Thursday, April 10, 2008

Asia Wary of a Democratic Regime?

"Democracy at work is riveting. In Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and
John McCain, America has produced three remarkable candidates. It's
not surprising that a recent BBC World Service global survey showed
positive views of the United States increasing for the first time in
years. The rise was to 35 percent from 31 percent a year earlier.
Negative views fell to 47 percent from 52 percent," says Roger Cohen
in a New York Times ediorial today. However, he believes that Asia is
wary of a democratic government coming to power.

He writes, " Asia, there's a different view. The three largest
powers — China, India and Japan — have all had reasons to view Bush
with favor, and all have nagging fears about a Democratic
administration. At a deeper level, they've felt comfortable enough
with a United States playing power politics, while that
strut-your-stuff style has appalled consensus-driven Europeans.

I don't mean the Iraq invasion pleased Asians. It didn't. But China
and India rising see the world more in terms of classic
balance-of-power equations, driven by the might and self-interest of
nations, than through the post-sovereign European prism of
international institution-building and soft power. Already, China and
India are jostling for dominance, not least in the Indian Ocean and

Read the full essay at --

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