Global Business and Politics – Towards A More cohesive World Map
Politics of climate change in Asia has been a unique venture to better understand regional political landscape not only for meaningful mitigation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, and the United States but also for understanding the national political landscape beyond the four corners of our globe. Policy makers at all levels are grappling with rising energy, climate, and international security issues as these topics become ever more pressing, leading to a reconsideration of previously considered traditional alliances and relationships. As a result, Asian countries have begun to work more closely with each other on a more practical level through bilateral or multilateral negotiation processes at the regional, national, and global levels. This article describes some of the issues that have emerged and the policy responses that have been sought after from past efforts.
The first prominent case involves China and Japan. At the regional level, there is tension between Japan and China on the question of nuclear proliferation and Taiwan. On the other hand, China itself has had a difficult time embracing its role as a major player on the regional and world political stage. There are signs that China may be changing its position on global issues as it seeks greater regional leadership positions. For example, China’s recent Silk Roads initiative is designed to boost trade connectivity in the East and South China Seas via more globalization and political association with all Asian countries, including its neighbors.
Climate change is a key feature of Asian diplomacy and policymaking. It is also an important element of global negotiations among developed and developing nations. Efforts by the region’s governments to develop regional cooperation and a stronger response to climate change in the present period are beginning to bear fruit. These efforts are likely to increase cooperation on environmental issues through the increased implementation of clean energy and green technology, potentially leading to a more sustainable economic growth in the region.
Asia as a region has always been at the crossroads between commerce, culture and technology. The evolution of Chinese international politics has reflected this crossroads condition. The recent emergence of a “asia-driven” global economy has challenged regional cooperation, causing the imbalance in political clout. While some aspects of international politics in Asia have been successful such as the opening up of China and India as global trading partners, the relative absence of major conflicts, such as the territorial disputes in the East and South China seas, has limited the impact of regional politics on China. Political competition and the rise of multilateral organizations such as the Asian Development Bank (AADB) and the Asian Monetary Fund (AMF) have not prevented regional actors from pursuing national interests based on economic interest.
On the other hand, the lack of political openness in China and its reluctance to become a fully integrated part of the global economic system has been a barrier to the spread of Chinese policies across international borders. In fact, the current tendency is that more societies outside Asia are trying to shore up their political clout by gaining membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other regional multilateral institutions. These moves, together with the liberalization policies pursued by Asian countries, have encouraged Chinese leadership to take the globalization process seriously. This realization has triggered a spate of policy changes, most significantly the announcement last November by the Chinese government that it would seek enhanced bilateral cooperation with the members of the Association of European Football Associations (AFCOA).
The European Union (EU), which is the most powerful and most popular democratic political association in the world, has been an important player in promoting ASEAN integration since its inception. The EU’s enlargement agenda in recent years has been focused on promoting its European Union (EU) identity and preserving its external and internal coherence. The EU’s international political response to the rising economic ties between China and ASEAN shows that it is determined to preserve its external and internal coherence as well. Its strategy to strengthen its economic and political partnership with ASEAN may be another indicator of the EU’s reversion to a primarily European-centered approach to global issues in the post-communist era.
Another recent development that signals the direction in which global issues will be pursued is the EU’s decision to propose the creation of a European Investment Fund (EIF). This initiative, which was launched in January, comes as part of the EU’s efforts to enhance its economic and financial resources for the Asia-Pacific region. The idea behind the creation of the EIF is to stimulate both infrastructure development and private sector investment in China, in particular. The European Union’s vision of a strong and increasingly integrated Asia-Pacific economy is closely aligned with the vision of a strong and increasingly integrated EU.
The EU’s adoption of the EIF initiative comes at a time when China has come to play a more prominent role in global politics. The EU’s embrace of the EIF highlights China’s increasing role as a leading investor in the global economy. Chinese leadership has also made clear that it will not hesitate to use its enormous purchasing power to secure its interests in any country that is not close to its border. In other words, China’s rise to global prominence can be directly tied to European acceptance of its territorial ambitions. Whether this relationship blossoms depends largely on European willingness to pursue a course of international relations that is based on shared prosperity.