Kishore Mahbubani, Singapore’s distinguished former ambassador to the UN, argues in his new book that due to some strategic mistakes the West has made, “a cycle of Western domination of the world is coming to a natural end.” The “Rest,” as he terms the non-West, is on the rise. China and India stand particularly prominent in his narrative. So has the West lost it or not? Is a new world order rising? Kishore Mahbubani himself, who is now a professor at the National University of Singapore, and a Chunqiu Senior Fellow at the China Institute of Fudan University, joined The Point to discuss his ideas.
Has The West Lost It? A Provocation by Kishore Mahbubani
The West's centuries-old status as the center of global wealth and power is coming to an end. As the new powers—China and India from Asia and others from Africa and Latin America—rise to the top of the world's pecking order, how should the West react? Kishore Mahbubani argues passionately and provocatively that the West can no longer impose its power and ideals on the world at large, and—paradoxically—that only by admitting its decline can the West set itself up for strategic success in the long term. Mahbubani examines the myths and self-delusions of Western power with an outsider's critical eye, and the shocking freshness of his geopolitical analysis will give all Westerners and political thinkers pause for thought.
Kishore Mahbubani - New World Order: What Has The West Lost?
My book is actually a gift to the west because I'm a recap the rest to a new reality that is 200 year period of Western domination of world history since 1820 was a major historical aberration because of the human land to the 1820 for eighteen hundred out of the last two dozen years. The two largest economies were always those of China and India and so it was actually natural that the abberation would end perfectly natural that China and India would return. And unfortunately the West doesn't understand that this is happening. So my my book is intended as a wakeup call to the west saying Wake up it's a new world coming and if you don't wake up you will lose it. Well what do you mean by the West you mean the Western mind the Western world the Western governments the Western people the western ideology what exactly. I'm counting I would say we often under estimate how cohesively the West works as the political and economic block and of course so when I speak about the West I mean primarily North America United States and Canada and of course the European Union and you can add in Australia New Zealand if you want. So this block has been very cohesive as you know during the Cold War and develop a very strong kind of political and economic unity that carried on after the Cold War ended.
I think you want to understand why Russia is such an angry country today is because the West Europe and America combine unwisely expanded knaidel into the formless basis of the Soviet Union going against explicit assurances that were given to Gorbachev by the father Bush administration and by the European leaders. And that's that's an example of how the West acts cohesively and unwisely since the end of the Cold War. Why are you calling it a provocation. If it is a gift. Well I think that to be honest for you that was a choice of my publisher Penguin. And is it OK you might have the books of it. But it is both. How do you say provocative in the sense that it's intended to wake up the West get it out of its comfort zones and get a goal of helping the West adjust in a death to a different world. Well I think a lot of people would disagree with you on many of those things but first of all what you just said about India and China having always been a more dominant or more powerful countries. What gives you the confidence. And this is going to happen is simply because we are in favor of it. It is not going to happen. It has happened today already in purchasing power parity terms and to give you an example. In 1980 the United States share of the global GNP in TPP terms are 25 percent. And China's share was less than it was two point two percent less than one tenth of the United States. But in 2014 four years ago the Chinese share began bigger than the United States. So we will already seen it happen really in DPP terms and we will see it happening in nominal terms.
So today if you look at the four largest economies in the world in TPP terms number one is China and the United States. Number three is India and Japan are the four largest economies in the world already now not a hundred years ago. That wasn't true. See how much we have changed but if you talk and you are talking about this PPTA PKP turns people still are not very familiar and people would not agree they would still think that China is the number two economy and is going to take decades. Now some say 10 years some say 20 30 years until the United States and China catches up with the United stand. And also we talk about per capita terms. There's still a big gap there. How do you how do you look at that. Well you know the most important thing when you look at these things is not really is that moment in time is the trends. Where will we be 10 years from now 20 years from now. Yes and No. And even PricewaterhouseCoopers has predicted that by 2050 you don't want to accept people who don't take nominal terms by 2050 nominal terms. China will be number one. India the United States I mean obviously so even in nominal terms big changes are happening so.