There is increasing emphasis in the news of the economic arena shifting to the East. The Sleeping Giant has awakened and with him all his neighbours.
According to Western economists China is arising as the number one and most powerful economy in the world. Even more daring is the attitude of China, arguing that it is not going to be the financial saviour of the planet; and its navy getting involved in a recent skirmish with the US navy in relation to the maritime control of the South China Sea and disputes with Japan. Is China developing an imperialist appetite?
How has the change in international order happened? Has the concept of state eclipsed and borders have been blurred by multinationals. Are these borderless international companies delineating the new geographical areas and financing new emerging powers? Have we given priority to economic greed, to the detriment of human rights; a greed that fails to observe the international treaties that respect human rights?
Australia wishes to improve trade, investment, cultural exchange and maintain a good political relationship with China. Like many other countries, it does not want to miss out on this most lucrative market.
Will the future show China as a commanding force in political geography on this side of the planet or will Western countries, among them their usual leader USA, try to balance the power again. We still remember the subdivision of colonies after the British Empire, the World War II conflict and its direct post-war consequences for most countries, the Cold War, the fight between capitalist countries and communist countries, and the more recent religious conflicts and terrorist attacks. There seems to be two different approaches in this regard, one from the West condemning terrorism, and a different one from the East, allowing it to happen.
In the pursuit of growing economic relationships, will democratic governments turn a blind eye to the violations of human rights and freedom of expression in developing economies or will those practices be justified just as different kinds of view and values?
The rich cultural diversity between countries is slowly disappearing, leaving a landscape of very similar behaviours, goods, and lifestyle - even cities are becoming more alike. While every country is competing for access to limited resources, tension is increasing in the international political arena. At the same time, far from repair, damage is being made to the planet’s environment, and yet there are no talks of how to coordinate efforts to guarantee a fair share of resources and use of renewable energies, that under a more strict control could be exercised internationally.
Alec will present this topic and will encourage participation from the audience.
Alec (founder of The Philosopher's Corner)