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5 - China, Pacific Asia, and Reconfiguring a Multinodal World

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 August 2023

Brantly Womack
Affiliation:
University of Virginia, Charlottesville
Wang Gungwu
Affiliation:
National University of Singapore
Wu Yu-Shan
Affiliation:
Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
Qin Yaqing
Affiliation:
China Foreign Affairs University
Evelyn Goh
Affiliation:
Australian National University
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Summary

Chapter 5 puts the reconfiguration of Pacific Asia into global perspective in four respects. First, in contrast to the divergences that characterized the modern era, in this century there has been a multi-dimensional convergence between developed and developing countries. 2008 marked the first time since the nineteenth century that the production of the developing world was greater than that of the developed world. Second, the unipolar world order of the post-Cold War has shifted to a multinodal world order. Without a defining global power, the multinodal order has a “certainty vacuum” rather than a power vacuum, and it is best filled by partnerships rather than by alliances. Third, Pacific Asia has become a global powerhouse. In 2020 its GDP equaled that of the US and the EU combined, and it is integrated by global value chains. Fourth, China reaches beyond its region. Despite the headwinds of Covid-19, trade bottlenecks, and global tensions, China and Pacific Asia have arrived. If a bipolar configuration develops, it is likely to differ from the Cold War camps by being closer to a developed/developing country split, with less unity of leadership on either side.

Type
Chapter
Information
Recentering Pacific Asia
Regional China and World Order
, pp. 153 - 190
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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