Chinese State Media: ‘An Asian Era Is Coming’ Post-Trump

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, leads other Chinese leaders attending the fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Beijing, China on Oct. …
Wang Ye/Xinhua via AP

“The prelude of an Asian Era has begun,” China’s state-run Global Times declared on Monday, citing data indicating that Asia will “contribute roughly 60 percent of global growth” by 2030.

The article also cited East Asian societies’ emphasis on “order” over personal freedom as a strong indicator that the region will recover more efficiently from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic than Western nations.

“By 2025, China’s GDP is expected to catch up with or even surpass that of the US. India may surpass Germany to become the world’s fourth-largest economy.  … The US’ status as the world’s largest economy will be nearing its end. For the first time, three Asian countries will be among the four major economies in the world,” the newspaper noted.

The Global Times cited the recent “signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) on November 15” as a further indication of Asia’s growing economic dominance.

The trade pact’s inking “brought together ASEAN [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] nations, Japan, South Korea, China, Australia and New Zealand into one of the most diverse and populated trade blocks on Earth,” according to the newspaper. “It marks a new age for Asian regional cooperation that features multilateralism and trade liberalism. In terms of the global recovery process during the post-pandemic era, this new configuration can accomplish many things.”

India, which the Global Times cited as a future top four global economy by 2025, notably opted out of signing the RCEP on November 15, in line with its stated goal of becoming less dependent on foreign supply chains, which in turn helps to contain Chinese dominance over Asian manufacturing and trade.

Written by Wang Wen, a “professor and executive dean of Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China,” the Global Times article further argued that East Asian societal norms, in particular their focus on “self-discipline” and a “code of conduct,” suggest that the region will combat the negative side effects of the coronavirus pandemic more successfully than western countries.

“From the perspective of national governance, East Asian countries, which put emphasis on order in their culture, show more efficiency in fighting against the pandemic, compared with European countries and the US, which purportedly value freedom more,” Wang stated. “Therefore, Asian countries are also revitalizing their economies faster than other parts of the world.”

A report by the Jakarta Post in January seems to support the Global Times‘ prediction of the incremental growth in Asian economies.

“In 2020 Asia’s gross domestic product will overtake gross domestic product (GDP) of the rest of the world combined. By 2030, the region is expected to contribute roughly 60 percent of global growth,” the article, co-authored by a member of the World Economic Forum’s executive committee, revealed.

“Asia-Pacific will also be responsible for the overwhelming majority (90 percent) of the 2.4 billion new members of the middle class entering the global economy. The bulk of that growth will come from the developing markets of China, India and throughout South-East Asia,” the Indonesian newspaper added.

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