Transcript: The Asian World Order is Coming | Feb 19, 2019

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a spotted black blazer.

A caption on screen reads "The Asian world order is coming. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says GLOBALIZATION HAS BEEN
UNDERWAY FOR CENTURIES.
AND IF EUROPE AND THE UNITED
STATES LED THE WAY IN THE 19TH
AND 20TH CENTURIES, GEOPOLITICAL
STRATEGIST PARAG KHANNA SAYS ASIA WILL LEAD THE NEXT PHASE.
HE MAKES THAT CASE IN HIS NEW
BOOK, "THE FUTURE IS ASIAN," AND
PARAG KHANNA JOINS US NOW.

Parag is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short black hair. He's wearing a dark gray suit, black sweater, blue shirt and pink tie.
A picture of his book appears briefly on screen. The cover is black, with a picture of a globe centered on Asia.

Nam says HI, IT'S NICE TO MEET YOU.
YOU'VE BEEN ON THE SHOW BEFORE
AND SPOKEN TO STEVE.
THIS BOOK IS SUPER-INFORMATIVE,
SO MANY THINGS THAT I DIDN'T
KNOW, SO MANY LAYERS TO IT.
SO YOU WRITE IN THE BOOK, YOU
DESCRIBE THE ASIANIZATION OF ASIA.

Parag says YES.

Nam says WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

The caption changes to "Parag Khanna. Author, 'The future is Asian.'"
Then, it changes again to "Between the East and the West."

Parag says THAT MEANS THAT AFTER 500
YEARS OF COLONIALISM AND THE
COLD WAR, IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT
FROM THE 16TH CENTURY ONWARDS,
EUROPE WAS COLONIZED BY
EUROPEANS, THEN FRAGMENTED
THROUGH COLD WAR GEOPOLITICS,
IT'S BEEN 500 YEARS SINCE ASIANS
HAVE MORE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER
THAN THEIR COLONIAL MASTERS.
SO SINCE THE END OF THE COLD
WAR, ALMOST 30 YEARS AGO, YOU
HAVE THIS PROCESS OF
REINTEGRATION.
PEOPLE OF THE NEW SILK ROADS.
THE NEW SILK ROADS HAVE BEEN
FORMING FOR 30 YEARS, AND THAT'S
ASIANS REDISCOVERING EACH OTHER.
THEY HAVE ALREADY BECOME MORE
THAN 40 percent OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMY.
THEY ALREADY TRADE MORE WITH
EACH OTHER THAN THEY DO WITH THE
REST OF THE WORLD.
SO IN FACT IT'S ALREADY THE CASE
THAT ASIA HAS COME BACK TOGETHER
INTO WHAT I CALL A SYSTEM.
AND I THINK IT'S JUST OUR
MENTALITY, WHETHER WE'RE IN THE
WEST, OR EVEN IN ASIA ITSELF,
WHERE THERE'S A LOT OF IGNORANCE
HOW FAR ASIA HAS ALREADY COME.

Nam says IN THE BOOK YOU SAY SOME
COUNTRIES ARE PART OF ASIA,
COUNTRIES THAT WE NORMALLY
PROBABLY WOULD BE LIKE, NO, THAT
CAN'T BE, RIGHT?

Parag says RIGHT.

Nam says BUT YOU SAY THAT
COUNTRIES LIKE NEW ZEALAND AND
AUSTRALIA ARE PART OF ASIA?

Parag says SO HERE'S THE THING.
THERE'S ONLY ONE CORRECT
DEFINITION OF ASIA, RIGHT, AND
IT IS THE DEFINITION THAT I USE.
IT'S NOT MY DEFINITION.
IT'S A GEOGRAPHER'S
UNDERSTANDING OF ASIA.
THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA AND THE
RED SEA, ISRAEL, LEBANON,
RUSSIA, TURKEY AND SAUDI ARABIA
AND THE GULF COUNTRIES.
ALL THE WAY TO JAPAN.
AND RUSSIA, MOST OF RUSSIA, ALL
THE WAY, YES, TO AUSTRALIA.
THAT IS THE ONLY CORRECT
DEFINITION OF ASIA, AND ALL I'M
DOING IS USING IT.
BUT OF COURSE IN THE LAST 20
YEARS WE'VE HAD LOTS OF BOOKS
ABOUT ASIA.
HOWEVER, IF YOU READ THEM ALL,
WHICH IS MY JOB TO DO, THEY ARE
BASICALLY JUST ABOUT CHINA.
AND JAPAN GETS A COUPLE OF PAGES
AND INDIA GETS A COUPLE OF
PAGES.
SO WHAT'S BEEN MISSING AND WHAT
I'VE BEEN SEEKING TO CORRECT IS
TO WRITE A BOOK THAT IS PROPERLY
ABOUT THIS FULL ASIAN SYSTEM.
NOW CHINA IS A HUGE PART OF THAT
ASIAN SYSTEM.
A LOT OF MY PREVIOUS BOOKS AND
PROBABLY MORE THAN A THIRD IF
NOT A HALF OF THIS BOOK ARE, IN
FACT, ABOUT CHINA.
BUT CHINA IS NOT AN ISLAND
FLOATING OVER THE WORLD, OR EVEN
ASIA.
IT'S DEEPLY EMBEDDED IN THIS
ASIAN SYSTEM AND UNDERSTANDING
HOW CHINA DEPENDS ON OTHER
ASIANS AND INDEED HOW OTHER
ASIANS ARE NOW COMING OUT OF
CHINA'S SHADOW.
IN THE CASE OF INDIA, AN EVEN
LARGER POPULATION THAN CHINA
WITHIN 10 YEARS FROM NOW, THAT
STORY ALSO NEEDS TO BE TOLD
ALONGSIDE CHINA.

Nam says YOU DO MENTION THAT
CHINA IS 1.5 BILLION OF THE 5
BILLION PEOPLE IN ASIA.

Parag says RIGHT.

Nam says WE'LL TALK ABOUT CHINA
MORE, BECAUSE WE HAVE TO.

Parag says RIGHT.

Nam says BUT I WANTED TO GO BACK
TO THIS IDEA OF THESE COUNTRIES
THAT ARE PART OF WHAT YOU SAY IS
ASIA.
AND I KEEP SAYING THE
QUOTATIONS.
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT, THIS IS
LIKE A HUGE REGION.
IT'S ALMOST HALF THE PLANET.
SO WHAT WOULD CONNECT PEOPLE IN
THE WEST, SAY, LIKE, IN ISRAEL,
AFGHANISTAN, YEMEN, TO PEOPLE IN
THE EAST, CHINA, THAILAND,
JAPAN, AND THEN SOUTH TO
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND?

Parag says RIGHT, SO AGAIN IT IS THE
FACT THAT THEY ALL... AGAIN, AND
A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THEIR OWN
COUNTRIES MAY NOT EVEN REALIZE IT.
IF YOU TAKE COUNTRIES LIKE
RUSSIA OR TURKEY OR ISRAEL OR
SAUDI ARABIA, RIGHT, THESE ARE
THE WESTERN, THE GEOGRAPHIC
WESTERN FRINGES, NORTHWESTERN
FRINGES AND SOUTHWESTERN FRINGES
OF ASIA.
THEY HAVE FOR THE PAST... GOING
BACK 20 YEARS, BRANDED
THEMSELVES AS WESTERN, WANTING
TO LEAN TO THE WEST, WANTING TO
BE PART OF WESTERN INSTITUTIONS.
NATO, THE EUROPEAN UNION AND SO
FORTH.
ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO THESE
COUNTRIES ALL REALIZED, IN THEIR
OWN WAY FOR THEIR OWN REASONS,
THAT, WELL, THE WEST MAKES
DEMANDS OF US THAT WE DON'T WANT
TO FULFILL.
WE WANT TO HAVE OUR OWN
IDENTITY, AND THEY ALL WENT
THROUGH THIS PHASE OF JUST
WANTING TO BE INDEPENDENT.
IN TURKEY WE CALL IT A
NEO-OTTOMAN PHASE, WHERE THEY
FOOLED ON THE EUROPEAN UNION...
COOLED ON THE EUROPEAN UNION,
BUT THEY HASN'T DISCOVERED THE
ASIAN OPPORTUNITY.
THAT'S THE PHASE ALL THOSE
COUNTRIES ARE IN NOW.
ECONOMICALLY THEY ARE MORE TIED
TO ASIA THAN THE WEST.
RUSSIA HAS CHINA AS ITS LARGEST
TRADING PARTNER.
TURKEY IS DEFINITELY NEVER GOING
TO JOIN THE EUROPEAN UNION, THE
WAY THINGS ARE GOING
DIPLOMATICALLY, BUT IT HAS
JOINED CHINA'S ROAD INITIATIVE.
AND SAUDI ARABIA NOW SELLS
ALMOST ALL OF ITS OIL AND GAS
EAST ACROSS THE INDIAN OCEAN,
RIGHT?
SO ALL OF THESE COUNTRIES HAVE
ASIANIZED IN A VERY BIG WAY.
AGAIN, THEY WERE ALWAYS
GEOGRAPHICALLY ASIAN, LET THERE
BE NO MISTAKE.
NOW THEY ARE MORE ECONOMICALLY
ASIAN, AND WHAT FOLLOWS FROM
THAT IS THAT THEY BECOME MORE
STRATEGICALLY ASIAN AS WELL.
AND THAT'S WHAT WE SEE HAPPENING
IN THE RUSSIA-CHINA
RELATIONSHIP, FOR EXAMPLE.

Nam says I WANT TO TALK MORE
ABOUT THE BELT ROAD INITIATIVE,
BUT I ALSO... PART OF... YOU
KNOW, YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT THE
GEOGRAPHY, BUT WHERE DOES
IDENTITY COME IN TO PLAY?
BECAUSE I THINK IF YOU'RE IN
RUSSIA, RUSSIANS ARE VERY PROUD
OF THEIR EUROPEAN HERITAGE, OF
THEIR WHITE HERITAGE.

Parag says RIGHT.

Nam says HOW WOULD THEY RESPOND
TO BE CONSIDERED AS PART OF ASIA?

Parag says SURE, YEAH.
NOW I'VE BEEN WRITING ABOUT THE
ASIANIZATION OF RUSSIA FOR A
LONG TIME, AND THAT'S A TITLE OF
A WHOLE CHAPTER IN THIS BOOK
AROUND IT.
AND I EXPLAIN, AND THIS IS KIND
OF A TAKEAWAY PUNCHLINE IS
RUSSIA'S DEMOGRAPHICS DON'T
EXACTLY RESEMBLE ITS ICE HOCKEY
TEAM, RIGHT?
AND KIND OF THE VIEW YOU JUST
GAVE WAS THE ICE HOCKEY VIEW
TEAM. RUSSIANS ARE THESE
WHITE CAUCASIANS
THAT THINK OF THEMSELVES
AS EUROPEANS AND THE ORIENTATION
OF THE COUNTRY WAS SET BACK BY
PETER THE GREAT CENTURIES AGO.
AGAIN, THE COUNTRY IS REALLY
MARCHING TOWARDS EUROPE.
IN FACT IT HAS A VERY DIVERSE
COMPLEXION.
MUSLIMS OF CENTRAL ASIAN AND
TURKISH EXTRACTION IN WHAT IS
THE COUNTRY WITH THE FASTEST
DECLINING OVERALL POPULATION.
SO IN OTHER WORDS, THE
PERCENTAGE OF NON-CAUCASIANS IS
GROWING VERY RAPIDLY.
AND AGAIN THE IMMIGRATION IS
HAPPENING FROM CENTRAL ASIA AND
OTHER ASIAN COUNTRIES.
THEIR TRADE RELATIONS, THE NEW
MIGRATION PATTERNS, BECAUSE THEY
ARE ACTUALLY FROZEN OUT OF EASY
MIGRATION FROM THE WEST, RIGHT?
THEY WILL NEVER BE GIVEN FREE
VISA MOBILITY TO EUROPE.
IT'S IN FACT ONE OF THE KEY
DIPLOMATIC LEVERS THAT EUROPE
HOLDS AGAINST RUSSIA.
MEANWHILE, ASIAN COUNTRIES ARE
SAYING COME, RUSSIANS, COME AND
DO BUSINESS AND TRADE HERE AND
SO FORTH.
SO IDENTITY IS NOT THIS FIXED
THING THAT'S SET BY ONE SEGMENT
OF THE POPULATION.
AND FOR SURE CANADA CAN RELATE
TO THAT STATEMENT.
RIGHT?
AND AUSTRALIA TOO, BY THE WAY.
AND THE CHAPTERS ON AUSTRALIA
THAT I HAVE IN THE BOOK ALSO GET
INTO THIS IDEA THAT, YOU KNOW,
IS AUSTRALIA ALWAYS GOING TO
HAVE JUST ONE FIXED IDENTITY
THAT THEY ARE SORT OF, YOU KNOW,
EUROPEANS THAT SIMPLY LIVE IN
THE GREATER ASIAN GEOGRAPHY?
NO, BECAUSE YOU CAN SEE IN
AUSTRALIA TOO BY FAR THE LARGEST
INFLUX OF FOREIGNERS IS ASIANS,
RIGHT?
FROM VARIOUS COUNTRIES, NOT JUST
CHINA, BUT ALSO JAPAN, INDIA AND
ELSEWHERE.

Nam says SO ARE YOU SAYING THAT
THE COUNTRIES DON'T NECESSARILY
HAVE TO BE ON BOARD WITH THIS
IDEA OF THE FUTURE OF ASIA?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Parag says IN A WAY THAT ASIANIZATION IS
HAPPENING IN COUNTRIES ALL OVER
THE WORLD.
IT COULD JUST BE THAT MORE
PEOPLE ARE LEARNING... MORE KIDS
ARE LEARNING CHINESE IN SCHOOL.
IT COULD BE THAT YOU'RE GOING TO
YOGA CLASSES.
IT COULD BE THAT YOUR COUNTRY IS
COMPLETELY HITCHED ECONOMICALLY
TO CHINA, THE WAY AUSTRALIA IS.
IT COULD BE THAT YOU HAVE
DECIDED TO HAVE A MILITARY
PARTNERSHIP OR ALLIANCE WITH
AFRICA... WITH CHINA THE WAY
SOME AFRICAN COUNTRIES HAVE.
OR INDONESIAN WORKERS ARE NOW
DOING YOUR TELECOMMUNICATIONS
SYSTEMS AND YOUR TEXTILE
FACTORIES.
ANY ONE OF THOSE THINGS OR ALL
OF THEM IS HAPPENING IN DOZENS
AND DOZENS IF NOT EVERY COUNTRY
IN THE WORLD IN SOME WAY, SHAPE
OR FORM.
THE WAY I LIKE TO PUT IT IS AT A
PERSONAL HUMAN LEVEL IS THAT
EVERYONE KNOWS HOW EUROPEAN THEY
ARE, RIGHT?
SORT OF, YOU KNOW, DID YOUR
PARENTS GO STUDY THERE?
DID YOU LEARN A EUROPEAN
LANGUAGE?
WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE PREMIER
CLUB FOOTBALL TEAM.
EVERYONE KNOWS HOW AMERICAN THEY
ARE IN SOME WAY, RIGHT?
YOUR FAVOURITE HOLLYWOOD ACTOR
OR WHERE YOU STUDIED, SOMETHING
LIKE THAT, RIGHT?
WITH THE INFLUENCE OF AMERICA ON
YOUR COUNTRY, IN WHATEVER CORNER
OF YOUR WORLD, THERE IS SOME
AMERICAN INFLUENCE, RIGHT?
WE'RE JUST STARTING TO BE ABLE
TO ANSWER THE QUESTION: HOW
ASIAN ARE YOU?
AND IT COULD BE LITTLE THINGS
AND IT COULD BE REALLY BIG
THINGS, RIGHT, BUT IT IS
HAPPENING EVERYWHERE.

Nam says WELL, IN EUROPE, EUROPE
HAS CHRISTIANITY IN COMMON.
IS THERE A SIMILAR GLUE HOLDING
ASIAN COUNTRIES TOGETHER?

Parag says THAT'S A GREAT QUESTION, AND
NO, AND AGAIN ASIA IS VERY DIFFERENT.
ASIA IS BY FAR THE MOST DIVERSE
POPULOUS REGION OF THE WORLD.
IT HAS 4,000 YEARS OF DISTINCT
CIVILIZATION HISTORIES.
SO YOU WILL NEVER HAVE A COMMON
RELIGION, A COMMON LANGUAGE, A
COMMON CURRENCY, A COMMON
PARLIAMENT.
THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT ASIA IS
NOT ASIANIZING.
ASIA CAN ASIANIZE IN ITS OWN
WAY.
IT DOESN'T HAVE TO DO IT THE
EUROPEAN OR NORTH AMERICAN WAY.
IT WILL DO IT ITS OWN WAY.
AND I EXPLORE THAT FROM THE
INSIDE OUT.
THEIR TRADE COMPLEMENTARIES,
THEIR FREE TRADE AGREEMENTS, THE
LABOUR MOBILITY AGREEMENTS
BETWEEN THE COUNTRIES.
YOU HAVE YOUNG ASIANS MOVING
INTO AGING ASIAN COUNTRIES, LIKE
JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA, CHINA.
HAVE NEVER HAD MORE PAKISTANIS,
INDONESIANS, FILIPINOS AND EVEN
AFRICANS TO MOVE INTO THEIR
COUNTRIES TO FILL LABOUR
SHORTAGES.
JAPAN HAS NEVER HAD 2 MILLION
FOREIGNERS IN JAPAN.
THAT DOESN'T MAKE IT A MELTING
POT BY CANADIAN STANDARDS,
RIGHT, BUT IT IS A DIFFERENT...
A WHOLE NEW DEGREE OF ENGAGEMENT
SOCIALLY WITH EACH OTHER THAN
THEY'VE HAD IN MANY, MANY
CENTURIES.
AND IT'S ACTUALLY HAPPENING ALSO
MOST PRONOUNCEDLY IN THESE KIND
OF MELTING POT CITIES, LIKE HONG
KONG AND SINGAPORE, FOR EXAMPLE.

Nam says AND YOU ALSO WRITE THAT
THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE COMING
FROM THE WEST, AND THEY ARE
GOING TO ASIAN COUNTRIES.
THEY MIGHT GO THERE TO TEACH OR
STUDY, BUT THEN THEY DECIDE TO STAY.

Parag says YES.

Nam says HOW DIFFERENT WILL AN
ASIAN WORLD ORDER BE FROM THE
AMERICAN-LED WORLD ORDER?

The caption changes to "Parag Khanna, @paragkhanna."

Parag says IT IS REALLY... WELL, ON THE
MACRO POINT, IT'S NOT THAT THE
ASIAN-LED WORLD ORDER MEANS THAT
THERE IS NO MORE WESTERN INFLUENCE.
YOU KNOW, IN MY WORK, I ALWAYS
EMPHASIZE THAT WE'RE HEADING
INTO AN UNPRECEDENTED ERA WHERE
YOU HAVE MULTIPLE POWERS FROM
DIFFERENT REGIONS AND CULTURES
AND HISTORIES THAT ARE IMPORTANT
AT THE SAME TIME.
IN PREVIOUS ERAS WHERE YOU HAD,
YOU KNOW, ONE SUPERPOWER OR
MULTIPLE POWERS, THEY WERE
WESTERN POWERS, BASICALLY,
RIGHT?
SO THIS IS THE FIRST TIME IN
HISTORY WHERE YOU HAVE THE
UNITED STATES BEING A
SUPERPOWER.
EUROPE IS A KEY GLOBAL POWER
ECONOMICALLY AND DIPLOMATICALLY,
AND WITHIN ASIA YOU HAVE CHINA,
JAPAN, RUSSIA, KOREA.
THE WORLD HAS EIGHT, NINE
SIGNIFICANT POWERS, RIGHT?
SOME ARE GREATER AND MORE
POWERFUL THAN OTHERS, OF COURSE,
BUT WE HAVE TO PUT ON A
DIFFERENT FRAME.
WE TEND TO ASK THIS QUESTION,
WHICH IS WHO IS NUMBER ONE.
NOT GOING TO BE AMERICA, THEN IT
THEREFORE IS CHINA.
WHAT IF IT'S ALL OF THE ABOVE?
RIGHT?
AND THAT'S THE WAY THE WORLD
ACTUALLY LOOKS TODAY.
SO IF YOU START WITH THE WRONG
QUESTION, WHICH IS WHOSE NUMBER
ONE, YOU'RE GOING TO COME UP
WITH THE WRONG ANSWER.
ASIA IS TAKING ITS RIGHTFUL
PLACE.
IT'S NOT LEADING THE WORLD IN
THE SENSE OF REPLACING EVERYONE
ELSE.
HISTORY IS NOT THIS BLANK SLATE.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Nam says BUT IF YOU WERE TO ASK
AMERICANS WHO IS NUMBER ONE,
THEY WILL SAY WE'RE NUMBER ONE.
SO IN THIS FUTURE ASIANIZATION,
IF I CAN ACTUALLY SAY THE WORD,
HOW DO YOU IMAGINE THE WEST WILL
BE AFFECTED, IF THEY ARE NOT NUMBER ONE?

Parag says WELL, AGAIN, IT'S... YOU HAVE
MULTIPLE NUMBER ONES.
SO LET'S ALL JUST TAKE COMFORT
IN THAT AND KIND OF MOVE BEYOND
THAT QUESTION.
SO AMERICA, AGAIN, STILL A
SUPERPOWER, ONE OF THE WORLD'S
LARGEST ECONOMIES.
IT HAS TREMENDOUS MILITARY AND
DIPLOMATIC, STRATEGIC AND
ECONOMIC INFLUENCE ALL OVER THE
WORLD.
BUT NO AMERICAN WOULD DISPUTE
THE FACT THAT ITS RELATIVE SHARE
OF THE WORLD ECONOMY IS
OBVIOUSLY IN DECLINE GIVEN THE
RISE OF ASIA.
THAT'S NOT SOMETHING THAT WE CAN
DEBATE.
IT'S JUST A FACT, RIGHT?
AND THAT THEIR MILITARY CAN NO
LONGER CALL THE SHOTS
EVERYWHERE.
I SERVED IN IRAQ AND
AFGHANISTAN, SO I KNOW QUITE
WELL HOW DIFFICULT IT IS FOR A
MILITARY POWER IN A LA TENT WAY
TO INFLUENCE ON THE GROUND.
IT'S CERTAINLY TRUE IN EAST ASIA
WHERE YOU HAVE NUCLEAR POWERS,
MILLION MAN ARMIES AND HUGE
DEFENCE EXPENDITURES, RIGHT?
SO AMERICA CAN'T JUST GET ITS
WAY STRATEGICALLY EITHER.
SO AMERICANS LOVE IT OR HATE IT,
YOU KNOW, ARE GETTING USED TO
THE FACT THAT IT IS A MULTIPOLAR
WORLD AND THAT ASIA IS GOING TO
DECIDE ON ITS OWN WHAT IT'S
GOING TO DO.
AND IN THE BELT ROAD INITIATIVE
IS A GOOD EXAMPLE OF THAT.

Nam says WHAT IS THAT.
LET'S TALK ABOUT THAT.

Parag says THE BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE
ORIGINATED IN CHINA BUT
IMMEDIATELY HAD DOZENS OF ASIAN
COUNTRIES ON BOARD AND IT IS THE
WORLD'S MOST LARGEST COORDINATED
INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT PLAN.
SOME WOULD SAY IT'S LIKE THE
MARSHALL PLAN, ONLY IT'S
PROBABLY 50 TIMES BIGGER.
AND YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT, AGAIN,
BILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE
COORDINATING ACROSS 30, 40
COUNTRIES, MAJOR INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS.
PIPELINES...

Nam says America's not part of...

Parag says NO, AND IT'S A MATTER OF SOME
DEBATE, BECAUSE AGAIN YOU
CAN'T... AMERICA CAN'T INFLUENCE
WHAT CHINA AND ITS NEIGHBOURS
ARE DOING IF THEY AGREE TO DO IT
WITH THEIR OWN RULES AND ON
THEIR OWN TERMS, AND THAT'S
WHAT'S HAPPENING.
SO WE'RE WITNESSING WITH THE
NUMBER OF TRADE AGREEMENTS, LIKE
THE REGIONAL COMPREHENSIVE
ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP, WHICH IS
FOR ASIANS BY ASIANS, AMONG
ASIANS.
AND THE BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE
IS LIKE, WOW, ASIANS CAN MAKE
THEIR OWN DECISIONS.
WE DIDN'T THINK THEY COULD,
RIGHT?
WE TEND TO THINK OF OTHERS, EVEN
EUROPEANS, AS BASICALLY
STRATEGICALLY INERT AND
INCAPABLE OF DECIDING FOR
THEMSELVES WHAT IS BEST FOR
THEM.
I'VE GOT NEWS FOR YOU, RIGHT?
OTHERS ARE QUITE COMPETENT,
RIGHT, AND QUITE CAPABLE, AND
THE BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE
PROVES THAT.
AND THE U.S. HAS IN THE LAST
COUPLE OF YEARS FORMALLY OPPOSED
OTHER COUNTRIES JOINING IT AND
THE ASIAN INFRASTRUCTURE
INVESTMENT BANK, WHICH IS
ANOTHER ASIAN-CENTRIC CHINA-LED
DEVELOPMENT FINANCE INSTITUTION.
BUT ALL COUNTRIES JOINED IT
ANYWAY, RIGHT, BECAUSE IT'S GOOD
FOR THEIR OWN INTERESTS.

Nam says I HAVE TO, YOU KNOW, IT
SOUNDS VERY... IT SOUNDS LIKE A
POSITIVE FUTURE, BUT THERE ARE
SOME THINGS THAT PEOPLE TAKE
ISSUE WITH, YOU KNOW, CHINA, THE
AUTHORITARIAN STATE, AND MOST OF
THE WORLD CIVIL UNREST LIES IN
THIS AREA THAT YOU'RE TALKING
ABOUT.
AND YOU ACTUALLY WRITE WAR IS AS
MUCH A PART OF THE SYSTEM AS
TRADE OR DIPLOMACY.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

Parag says WELL, IF YOU LOOK AT ASIA, IT
IS DEFINITELY NOT ALL ROSY AT ALL.
THE LARGEST POPULATIONS IN THE
WORLD ARE EXPOSED TO CLIMATE
CHANGE AND RESOURCE STRESS ARE IN ASIA.
MOST OF THE WORLD'S GEOPOLITICAL
FAULT LINES, AND WORLD WAR 3
SCENARIOS, WHICH YOU CONCOCT FOR
A LIVING, YOU KNOW, WHAT COULD
GO WRONG, AND THE BOOK IS FULL
OF THEM, ARE IN ASIA.
IT COULD BE NORTH KOREA,
CHINA-JAPAN, IRAN,
INDIA-PAKISTAN.
THE REGION IS RIDDLED WITH
DISPUTES, NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.
AND YET WE HAVE TO, AGAIN, BE
VERY CLEAR THAT IN THE LAST 30
YEARS, SINCE THE FALL OF THE
SOVIET UNION, ASIANS HAVE BEEN
PRETTY GOOD AT KEEPING THEIR
GEOPOLITICAL DISPUTES AND
TENSIONS AT BAY WHILE ACHIEVING
SPECTACULAR DEGREE OF ECONOMIC
INTEGRATION AND MUTUAL BENEFIT.
AND THEY SHOW PRETTY, AGAIN,
POSITIVE SIGNS OF BEING ABLE TO
MANAGE THOSE TENSIONS.
AND I WANT TO GIVE CREDIT TO THE
FACT THAT ACTUALLY AMERICA PLAYS
AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN HELPING TO
KEEP A LID ON SOME OF THOSE
DISPUTES.
NO DOUBT ABOUT IT.
THERE IS A GLOBAL ROLE IN
KEEPING ASIA STABLE, BUT ASIANS
ALSO HAVE DONE A GOOD JOB OF,
AGAIN, MANAGING THEIR PASSIONS,
IF YOU WILL, AND TENSIONS.

Nam says WHAT ABOUT DEMOCRACY?

The caption changes to "The heart of the continent?"

Parag says THEN THERE'S THAT ISSUE.
NOW I WANT TO BE CLEAR ABOUT
THIS, BECAUSE ASIA, AS WE
DISCUSSED EARLIER, IS 4.5
BILLION PEOPLE AND CHINA IS ONLY
ONE THIRD OF THAT.
SO FOR THE RECORD, THERE ARE
MORE PEOPLE, MORE HUMAN BEINGS
WHO LIVE IN DEMOCRACIES IN ASIA
THAN THE REST OF THE PLANET
EARTH, RIGHT?
JUST I COULD REPEAT IT, IF YOU
LIKE.
INDIA, INDONESIA, PHILIPPINES,
THOSE THREE COUNTRIES, THAT'S
LIKE 1.7 BILLION PEOPLE RIGHT
THERE, EVEN THAILAND IS COMING
OUT OF A MILITARY REGIME HAVING
AN ELECTION THIS YEAR.
NOT TO MENTION JAPAN, SOUTH
KOREA, TAIWAN, AUSTRALIA, NEW
ZEALAND.
IN THE GREATER ASIAN SPACE,
OBVIOUSLY IN SOME OF THESE
COUNTRIES FOR HISTORICAL REASONS
AND CERTAINLY DUE TO THE LEGACY
OF BRITISH COLONIALISM OR
AMERICAN OCCUPATION, ASIA HAS
SOME OF THE FOREMOST DEMOCRACIES
IN THE WORLD, SOME OF THE MOST
TOP-RANKED DEMOCRACIES IN THE
WORLD, LIKE AUSTRALIA AND NEW
ZEALAND.

Nam says BUT CHINA IS A HUGE PART
OF THAT, THOUGH.

Parag says SO CHINA IS CHINA, AND THEY
ARE 1.5 BILLION PEOPLE IN CHINA
WHO LIVE UNDER AN AUTHORITARIAN
REGIME, BUT THERE'S MORE THAN 2
BILLION PEOPLE IN ASIA WHO DO
NOT LIVE UNDER CHINESE
AUTHORITARIANISM, AND THEY
EXIST.
THEY ARE REAL.
THEIR STORIES MATTER.
THEIR DEMOCRACIES ARE REAL.
SO WHEN WE TALK ABOUT ASIA, WE
SO OFTEN PAINT IT AS THIS
HEGEMONIC, AUTHORITARIAN,
MONOLITHIC FORCE FROM THE EAST
LED BY CHINA.
I DON'T KNOW ANY CITIZEN OF ASIA
OUTSIDE OF CHINA WHO WANTS TO
LIVE UNDER CHINESE
AUTHORITARIANISM.
I KNOW LOTS OF CHINESE WHO DON'T
WANT TO LIVE UNDER CHINESE
AUTHORITARIANISM.
I LIVE IN CHINA AND DO NOT WORRY
OR LOSE A MINUTE'S SLEEP THAT
CHINESE AUTHORITARIANISM IS
TURNING WHAT ARE LIVELY
DEMOCRATIC VIBRANT CULTURES INTO
NON-DEMOCRACY.

Nam says I'M GETTING THE SENSE,
EVEN IN THE BOOK YOU SAY THE
WEST IS TOO FOCUSED ON CHINA.
HOW DOES THIS MANIFEST ITSELF?

Parag says WELL, CERTAINLY LOOK AT THE
U.S.-CHINA TRADE WAR.
THERE'S A BELIEF THAT THE U.S.
AND CHINA ARE THE TWO MOST
POWERFUL FORCES SHAPING THE
WORLD ECONOMY AND THAT THE FATE
OF THE WORLD ECONOMY AND EVEN
GEE POLITICS HINGES ON THE
AGREEMENT BY THE END OF FEBRUARY
THIS YEAR.
THAT'S NOT TRUE, RIGHT?
EUROPE REPRESENTS THE LARGEST
PROPORTION OF GLOBAL TRADE,
ABOUT 38 percent, MORE THAN ASIA,
INCLUDING CHINA, AND WAY MORE
THAN THE UNITED STATES, BECAUSE
THE U.S. AND NORTH AMERICA,
INCLUDING CANADA, ARE THE
MOST... REGION OF THE WORLD,
ACTUALLY.
SO THE U.S. IS MUCH LESS
SIGNIFICANT IN WORLD TRADE THAN
IT IS IN TERMS OF ITS ECONOMIC
SIZE.
SO IN FACT, THERE IS MULTIPLE
PLAYERS IN THE TRADE WAR, AND
WHAT WE'RE MISSING WHEN WE TALK
ABOUT JUST THE U.S.-CHINA IS
THAT THERE ARE OTHER REGIONS OF
THE WORLD WINNING FROM THE TRADE
WAR THAT ARE NEITHER THE U.S.
NOR CHINA.
AND I LIVE IN ONE OF THOSE
REGIONS, SOUTHEAST ASIA, RIGHT?
SOUTHEAST ASIA, 750 MILLION
PEOPLE, WHICH IS NOTHING TO
SNEEZE AT.
IT'S LARGER THAN THE ENTIRE
POPULATION OF THE EUROPEAN
UNION.
IT'S ONE OF THE FASTEST GROWING
ECONOMIC REGIONS OF THE WORLD.
IT HAS A LARGER GDP THAN INDIA
AND TO THE EXTENT WE'RE NOT
TALKING ABOUT CHINA, ALSO
TALKING ABOUT INDIA, BUT THE GDP
OF SOUTHEAST IS BIGGER THAN
INDIA'S GDP.
THAT LITTLE REGION GETS MORE
FOREIGN INVESTMENT THAN CHINA
DOES, AND THE AMOUNT OF
INVESTMENT IT'S RECEIVING IS
GROWING AND ACCELERATING BECAUSE
OF THE TRADE WAR, RIGHT?
SO IF WE TALK... IF WE NEGLECT
TO TALK ABOUT THE OTHER PARTS OF
ASIA, WE ACTUALLY FORGET THAT
THOSE REGIONS ARE WINNING FROM
THE TRADE WAR AND THEY SHOULD
BECOME AN EVEN BIGGER PART OF
THE STORY EVEN FASTER THAN THEY ARE.
THAT'S ONE EXAMPLE.

Nam says WE HAVE RUN OUT OF TIME.
IN THE BOOK YOU ARGUE THAT,
WELL, WE ALL KNOW WHAT'S
HAPPENING AROUND THE WORLD.
IT SEEMS LIKE WESTERN COUNTRIES
ARE PULLING BACK FROM
GLOBALIZATION BY CLOSING THEIR
BORDERS, BUT YOU ARGUE IN ASIA
THAT IT'S DIFFERENT, BORDERS ARE
ACTUALLY BEING OPENED.
IN WHAT WAY?

The caption changes to "Big power, big change?"

Parag says YES, I MENTIONED EARLIER THE
DEMOGRAPHIC FLOWS ABOUT YOUNG
ASIANS MOVING INTO AGING ASIAN
COUNTRIES.
SO THERE ARE MILLIONS AND
MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF ASIANS
CIRCULATING AMONGST EACH OTHER'S
COUNTRIES.
ALL ASIAN COUNTRIES ARE BRINGING
DOWN VISA RESTRICTIONS.
RIGHT?
THEY WANT MORE TOURISTS.
SO MANY DEVELOPING COUNTRIES,
WHETHER IT'S THAILAND OR
MALAYSIA OR OTHERS HAVE THESE
NEW INVESTOR RESIDENCY SCHEMES
OR ENTREPRENEUR SCHEMES.
COME YOUNG MILLENNIALS OF THE
WEST.
HERE'S FIVE YEARS.
COME AND LIVE, START A COMPANY,
HIRE SOME LOCALS, BRING YOUR
KNOWLEDGE AND TALENT.
AND JUST SHOW UP, RIGHT?
THAT'S OPENING BORDERS, RIGHT?
AND SO WHEREAS MILLIONS OF
PEOPLE IN THE WEST LIVE IN
COUNTRIES WHERE BORDERS MAY BE,
YOU KNOW, QUOTE UNQUOTE CLOSING.
BILLIONS OF PEOPLE LIVE IN ASIAN
COUNTRIES WHERE THE OPPOSITE IS
HAPPENING.
SO WHETHER WE'RE THINKING ABOUT
XENOPHOBIA OR POPULISM OR TRADE
PROTECTIONISM, LET'S REMEMBER
THAT THAT'S A VERY NARROW
CONVERSATION THAT APPLIES TO A
FEW COUNTRIES THAT ARE PROBABLY
MAKING REALLY BAD CHOICES FOR
THEIR FUTURE, LIKE THE U.K. AND
THE U.S.
THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO ASIA
WHERE THE GOVERNMENTS ARE A LOT
MORE PRAGMATIC, QUITE FRANKLY,
AND ARE DOING THE RIGHT THINGS
BY OPENING AND OPENING FURTHER.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live."

Nam says WHAT SHOULD WE, WHAT
SHOULD PEOPLE IN THE WEST DO TO
PREPARE FOR ASIA'S POWER IN THE FUTURE?

Parag says WELL, YOU KNOW, THERE IS
REALLY NO LONGER SUCH A THING AS
A COHERENT, UNITED WEST.
WHEN I THINK OF CANADA, FOR
EXAMPLE, I THINK OF A COUNTRY
THAT'S A LOT MORE LIKE WESTERN
EUROPE THAN IT IS LIKE THE
UNITED STATES IN TERMS OF YOUR
POLITICAL ECONOMY AND YOUR
WELFARE SYSTEM AND SO FORTH.
I THINK OF AMERICA AND THE U.K.
BEING IN A DIFFERENT SORT OF
CAMP AT THIS POINT.
SO YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE THINGS I
GO TO GREAT LENGTHS TO POINT OUT
AND DOCUMENT IN THE BOOK IS MY
CHAPTER ABOUT EUROPE.
AND I SAY EUROPE, WHICH REALLY
REPRESENTS THE WEST, AS MUCH AS
ANY OTHER PART OF THE WEST, IS
REALLY LEANING HEAVILY TOWARDS
ASIA, RIGHT?
THE EUROPEAN UNION TRADES WITH
ASIA 1.6 TRILLION DOLLARS A
YEAR.
THAT'S 500 BILLION DOLLARS A
YEAR MORE THAN IT TRADES WITH
THE U.S.

Nam says THAT'S LOTS OF MONEY.

Parag says THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY, AND IT
REALLY SHOWS THAT EUROPE, WHICH
WE COMPLETELY IGNORE BECAUSE
THEY MAY NOT BE ARTICULATING
THEIR POSITION WELL IN THE
ENGLISH LANGUAGE ON THE BBC OR
TVO, BUT WE DON'T LISTEN TO WHAT
GERMANS AND FRENCH AND ITALIANS
AND SPANISH ARE DOING.
THEY ARE ACTUALLY LEANING VERY
HEAVILY TOWARDS ASIA BECAUSE IT
SUITS THEIR ECONOMIC INTERESTS.
IT CREATES JOBS FOR THEM.
IT BOOSTS THEIR EXPORTS.
AND YES THEY HAVE TO DEAL WITH
THE CHALLENGES OF THE VALUE
SYSTEMS CLASHING, ESPECIALLY
WHEN THEY DEAL WITH CHINA.
BUT THEY HAVE STRONG POSITIONS
ON THAT.
YOU KNOW, THE GERMAN GOVERNMENT
IS NO LESS TOUGH IN CRITICIZING
CHINA THAN OTHER WESTERN
GOVERNMENTS ARE, BUT WE SHOULD
PAY ATTENTION TO THAT, BECAUSE
THEY ENGAGE AND CHALLENGE AT THE
SAME TIME.
RATHER THAN RETREATING AND
PULLING BACK THE WAY THE U.S.
HAS DONE WITH THE TPP AGREEMENT,
THE COMPREHENSIVE TRADE
AGREEMENT THAT CANADA AND MEXICO
VERY WISELY JOINED AND THE U.S.
DIDN'T.
SO I THINK THAT THERE IS NO ONE
WESTERN ANSWER.
THERE'S WHAT SMART WESTERN
COUNTRIES ARE DOING, AND I WOULD
LOOK AT GERMANY, CANADA AND
OTHER COUNTRIES AS BEING ON THE
SMART SIDE OF WHAT WESTERN
POWERS CAN DO TO ENGAGE
PRODUCTIVELY AND CONSTRUCTIVELY
WITH THIS RISING ASIA.

Nam says AND WITH LESS THAN A
MINUTE TO GO, WILL THE WEST
RESIST AN ASIAN WORLD ORDER?

Parag says IT'S NOT ABOUT RESISTING, RIGHT?
IT'S SORT OF LIKE GRAVITY.
WHEN YOU HAVE 5 BILLION PEOPLE,
THE MAJORITY OF THE WORLD'S
POPULATION FOR THE NEXT
GENERATIONS TO COME, GROWING
TOGETHER RAPIDLY REPRESENTING
THE MAJORITY OF THE THE WORLD'S
ECONOMIC GROWTH, EXPORT MARKETS,
THERE'S NO QUESTION THAT ASIA IS
GOING TO RISE NO MATTER WHAT YOU
DO OR SEEK TO PREVENT.
IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN, RIGHT?
THE QUESTION IS HOW DO YOU ADAPT
TO IT AND SHARE THE STAGE AND
BENEFIT FROM IT, RIGHT?
CANADA BENEFITS FROM GROWING
TRADE WITH CHINA.
IT BENEFITS FROM TALENTED
MIGRANTS COMING FROM ASIA,
RIGHT?
AND THAT'S WHAT WESTERN
COUNTRIES SHOULD DO, IS TO ADAPT
IN A WAY THAT BENEFITS THEM
RATHER THAN RESISTING SOMETHING
THAT SHOULDN'T BE RESISTED JUST
FOR THE SAKE OF RESISTING IT,
AND THAT'S KIND OF WHAT ONE
HEARS FROM WASHINGTON VERY
OFTEN.
I DON'T THINK THAT THOSE ARE
FOOTSTEPS YOU WANT TO FOLLOW IN.

Nam says SO COLLABORATION IS KEY?

Parag says ABSOLUTELY.

The caption changes to "Producer: Cara Stern, @carastern."

Nam says I HAVE SO MANY MORE
QUESTIONS TO ASK.
WE'VE RUN OUT OF TIME.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.
THIS BOOK IS SO INFORMATIVE.
I'VE LEARNED SO MUCH
THANK YOU FOR MAKING THE TIME TO
BE ON TVO.
THANK YOU.

Watch: The Asian World Order is Coming