SIIA chairman Simon Tay gave his first talk in New York as the 2009 Schwartz Fellow on 27 Jan. With well known US foreign policy expert Walter Russell Mead and Japanese journalist Nobuyoshi Sakajiri who is also Schwartz Fellow (based in Washington DC), they addressed the major issues facing the new Obama administration in Asia. In addition to looking at particular issues, Tay argued the central challenge was to link Asia policy to global issues in finance, economics and climate change. He and Mead also questioned existing scenarios based on the inevitable rise of Asia and the relative decline of the USA. Much depends on the ways in which both sides respond to the unfolding crisis, Tay said, looking at the declines in Asia which have been sharper than originally predicted. He re-emphasized the need for both sides to recognize their interdependence and to avoid protectionism and narrow nationalism from domestic constituencies.
For more information, and a podcast of the event, please visit http://www.asiasociety.org/resources/090127_schwartz_intro.html