The issues raised by Australia's Asian Century White Paper were up for discussion by top US thinkers on Asia recently.
There is much more to the success of the Asian century than China, but many of the challenges for the United States are questions about China.
How then will China and the US interact on global issues? Should they attempt to find common ground between themselves first, before badgering other countries into line? Will China push for separate spheres of influence for the two countries, a tendency that can already be observed today? And what will be the role of middle powers, like Australia, which represent for more than just their own interests, and tend to take a pragmatic approach to solving collective problems, be in this evolving architecture? These questions were among the big issues tackled when the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) hosted The Asian Century and Global Response meeting at Columbia University in New York on Wednesday June 12.
The meeting brought together 20 of the leading US academic thinkers on Asia to discuss the major issues raised in the recent Australia in the Asian Century White Paper.
They met with a delegation led by the ANU's Professor Peter Drysdale and Dr Ken Henry, two members of the White Paper's advisory board. The delegation included the Commonwealth Treasury Executive Director Dr David Gruen (a Government member of White Paper Advisory Board), Professor Yiping Huang from Peking University and ANU, and the Crawford School’s Shiro Armstrong and Philippa Dee.
The discussions centred on the rise of Asia and its impact, including future growth prospects in Asia, the security and strategic implications of shifting economic weight, and the adequacy of the global regime and architecture. These themes were at the heart of the government’s White Paper. A summary of the day’s discussions can be found below.
Professor Drysdale said the meeting demonstrated the strength of the partnership between the ANU and Columbia University.
Further discussion on these issues can be found in the latest edition of the East Asia Forum Quarterly - Coming to terms with Asia.