Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Asia Times on an East Asian Superstate

Asia Times had a thought provoking commentary on the possibilities of political union in Asia.

And the continuing polycentricism of Europe helps to make a continent-wide bloc possible. Four or five major European countries are more or less equal in size and economic potential: for example, there are 60 million French, 82 million Germans, 58 million Italians and 60 million British. The economic potential of major European countries is roughly similar as well. In the case of Germany, the largest country and most powerful economy of the EU, its population forms only 18% of the EU total, and its gross domestic product (GDP) (purchasing power adjusted) is 21% of the EU total. This ratio means that in spite of German, French or British prominence, the EU could not be merely an appendage to Germany, France or Great Britain.

In East Asia, the picture is very different. Currently, in this "Confucian region" there are six independent states - the People's Republic of China, the Republic of China (Taiwan), Japan, North and South Korea and Vietnam - with a population of some 1.6 billion. This has long been the case. Since the rise of the Tang dynasty, the number of independent states in the Confucian world could normally be expressed in one-digit figures.

5 comments:

Sun Bin said...

very unlikely.

but a common market like the EEC could be feasible.

Sun Bin said...

however, a "union against of small states" is also hard to maintain, as history has demonstrated.
(warring states in China, and also loose alliances in ancient greece), simply because there are too much difference and tendency for some to cheat.

Michael Turton said...

I agree. One also thinks of Kenya-Tanzania and the East African Union that failed, the various attempts at Arab and S American unity....

rmdazwdv said...

How does this guy define "six independent states"? I can see that North Korea and Myanmar may not make the short list, but why not Thailand? Because its a kingdom? Singapore is out too? Too much like a sultanate? Anyway, it all seems like a long shot.

Joe said...

The historical note seems suspect, given that many places in East Asia didn't have "state" governments, as we would recognize, until modern times...