The economic rise of Asia, particularly after the 2008 global financial crisis, is widely acknowledged as a force for good. But the same economic forces that propel Asia ahead also come with the risk of accentuating a “post-crisis divide” from America, which — given the level of political immaturity in Asia — is “dangerous”, argues Simon SC Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.
Evidence of such “political immaturity” is manifest in recurrent tensions between India and China, recent tensions in the South China Sea, and the current diplomatic spat between Japan and China. Tay’s provocative proposition, which he outlines in his most recent book Asia Alone, is that the US must continue to remain engaged in Asia, but not with a ‘sole superpower’ mentality. In an interview to DNA, Tay highlights the risk of Asia “going it alone”.