapid economic progress of the Asia-Pacific region at the turn of XX-XXI centuries have made this area of the globe the important geopolitical center of power, where the interests of the world’s major powers intersect. The Asian powers have reached the economic prosperity fairly rapidly. So far, this case is unprecedented in the world history.


In the near future, Asian geopolitics will focus on the strategic development and economic progress. The nations’ aspiration to ensure the security involves a pragmatic and strategic approach taking into consideration all the nuances. For Chinese and Americans, the today’s reality is affected by the geopolitical bipolarity of Eastern Asia, intersection of various interests, and the presence of nuclear arsenals. There is a great need for initiatives to ensure peace and stability on the continent.


In modern Asia, the perspectives for partnership and peace depend on the emerging conflicts and strategic rivals. The new geopolitical challenges of the XXI century will come from the Asia-Pacific region, and, therefore, it is important to monitor the dynamically changing geopolitical reality in the world. The geopolitical balance will determine the complex relationships between the four major geopolitical actors, namely the USA, Japan, China, and Russia. Today, the policymakers of these countries are determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past and move forward toward success and prosperity.



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