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The Coming Asian Century: Challenges for the West

  • Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building 54 Lincolns Inn Fields London WC2A 3LJ United Kingdom (map)

In the 19th century, the world was Europeanized. In the 20th century, it was Americanized. Now, in the 21st century, the world is being irreversibly Asianized. The “Asian Century” is even bigger than you think. Far greater than just China, the new Asian system taking shape is a multi-civilizational order spanning Saudi Arabia to Japan, and Russia to Australia—linking five billion people through trade, finance and infrastructure networks that together represent 40 percent of global GDP. China has taken a lead in building the new Silk Roads across Asia, but it will not lead it alone. Rather, Asia is returning to the stable multipolar order that existed long before European colonialism and American dominance, with India and Southeast Asia coming into their own as economic and strategic hubs. The world has gotten used to hearing “America First”—but is it ready for “Asia First”? Get ready to see the world, and the future, from the Asian point-of-view.

Yu Jie (@Yu_JieC) is the China Research Fellow at Chatham House, focusing on the decision-making process of Chinese foreign policy as well as China’s economic diplomacy. She speaks and writes frequently at major media outlets such as BBC and Financial Times; and regularly briefs senior policy practitioners from the EU institutions, the UK Cabinet Office, and the Silk Road Fund in Beijing, as well as major corporates. Yu Jie has testified at the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, and was also head of China Foresight at LSE IDEAS. Prior to LSE, she was a management consultant, specializing in Chinese state-owned enterprises investments in Europe and Chinese market entry strategies for European conglomerates at the London Office of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. Dr Yu has been recognized as a 'Leading Woman' of the London School of Economics, and remains an associate of LSE IDEAS.

Parag Khanna (@paragkhanna) is a global strategy advisor and author. He is Founder & Managing Partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario based strategic advisory firm. He is author of a trilogy of books on the future of world order beginning with The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (2008), followed by How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance (2011), and concluding with Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization (2016). He is also author of Technocracy in America: Rise of the Info-State (2017) and co-author of Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (2012). In 2008, Parag was named one of Esquire’s “75 Most Influential People of the 21st Century,” and featured in WIRED magazine’s “Smart List.” He holds a PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Bachelors and Masters degrees from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. 

Gideon Rachman (@gideonrachman) is Chief Foreign Affairs Commentator at the Financial Times.

LSE IDEAS (@lseideas) is LSE's foreign policy think tank. We connect academic knowledge of diplomacy and strategy with the people who use it.