Open Forum

After World War II, the structure of geopolitical competition changed. New economic strategies created extraordinarily high growth rates that enabled countries to become major powers quickly by focusing on economic development. Exceptionally destructive new military technologies made traditional geopolitical strategies, organized around military power and territorial expansion, very dangerous and expensive. The leading powers, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, the United States, and eventually China, became those who exploited the new economic opportunities most successfully. As a result, Asia enjoyed half a century of more stable domestic politics, regional peace despite local upheavals, and, perhaps, the most extraordinary improvement in living conditions in human history. But the new century brought a weakening of economic-oriented strategies in Japan, the United States, and China and a corresponding worsening of traditional geopolitical tensions. More recently, Japan has embarked on one of the greatest economic gambles in history, China is attempting to rejuvenate economic reform at home and geoeconomics abroad, while the United States struggles to revive its domestic economy and pursue trade liberalization despite partial immobilization by a polarized Congress.

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