International Cultural Forum series
Asia in Dialogue
How can Asian-European understanding be promoted?
The economic growth that has occurred in the past two decades within the area circumscribed by Pakistan in the west, Japan in the east, China in the north and Indonesia in the south is without precedent in terms of both its extent and its impact. Asia’s players have now become integral -- and self-confident -- participants in the process of globalization. At the same time, the developments taking place in Asia are fraught with uncertainties, such as whether the region’s current rapid development and the accompanying increase in power will persist. In addition, it remains to be seen how Asia’s considerable growth will impact social systems and the environment. Finally, tensions within or among Asian countries could also diminish or postpone what some observers have taken to calling the “Asian Century.”
Both prospects -- an ongoing decline of the West’s influence and an Asian crisis with global impact -- are hardly desirable from the European point of view. Strategies and effective responses must be sought for dealing with both scenarios. The International Cultural Forum events organized within the EU-Asian Dialogue serve as venues for monitoring developments in the region and for taking Asia seriously as a partner on the world stage. The series is dedicated to creating a balanced image of Asia, identifying strategies Europe can use to take action, and deepening European-Asian understanding. China, India and Japan are natural focal points within the region, although other opportunities exist for interaction, especially in East, Southeast and South Asia. The project analyzes the multifaceted economic, sociopolitical and cultural trends arising from the new power centers in Asia. As these activities are organized and carried out, the questions are constantly being posed of what this means from the European point of view and what we can do to improve understanding and cooperation with Asia’s actors.
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