Friday, October 15, 2010

Will the Kings from the east be as benevolent as those from the west?

It is no secret. The global balance of power is shifting from the west to the east. Martin Jaques has an intriguing book title 'When China Rules the world: The end of the western world and the birth of a new global order'. Studies show that the west is undergoing a steady decline especially in economic terms and the in contrast countries such as China and India are on the rise.
And with the loss of economic predominance so too goes global influence and cultural leadership.
But this diatribe is not about the rise of the east and the fall of the east. Its about who would be a more benevolent global leaders, the Chinese or the europeans for instance.
In Uganda, Vice president Gilbert Bukenya recently urged Ugandans to learn chinese.
European values have ruled the world in the last century. With China becoming an economic power one wonder what kind of global leader China will be. What values will it profess to the world.
Bill Gates was in China recently to talk to some Chinese millionaires about donating to global causes. He didnt get many converts.
Some would say that the west gives to poor countries out of guilt of a history of colonialism and imperialism and that China doesnt owe the poor world anything.
Would human rights, democracy, the rule of law, liberty be the dominant ideal in a world led by China?
For all the west's failings, the world in the past two centuries has grown to expect some sense of 'western' justice in the conduct of human affairs. With Asian countries emerging as global power houses will european values still prevail.
As africans we have grown used to western philanthropy,albeit with its strings attached' but will a world ruled by Asia in the next fifty years continue with a western value system?
Can Asia provide a compassionate leadership of the world? Can it guarentee a 'just' world order.
Will international law systems such as the United Nations still play the role they do today? Will diplomacy still be chosen over war?
Can the world depend on Asian global leadership the way the west has done in past centuries?

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