The East Asia Essay
The East Asia is basically an Asian sub region. In geographical sense, the East Asia is known to have 12,000,000 km2 under its expanse. This is equivalent to 28% of the Asian continent. This also means that the East Asia outdoes Europe geographically by 15%. Asia also enjoys a large population, given that it hosts a population that is equivalent to that of a quarter of the world’s population. Many communities at the same time continue to be part and parcel of the East Asia.
Some of these societies are Mainland China, Japan, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Macau, Taiwan, South Korea and North Korea. The capital cities that are under the jurisdiction of the East Asia are Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul, Taipei, Pyongyang and Ulan Bator. The major cities that fall under the East Asia are Hong Kong, Yokohama, Busan, Kaohsiung, shanghai, Osaka and Guangzhou, among others. At times, the East Asia is also referred to as North East Asia so that it includes the Southeast Asia (Holvin and Mandy, 2001). On the other hand, Europe conventionally stands out as a continent.
Europe consists of the Eurasian westernmost Peninsula, being apportioned from the Asian continent to the east by the Ural Mountains’ water divide such as the Ural River and the Caspian Sea. It is also partitioned to the southeast by the Caucasus Mountains. To the north of Europe, there is the Arctic Ocean, to the south, the Mediterranean Sea, to the west, the Atlantic Ocean and to the southeast, the black sea, and other water bodies that connect the Mediterranean to Europe. Being the second smallest continent, the continent covers 10,180,000 km2.
This is equivalent to 2% of the earth’s total surface. However, the demographics of Europe makes up for it, given the fact that it is the third most populous continent in the world, following after Asia and Africa. Numerically, Europe’s population translates to approximately 11% of the global population, although the UN estimates that this demographic status of Europe is likely to take a plunge by 4% by the year 2050. The largest cities in Europe are Moscow, Istanbul, London, Madrid, Saint Petersburg, Rome, Berlin, Athens and Kiev, among others (United Nations, 2003).
Bautista (2000) points out that presently, the East Asia’s economy has been growing by leaps and bounds, compared to that of Europe that seems to be stagnant. For instance, whereas the economic growth of Europe from 2005 to 2006 is said to have been 2. 1%, that of East Asia is known to have hit the 5% mark, in this same period alone. While this can be thought to be dismal, yet, when this is compared to the fact that in the 90s this figure would be limited to 1.
01%, it can be easily deduced that East Asia seems to be expediting its economic growth with more vigor than her counterpart Europe (Foders, 1998). The above situation has led to speculations and prognosis by economic pundits that it is only a matter of time when East Asia will outshine Europe’s economy. The above debate of East Asia’s economic growth’s proclivity to overtake that of Europe is therefore tackled in this paper by looking not just at the current growth rate of these blocks, but by also analyzing other factors that underpin both domestic and international trade.
In the first place, apart from the four Asian Tigers (otherwise known as Asian Tiger Nations), the majority of the Asian nations are not highly industrialized or completely developed. This means that these Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in East Asia have to remain reliant on the external aid. Fingleton (2003) says that ever since the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of Cold War, there came about a new wave of political and economic systems that seemed to insinuate that the US emerged as a winner of the then just- ended war.
This is to the effect that majority of the countries globally assimilated capitalism as the chief mode of economic production and democracy as the way of politics and government, whereas on the other hand, the cause of communism and socialism seemed to have waned. As if this is not enough, because of the huge financial pool of resources, majority of countries turned to America and her allies for economic help and political advice. However, it is unfortunate that America and Europe are the most developed in the world.
Even the communist Russia and Germany fall under the domains of Europe. However, it is true that since the economic powerhouses were mainly US or Western Europe, it became expedient that these nations seek intervention from these quarters of the world. At the same time, it became expedient that these two quarters formalize the course of offering financial assistance to these countries so as to bury any indications of neocolonialism by creating the two Breton woods institutions- the International Monetary Funds (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) (Wendy, 2000).
East Asian economic pundits maintain that it is these institutions that have continued to derail the cause of economic growth in the region. For instance, based on the policies of International Trade, the two institutions maintained that it was inevitable that the countries in the East Asia open up their markets to allow the globalisation of trade. The problem with this is that by that time, East Asian nations have not been industrialised, while on the other hand, the US, UK and countries in Western Europe had already undergone industrial revolution (Gill and Kharas, 2006).
Shinn (1998) posits that the above condition led to a situation whereby the East Asian countries were flooded by exotic products that were of superior value and minimal prices as these highly industrialised countries were able to produce surplus products. This causes an industrial slump as the locally manufactured products became overwhelmed by the cheap, second hand but superior products, causing spiraling effects and foreclosures of local industries, especially in the fabric, cotton, and foods and beverages industries. At the same time, this only means that these countries were to remain dependent dumping sites for the US and the West.
Isaac (2000) says that at the same time, majority of the developing nations in East Asia are still suffering from the resultant industrial foreclosures as unemployment and losses of jobs became the order of the day. With unemployment being a major problem, other factors such as insecurity and lawlessness from the unemployed youth searching for means of livelihood crept in and scared off active investors from these countries. The fact that these governments are deprived their means of local livelihood also cannot be gainsaid (US Congress, 2003).
In about the same wavelength, it is still a World Trade Organization post DOHA construction that all participants were to ensure equal competition by making sure that all the interactions on international trade are bereft of the exaction of international trade. However, this did and does not auger well for East Asian countries given the fact that these countries are economic fledglings and as such, were highly dependent on the exaction of trade tariffs as a source of income. The reversal of the exaction of tariffs has only been succeeding in depriving these nations of sources of domestic income.
Francks et al (1999), say that the DOHA reconstructions at the same time made stipulations that these governments (including the rest of the LDCs) are not to lend subsidies to the farmers. Joseph and Michael (2007) maintain that the WTO DOHA reconstructions maintained that this was an artifice to ensure that farmers were at par in this international trade competition. Nevertheless, it is sad that this only succeeded in eradicating the domestic farmers out of this trade as the cost of fertilizers, research, hybrid seeds, livestock insemination became too much for them to handle by themselves.
To this effect, the main beneficiary remains the farmer in the developed economies or Europe who is already skilled and has larger financial pool to afford farming incentives. These LDCs in East Asia remains shortchanged in international sector (Pain, N. 2004). It is no wonder that on January 11th, 2005, riots erupted in Cancun, Philippines and in other numerous pockets of LDCs as farmers and locals in all LDCs took to the streets in protest of these unrealistic WTO Objectives.
According to Matthew (2003), this came in the wake of revelations that the Bush Administration had already raked 25 billion dollars in one decade, whereas the LDCs were making losses out of international trade in the agricultural sector. Western (2000) says that it is also an observation that in the international trade, it is a principle that the respective governments are to allow for a laissez faire condition to exist. This means that the governments are to cede away the power to regulate the prices of commodities.
On the contrary, it is those who deal in the production and distribution of such products that are to set the prices thereof. This concept of market fundamentalism is still being misused by these market forces as they up the prices on poor defenseless populations. The stipulations that had been introduced by the IMF and the WB as the panacea to the East Asian LDCs did not ameliorate matters either. In order to assuage the widespread poverty that was threatening to smother these LDCs, it was proposed by the IMF and WB that the LDCs ratify the policies known as Cost Sharing (Columbus, 2000).
To this effect, these East Asian LDCs were to attenuate the volume of financial pool being channeled towards the educational sector. The amount of loans and incentives being issued to fund tertiary levels of learning were to be cut down. The above resulted into a situation whereby university education became a preserve of the rich as those who were poor could no longer fund their educational programmes. For the first time, in 1991, students in these countries were being dismissed from the universities on account of not having cleared fee payment.
As far as the East Asian LDCs are concerned, the situation still persists, leading to massive brain drain (Martin, 2002). Nevertheless, as far as the Europe and the US are concerned, gains are being realised from the above impasse in the educational sector as mass exodus of East Asian students for oversee education continues to see the best of intellectual potential go to Europe or the US (Neuhaus, 2006). These, after being trained, are offered jobs in these foreign countries and accorded a status of citizenship.
There is no regional block or economy that can thrive outside the reality of sound educational logistics or skilled minds. The above situation means that Europe continues to realize positive proceeds out of East Asian LDCs’ woes. As a matter of fact, it is argued by international economic pundits such as Rodrigo (2001) that there is a rather stark incongruence that is defined by losses on one side, and benefits on the other, and that it is out of East Asian LDCs’ economic losses that Europe realizes its profitability.
Political economists such as Crafts and Toniolo (1998) posit that it is East Asian LDCs’ woes that make these LDCs to depend on Europe, as Europe finds the chance to exploit these LDCs. Conclusion Political scientists and economists argue that despite the hard work and resilience that the comparatively enormous East Asian population may bring, and the large pool of resources that these countries may own, there is no way the Tiger Nations and the countries in East Asia will grow to overtake Europe.
It is postulated by these groups that the only way out of the stalemate is for these East Asian countries to change their trading partners. To this effect, all the LDCs that lie within the East Asia are to trade and borrow ideas from leading countries in Asia such as China. This proposition is feasible since the Banana Republics that have turned to China are getting better ever since the onset the 21st century. The other recourse is for East Asian countries to table their plight in the oncoming post DOHA reconstructions.
These countries must remind the WTO council that they are highly dependent on small scale agriculture and that there is no way these small scale farmers can carry out agricultural activities without government support. At the same time, the WTO council must be reminded that there is no way in which small nations in East Asia can realize any profitability if tariffs are not exacted on well off to do countries in Europe.
Bautista, R. , East Asian poverty alleviation and economic growth, Southeast Asian Studies Institute, 2000.Crafts, N. and G. Toniolo, Europe’s economic growth, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1998. Columbus, F. , Economic and political issues on Asia, Colombia, Nova Science, 2000. Francks, P. , et al, The relationship between agriculture and economic development in East Asia, New York, London, 1999. Fingleton, B. , Europe and regional economic growth, Ashgate Publishing, Berlin, 2003. Foders, F. , European capitalism and world economic growth, California University Press, California, 1998. Gill, I. and H.
Kharas, East Asian ideas for economic growth, World Bank, 2006. Holvin, R. and R. Mandy, Unequal economic relations and economic stagnation, Blackwell, Birmingham, 2001. Isaac, T. , International trade after Cold War, Prentice Hall, New York, 2000. Joseph, C. and M. Michael, WTO and East Asian Economic Growth, John Wiley and Sons, 2007. Martin, P. , World Trade Reconstructions, WTO, 2002. Matthew, C. , European and East Asian economic growth, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003. Neuhaus, M. , Economic growth between Europe and East Asia, Springer
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