Asia In The Process of Reinventing Itself: MJ Akbar, MoS, MEA

National Defence Bureau,
New Delhi, 15 September 2017

Describing how Asia is reinventing itself with powerful dynamics, MJ Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs, Government of India, today said that the continent is not only in the process of reinventing itself, it is doing so through solutions.

Akbar was speaking at a joint conference on ‘Changing Asia 2017: Perspective on Regional and Global Cooperation’, organised by The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses and the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), Hamburg, on September 15, 2017.

The Minister said that despite being a conglomeration of nations with diverse languages, religions and political systems, Asia has one common stand – creating a better economy and better life for its people. The continent is beginning to act as a vanguard of future developments globally, he stated.

Suggesting that both India and China have the potential to lay down the path to be followed through dialogue, he observed that the powers of Asia realise that it is counter-productive to allow disputes and differences to become conflicts. Major nations should therefore opt for dialogue to secure their self-interest and manage their economic welfare, he added.

Terming terrorism as the most dangerous ‘ism’ of the 21st Century, the Akbar emphasised that prosperity is impossible without peace and the biggest threat to peace emerges from terrorism.

Also speaking on the occasion, Prof Patrick Köllner, Vice President, GIGA, termed the rise of India and China as the most momentous events that have impacted not only the region, but have also had global implications.

Elaborating upon the economic rise of changing Asia, Peter Rimmele, Representative, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), said that it could have huge implications for the rest of the world and the rise of Asia would hopefully lead to a ‘Century of peace’.

Earlier, Deputy Director General, IDSA, Maj Gen Alok Deb, while reflecting upon India’s role in the emerging regional scenario said that India is fully conscious of its role in the scheme of things, both as a stabiliser and a positive force, which contributes to economic growth and security in the region.

The two-day conference aims to deliberate upon the current patterns of conflict and collaboration within and across Asia’s sub-regions, as well as the role of rising Asian powers in global cooperation.

Based on developments in the region, the conference aims to develop more general insights into the preconditions for cooperation (or the lack thereof) at the regional and global levels as well as at the nexus between both levels.

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