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Jakarta Post

Australia’s destiny in the Asian Century (Part 1 of 2 )

  • Kishore Mahbubani

PREMIUM
Canberra   /   Fri, September 7 2012   /  10:26 am

By the logic of geography, the continent of Australia should have been populated with Asians. Instead, by an accident of history, Australia has been predominantly populated with Westerners. This historical accident is now coming to an end.

The past two centuries of Western domination of world history have been a major historical aberration because from the year 1 to the year 1820, the two largest economies in the world were always Asian (China and India). All historical aberrations come to a natural end. We will return soon to the Asian century, if not the Asian millennium.

The one country that will have to make the most painful adjustment to the Asian century is undoubtedly Australia. As Western power slowly but steadily recedes from Asia, Australia could well be left beached, together with New Zealand, as the sole Western entity in Asia. Today, Australia is naturally cli...