Friday, August 4, 2017

Gideon Rachman

Gideon Rachman is the Financial Times's chief foreign affairs columnist and author of the book Easternization: Asia's Rise and America's Decline from Obama to Trump and Beyond. From the transcript of his Q&A with Fareed Zakaria:

ZAKARIA: What you do in the book is you describe how already, on the ground, foreign policy is changing; international politics is changing. And in particular, the rise of China has really transformed international politics, which used to be, for the last 20 or 30 years, you know, single-pole -- unipolar -- the United States running everything. China is now increasingly assertive, right?

RACHMAN: Yeah. I think it's -- it's both a phenomenon mainly in Asia, but also it has global ramifications. I mean, in Asia itself, particularly with the coming of Xi Jinping to power in 2012, you definitely get a more assertive China, a China that most obviously has started building these islands in the South China Sea to reinforce its very controversial claims there.

And this slightly confused reaction of the U.S. of how much can they push back told you something. China has got away with something, and everyone had, sort of, noted that.

But also, I found in my travels around the world -- because I've got this, sort of, global politics job, that people are beginning to, sort of, factor the rise of Asia, the rise of China, into their thinking.

So just to give you a couple of examples, in Turkey, which is a country which, for 100 years, has just seen its destiny as Europe, essentially -- they've begun to, sort of, re-think the way they look at the world and say, "Well, maybe Europe's not where it's at; maybe Asia is where it's at."

And even Russia, in their post-Crimea break with the West -- you talk to Russian intellectuals after that, they would say, "You know, maybe it was a mistake to think that we would converge with the West; we're in some ways an Asian nation as well." And they're looking to build a special relationship with a resurgent China.

So it's affecting the whole of global politics.

ZAKARIA: And you point out that even Western countries are much more aware of their Eastern destinies, so that Germany -- the largest trading partner for Germany now is not the United States but China.

RACHMAN: Absolutely. And I think that, you know, Merkel ...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue