Asia has begun to claim a stronger voice in defining and managing global affairs. But it is still struggling to define the larger role it wants to play.
In September, China won itself a (slightly) larger voice at the International Monetary Fund. Asia is also poised to take its turn at the United Nations, with the appointment of South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki Moon as the next secretary-general. Japan and India continue to push for permanent seats on the UN Security Council.
Clearly, it is past time for Asia’s growing global importance to be reflected in the world’s governing institutions. But these minor steps will make little difference to the world or to Asia’s role in steering globalisation. By focusing on such trivial, Asia’s governments are missing out on what could be Asia’s opportunity to reshape and improve how the world is run.
The Chinese leadership has promised for years that reform was around the bend and then you see things like President Xi’s speech where he emphasized the central role of the party... Members of the business community see the Trump administration as an opportunity for the U.S. to rattle the cage in Beijing.