21st Century - Asian Century
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21st Century - Asian Century


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In the late twentieth century, major Asian countries, including China, Japan and India, witnessed a rapid growth in the economy. This growth and its impact on the global economy have continued in the 21st century as well, making many claims that the 21st century is the “Asian century.” Collect Asian economy fell significantly behind the dominating economies of North America and Europe a long time ago and has been bridging the gap very slowly. Since the last decade of the twentieth century, the growth rate of Asian economies has increased rapidly, making Asian economies come close to European and North American economies (Baldwin 2014).

As per a report by World Bank, China is now the second-largest economy in the world, with the United States as the leading economy. South Korea has also increased its strength in economic fronts to become one of the leading Asian economies. As stated by MacDonald and Lemco (2011, 1)- 'The Asian region has extensive linkages to China as well as to other large emerging market economies.' Trade and economic groups like the Organisation of Economic Corporation and Development (OECD) are helping Asian economies to establish more trade relations and achieve improvements in trade tariffs.


Indonesia and India are also rising quickly towards the top spots in the largest global economies. China alone has more than $2 trillion in its foreign exchange reserves, while the group of Asian countries including Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan collectively have more than $2 trillion in foreign exchange reserves. This amount of wealth in prominent Asian countries showcases the significance of growing Asian dominance in the world economy. On the basis of such large sums of wealth, Asian countries are quickly expanding influence and reach to some of the most distant and untouched economic regions.

The rise of Asian countries on a global scale in the 21st century did not happen suddenly and is not a success in a vacuum. Growth in Asian economies is essentially a part of historical experience that witnesses the rise and fall of big empires. From the era of the 15th century, Europe dominated the global economy and even ruled many of the African, Asian and American economies. This was the dominance of the British Empire that further halted the potential rise of Asian economies for a long time. In recent decades, Asian countries have witnessed high growth rates due to factors like globalization, which saw foreign businesses expand their operations to Asian countries for investment. Auslin (2017, 14) argued-'Asia is perhaps the first beneficiary of a new era in world history.'

Technological advancements have also helped Asian countries significantly in helping to bridge the gap between most developed western countries and developing Asian countries. The rising Asian economy in the early 21st century revolves around the Chinese economy. The strength of the Chinese economy comes from the highly robust structure of global trade deals (Buhler 2011). Asian countries have access to large volumes of raw materials while also producing various types of manufactured goods for global trade markets. All of the major trading economies in Asia have growing capital flow and access to a large consumer market. India and Japan have high contributions to the Asian economy but try to establish their own trade links due to rivalry with China.

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