For a very long time, the place of Asia in the world of trade has not been a very prominent one. The supremacy has always been claimed by the west. Things seem to be changing fast. The trends in the world have been that the one with the dollars determines pretty much what goes on in the world. The United States as well as Europe have been at the fore front in terms of the world economy and even claimed leadership roles on themselves. In the recent years however, Asian countries have come up in a big way in the world of trade. The amount of goods and services exported play a very great part in the determination of the gross domestic product. The west has been burning extra mid night oil in order to control the way this crucial issue moves. This is necessitated by the emerging competition for African markets, and the apparent success by the Asian giants with regard to African market control. The African as well as the Asian markets have been for quite a long time great consumers of western products, perhaps for lack of alternatives. However, the Asian products, especially from China, Japan and Singapore have really made the westerners hot under their seats. This sudden change of trends has given Asian a great new face. Slowly the Asian giants have been acknowledged as key players in the world economy. This study is interested in the industrialization of Asia and the significance of the same in international relations. Some of the issues to be discussed include: the implications of Asian industrialization for the World Trade Regime, the possible changes in the World Trade Organization as a result of this industrialization, and whether the West should do something in defense of their interests.
The Emerging New Order
In the current highly competitive and complex world, it is very difficult to have any one particular country as the exclusively dominant power. The super growth in technology has made this kind of a trend into a nightmare. The West must be hailed however, for the long grip it has had in the operations of the world. However, that time seems to be gone. The director of the World Trade Organization was quoted in July 2009, saying that the Asian markets were taking the leadership role in terms of economic growth. It seems that although the Asian markets have been hit by the recession, the effects have not been as strong as those felt in the United States and Europe. This leads to one big question: is Asia becoming the new global giant in trade? The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation members met in Singapore in July 2009 to discuss possible response to the crisis that has plagued the world. The aim was to come up with policies that would aid the recovery process both in the short and long term. It was noted that China was likely to lead the world in terms of export of merchandise. Germany still held the lead, although this seemed not sustainable considering the trends of trade in the European market. So many other Asian countries have recorded a remarkable growth, something that was not anticipated during the recession. Perhaps another reason which has put Asia on the progressive path is that it has not only the capacity to export, but the capacity to consume as well. This works well especially now that the global level of export has gone down, so as countries cry of bad economies, these Asian countries are not very badly off.
The Role of Asian Security in International Relations
One obvious thing in as far as security issues in Asia are concern is that this is a very delicate issue. The last few decades have been marred by international concern, particularly from the west. Several Asian countries have been allegedly producing highly sophisticated weapons. There has been Asia-Western conflict as a result of weapons developments. The west seems very uncomfortable with Asia accumulating weapons. Not so long ago for instance, the United States led an offensive against Iraq on allegation that it was had amassed weapons capable to destroy a lot of people. As a nation advances however, there often is a perceived threat and the needs to self protect which prompts the concerned nation to accumulate weapons. North Korea, Iraq, and Iran have been in the news very often showing the existing conflict between the west and some of the Asian countries. The west perceives the threat caused by accumulation of deadly long range weapons. These nations among others feel on the other hand, that this is one way of capturing the attention of the long time world powers. Of course this trend threatens international security, and the perception the world has of the Asia countries. Terrorism has also become almost identical with Asia. Whenever one speaks of terrorism, many think of an Asian. This is perhaps because most of those involved are of Asian origin. This has made the relationship between Asia and the rest of the world, especially the western world very difficult. For any meaningful development to take place there must be a guarantee that investments are secure. If there are any threats, real or imagined, potential investors are likely to shy away; this is even more so with regard to industrial developments. Often some of the products from Asia have been banned by the European and American markets. The United States for example has banned the importation of any products from Kuwait and Iran. This is because of the bad relations that have existed with these countries. Therefore even as Asia becomes industrialized, there still are challenges it has to deal with, especially security related issues. There still are economic divide issues to deal with in terms of the relation between South Korea, Japan and China, and between India and Pakistan.