Foreign Policy Blogs

Asia's Rise, Re-examined

The much heralded Asian Century is upon us. Or so at least pundits and scholars would have us thinking. Through numerous books (When China Rules the World: the End of the Western World and the New Global Order), articles (Next Hot Language to Study: Chinese), op-eds (Welcome To The Asian Century By 2050), and strategic reports (Mapping the Global Future), commentators  have long trumpeted the 21st century as belonging to the region clearly on the rise, propelled and fueled by the ascendant China and India.

Hans Rosling, the venerated doctor and researcher, has recently chimed in with a fresh, incisive take on the issue. According to Rosling, China and India will overtake the U.S. in terms of per capita income in July, 2048. Serious questions of his methodology notwithstanding, Rosling asks and (sometimes) answers some important questions: What does the history of Asia’s decline teach us about its rise? Will Western nation’s allow this rise to happen peacefully? What fuels China’s growth? And India’s? Are such predictions a fool’s errand?

See for yourself.

Perhaps this video better belongs in the Rising Powers blogs at FPA, but I couldn’t help but share it here.



David Fedman

David Fedman is a PhD student in the History Department of Stanford University where he focuses on modern Japanese and Korean history. He lives in San Francisco, California.