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Opinion | China, ASEAN seen propelling global growth – When China does well

By Augustus K. Yeung

When China does well, the world should rejoice. Sadly, this is not the case. Why?

In the age of misinformation and disinformation, the United States and its Western allies think ideologically. They have reacted with fear and started to launch smearing campaigns against China, which has had a century of humiliation at the hands of Imperialists, Colonialists and Capitalists.

Now that China is rising, these foreign countries are trying every means to stall the rise of a modern nation that thinks the world is not properly governed and that it is trying to sensitize other nations to not subscribe to the traditional ways of Western dominance.

Since the announcement of the Biden administration that it would pivot to the Asia-Pacific, and that it would defend the interests of its allies East and West, the tensions between China and the Trump-bewitched U.S. have been going up and up, leading to a point that worries stakeholders, notably the ASEAN bloc which is caught between two jealous lovers competing for attention, affiliation and affection.

Under the circumstance, it's best listening to the leaders of the ASEAN bloc, observers and analysts for informative opinions and experienced-based judgments.

Southeast Asia and China are together poised to become one of the key drivers of the world economy – following their commitments at last year's ASEAN summit, analysts say.

The 4th Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit concluded last September in Jakarta, Indonesia, with the adoption of the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on the region as "epicentrum of growth".

Note: China participated in several summit meetings.

"It is probable that in the future the growth center will relocate – to the Asia-Pacific region, and eventually the region will take over the position of the United States and Europe – and become a place of developed countries," said the dean of the school of economics at the Tarumanagara University in Indonesia.

"If China's economic power is put together with the power of the ASEAN's economy, it would not be an exaggeration to say that China and ASEAN will be the leaders of global economic growth, while the US economy and the European economy will see low growth and will continue to slow down," the scholar added.

Geoffrey Williams, professor and dean of the Institute of Postgraduate Studies at the Malaysia University of Science and Technology, said the US and Europe were once viewed as the engines of the global economy (per capita incomes and huge consumer demand).

However, the trend has changed – as there's a shift in global demand, with China, India and ASEAN collectively providing big markets.

"Although per capita incomes (in developing Asia) are lower, the billions of consumers make these very large markets," Williams said – adding that the nations are benefiting from the high growth, relatively young populations and educated workforces.

"China is of course a major economic force not just in Asia but globally. It will remain a major force – because of its size and growth – as well as its influence politically and through the Belt and Road (Initiative) investments. In this way China can support ASEAN – through trade and investment," he said.

Josua Pardede, chief economist at the Permata Bank in Jakarta, said China and ASEAN's growth is "interdependent" – because China is a major trade partner and investment source for ASEAN.

Chinese investment focuses on the manufacturing sector, establishing an industrial supply chain in the region and spurring growth, he added.

IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, in her report delivered at the plenary session of the summit, said ASEAN countries are contributing 10 percent to global growth, or more than twice their weight in the global economy.

Erica Tay, an economist at Malaysia's Maybank Investment Banking Group, said people and technology are the two forces propelling Southeast Asian growth – in the next decade.

She said Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia are poised to reap demographic dividends – thanks to their sizable and growing working-age populations.

"As wages rise and more workers enter the ranks of the middle class, Southeast Asia will also come into its own as a key consumer market," Tay said, adding that advances in connectivity will allow ASEAN countries to overcome geographical barriers.

"There is immense scope for China and ASEAN economies to work together in their areas. Southeast Asian firms can learn from China's leading companies, not just in terms of their technological prowess."

Hafidzi Razali, director of Bower-GroupAsia, said China can support ASEAN by offering funding, project expertise and knowledge transfer.

Williams from Malaysia added that ASEAN's growth must be broad based, and that the region also must nurture trade with the US, Europe, the Middle East and India. (Source: China Daily)

Having listened to the leaders and experts on the performance and development of China and the ASEAN countries, it is now time to seriously consider their advice.

In the context of Xi Jinping’s current visits to Europe, Professor Williams’s advice is especially relevant. China and ASEAN should venture into Europe, the Middle East and India.

It is no point counting on short term economic cooperation from the United States, which for now is busy with infighting – between the two rival parties – with the president and the former president going for each other's jugular.

So far, Joe Biden, the incumbent has not come up with an economic plan that the ASEAN countries and China can seek consolation in, or reason to rejoice over. The United States' activities have up to the present moment been political, and showing off its military might in its preponderance as a "protector", enjoying "freedom of navigation" in the South China Sea.

China and the ASEAN bloc can safely set the U.S. aside until after its presidential election.

Summarily, they should placate Europe, which is currently undergoing a nightdare, earnestly hoping to push away the kiss of death, with reference to the destructive, destabilizing and deadly Ukraine war – that has been wrecking economic havoc in the European continent.


The views do not necessarily reflect those of DotDotNews.

To contact the writer, please direct email: AugustusKYeung@ymail.com

Read more articles by Augustus K. Yeung:

Opinion | When TSMC is lured by Biden, Washington gets credit, how's Beijing taking it?

Opinion | Xi-Biden talks seal vision and mission: basis for binding ties

Opinion | Chinese FM Wang Yi visits Cambodia – Beijing's best ASEAN ally

Opinion | Is there a shift in Chinese diplomacy? It must be more proactive


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