As we approach the millennial year 2000,
there seems to be a general expectation that the
twenty-first century will be the Pacific Century.
After about two thousand years of European centered civilization as we know it (in philosophy, religion, and science) and five hundred years of European and then American economic and political dominance, will the
center of gravity and the new tidal forces move to the Pacific, as once they had been concentrated in the Mediterranean and then
shifted to the Atlantic rim? Much of this expectation arises from the fact that in 1960, 4 percent of the world’s GNP was generated by the East Asian economies, that in 1990 this rose to 25 percent, and by the year 2000 this may well be 33 1/3 percent.
Yet given this fact, the question may be raised whether economic might translates itself into political and military and cultural leadership,
or despite China’s still growing so rapidly (though inflation prone), whether the curve of Asian economic activity may not be reaching
an asymptote, a ceiling that suggests a slowdown in the future.
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