Trilateral Joseph Nye: ‘The Future Is Not Asian’

Joseph NyePhoto by Emily Hey
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Trilateral Commission member Joseph Nye disputes Parag Khanna’s latest book, “The Future is Asian.” That may be easier to say after the Coronavirus outbreak that is crippling China and breaking the global supply chain.

Nye was formerly Chairman of the North American Committee of the Trilateral Commission, and remains an active member today. ⁃ TN Editor

Asia’s rapid economic growth and deepening interconnectedness have given rise to the theory that the region will supplant the U.S. as the world’s dominant force in the 21st century.

But America’s leading position remains secure, Joseph Nye, a leading American expert on international relations and national security, told Nikkei. This comes despite the fading of its soft power — the attractiveness of its culture, values and policies — under President Donald Trump, Nye said.

A Harvard University professor emeritus and former dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, Nye, 83, served as assistant secretary of defense for international security under President Bill Clinton.

“The U.S. remains the strongest country in hard power,” Nye said. “For all that China has grown economically, it’s still basically two-thirds of the U.S. economy, at [current] exchange rates. And in military power, it doesn’t equal the U.S. in any way.

“The U.S. remains the only country with global capacity in hard power, and in soft power the U.S. still does better than China,” he said, citing a survey by British research firm Portland that puts America in the top five and China in 27th place.

Asia’s larger role on the global stage in recent years, thanks partly to the rapid economic growth of countries like China and India, has led some geopolitical analysts to argue that the region will take on the leading role now held by the West. Indian-American analyst Parag Khanna predicted the “Asianization” of the world in his book “The Future is Asian.”

Nye does not entirely disagree with this view. “I wrote already 10 years ago, in my book, ‘The Future of Power,’ that one of the great power shifts of the 21st century is the shift of the economic center of the globe from Europe to Asia, or from the Western to the Eastern Hemisphere,” he said.

However, Nye went on, this does not mean Asia can or will create a united front to take on the West.

“When you talk about Asia, you’re talking about many countries. You’re talking about China, Japan, India and so forth,” and the ability of the U.S. to organize itself politically and militarily cannot be compared to that of an entire heterogeneous region, he said.

“The dividing line is not between Asia and the West, if you talk about values — the dividing line is between authoritarians and democracies,” Nye argued, citing Japan and India as examples of the latter.

“If you asked, ‘Will there be an authoritarian alliance in Asia, led by China?,’ I think not, because Japan and India don’t want to succumb either to [Chinese] values or to Chinese determination in the balance of power,” he said.

And “if the Japanese and the Americans stay together in their security alliance, China can’t dictate to Japan,” he said.

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Another exercise in deflection. The US v China meme is there to keep our eye off the ball as it is kicked ever nearer to the NWO objective of global government with technocrats at the helm. Both the communist and capitalist giants are in the same harness, with most of their civilian populations wearing blinkers obligingly fashioned by the corporate-owned mass media. Keep lifting the lid on this sewer, Patrick!


In 100 years, I believe nations will be different in nature and character than they are today. I believe they will not seek so much to outdo each other as they are today. Nor overpower each other either militarily or economically as they are today. As the world becomes more evenly prosperous, I believe many of the tensions that exist today will diminish.
This is what I believe and … well … what do I know? What does anybody know …. either for the better or for the worse?