Washington Needs A Geo-economic Strategy For Asia, Now

The United States needs to develop a more comprehensive geo-economic strategy to counter China’s hegemonic ambitions in the Asia-Pacific region. If unchecked, this threatens to weaken the U.S. U.S.-led open and rules-based order that has brought relative stability and astounding prosperity to Asia since the end of the Second World War. To be sure, when it comes to Asia policy, the Donald Trump White House has had a surprisingly good run after an uncertain and disruptive start. If recent developments are any sign of the future, then the Trump administration may be expected to take a more risk-tolerant yet measured approach toward challenging China’s hegemonic ambitions in Asia. However, there is no indication that the White House currently has, or even contemplates, a geo-economic strategy — that is, deliberately leveraging trade and financial tools to advance specific geopolitical and security goals. Economic nationalism is not a geo-economic strategy. President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-nation multilateral trade agreement, is a major setback for reasons discussed below.

To be fair, the Obama administration’s support for the TPP stalled once it became the target of populist domestic politics. And, while the TPP was promoted as a component of the so-called “Asia Rebalance” it was not part of a larger geo-economic strategy. The Trump administration has a stated preference for bilateral free trade agreements (FTA). Yet, regardless of how many FTAs the White House successfully negotiates over the next four years, it will not have the same network effects of the multilateral TPP. This bilateral approach will not give the U.S. Asia-Pacific. Most member countries, especially Japan, invested considerable political capital in overcoming domestic opposition to move the TPP forward. As a result, the decision to withdraw from TPP further undermines regional perceptions of U.S. It is uncertain whether the White House will renegotiate and repackage the TPP or if other member countries will proceed with a so-called “TPP-minus-one” option. Without the TPP or some variation, the nations concerned are more likely to move forward with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

This proposed multilateral trade agreement includes the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states along with Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand. Notably, RCEP does not include the U.S. China a role in writing regional trade rules — which are certain to have less stringent standards than the TPP and also less favorable to U.S. In a best case scenario, FTAs with Japan, Malaysia and Vietnam as well securing more favorable and reciprocal trade relations with China will do little to enable the U.S. China’s geo-economic march across the Indo-Asia-Pacific region and Eurasian heartland. This is because trade agreements alone are an inadequate and mismatched response to the transformational potential of China’s One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st-century Maritime Silk Road. Through an extensive network of energy, transportation, and communication infrastructure projects, OBOR seeks to integrate large swaths of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East into a Sino-centric economic order that advances China’s larger geopolitical and strategic interests. OBOR is partly funded by the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), China’s Silk Road Fund and China’s state policy banks.

The peasant proprietor system is helpful to efficient cultivation. The magic of ownership has helped in raising production. The excessive pressure of population on land has led to the fragmentation of holdings. The peasant proprietors living in citues have now given land on rent to tenants who pay rent either in cash or kind. As the tenants enjoy no security, so they have no incentive for investing capital. As the mechanized cultivation is not adopted on small units of holdings, the required agricultural progress is not being achieved. The British Rule created a loyal class by giving them vast areas of land on permanent basis. In the beginning these persons were made responsible for the payment of land revenue. Later on these collectors of land revenue were conferred proprietary rights. The zamindari system has not proved beneficial for the society. The feudal lords exploited the rural masses for over a long period of time.

The ejectments of tenants both. Their poor belongings, utensils, cattle etc were set on fire or auctioned to realize arrears of rent. The zamindari system destroyed the very basis of agricultural prosperity. The system has given rise to feudalism at the top and slavery at the bottom. The landlords have become the absentee parasites. The frequent enhancement of rents and constant fear ejectment stands in the way of agricultural progress. In orders to eliminate inequalities in land holdings and al elements of exploitation, the Government of Pakistan introduced agrarian reforms from time to time. First Land Reforms were introduced in 1985, then in 1972, 1977. These reforms to some extent have decreased the land holdings of zamindars. The illegal ejecments of the tenants at will have been protected by law. The occupancy tenant, though small in number got the ownership of land. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account. 0 of 8192 characters usedPost CommentNo HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. This is well researched, very insightful and educating but a more comparative analysis maybe with any other african nation would have helped in understanding what was and/or is obtainable else where.