Asia has now assumed a very important place in international sphere. Particularly, during the post war period, the economic, political and diplomatic affairs of different Asiatic countries have been of much concern for international security and stability. Though, by the formation of ASEAN, SAARC, Pancha Seela etc. have brought the different Asiatic countries within some bonds, yet there are much conflicts, dissentions and problems in this continent. While some of the states are democratic, some others are authoritarian in nature.
Moreover, there are major differences in the economic system, ethnic origin, religious diversities, social arrangements and ideal of nationalism. Particularly, China and Japan have hostile relationship and most of the Asiatic countries have profound suspicion of Vietnam. Moreover, the war between North Korea and South Korea in 1950 has, still now, its aftereffects. At one time, North Korea intended to become a nuclear power, though one security measures have refrained it from undertaking such arms-preparations.
Thus, most of the states now suffer a security-crisis which diplomatic negotiations have failed to dissipate. Above all, there are so many problems regarding bi-lateral and tri-lateral agreements of different Asiatic states. Particularly, the rise of Japan and the increasing power of China have created a storm-center in this continent. However, the American involvement in the Asian politics has also complicated the geopolitical and economic issues of Asia. Though the erstwhile Soviet Russia has dissolved, its remnant, i. e. Russia, has also some problems with its previous companions – Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan etc.
All these international complexities have developed the chaos into a crisis. 1. International power structure of new region following the end of WWII Being a significant factor of world politics, Asia Pacific faces may major issue. In this region, USA, China and Japan directly relates to each other. International politics is important for understanding international relationship. International politics surrounds political relationship by going beyond state boundaries, concluding the pursuit of power and control. Mainly, the importance is given to the relationship between the states.
Though this dimension is essential aspect of international politics, it must not the see as the whole. A broader view looks at the scope of actor over the state. It includes international organization, transnational corporations, and NGO. Beside state, this actor tries to achieve their goal in global arena. The terms ‘global politics’ emerge for denoting variety of actors and range of issues that arise. In the modern world, international issues do not cover only traditional military security; it includes economy, culture and religion, environment, human rights and the movements of people.
Globalization suggests the way through which these issues are dealt with at international level. East Asia is limited geographically and it excludes powers like America and Australia. From the point of politics, Asia Pacific equalizes the engagement of USA in East Asian affairs. Though US cannot describe it as all Asian power, but in very engagement in East Asian affairs justifies explaining it as part of Asia Pacific. Some organization like APEC (1989) and ASEAN contribute some important part to enrich regional economic cooperation and engagement.
ASEAN consists of all members of south East Asian countries though Australia and New Zealand are the chief powers of the South Pacific Island come under the definition of Asia Pacific. In North East Asia, China was the most dominant force. In modern western sense, China worked as a “civilization” rather than “Soviet Power”, considering itself as middle kingdom, China developed a unique civilization. In spite of its division and conflict, China contributes in the improvement of bureaucracy, science and technology, agriculture and commerce, and philosophy and so on.
When the writ of emperor ran wide, China considers itself primarily as a mode for others within its ‘civilization area’ to follow. The influence of China was particularly strong in Korea and Vietnam. China also influenced the cultural development of Japan to some extent. However, both these nations tried to isolate themselves from the external world. Hence, both the Chinese and Japanese civilization developed in his own way. Historically, the arrival of huge European involvement in this region from fifteenth century did not mean the instant replacement of the existing order of international system by the western-oriented one.
Europeans were interested in trade which did not necessarily require the establishment of political control. The vehicle of European penetration was through mercantile companies such as the Cutch United East India Company (VOC). Portugal, one of the earliest European powers, engaged itself in trade around this zone with specific interest in Spice Island. As the status quo faced the strong outside pressure in 19th century, there were means rather than conquest to secure the success of strategic and economic adjectives.
After her defeat in the Opium war in 1842, China was forced to sign many unequal treaties, making concessions and sacrificing its own interests to western powers. Till the 19th century, western powers of the South East Asia established limited political control over some areas of this region. At that time, huge competition was going on among the Big Powers for acquisition of the Asiatic colonies. But, in the 20th century, nationalist movement in some South East Asian countries threw challenges to such naked aggression and colonialism policies of the western powers. The period from 1945 to 1989 is considered as cold war era.
In 1950 and 1960, the relationship between China and the United States dominated the international relation of this region and ASEAN, the association of South East Asian Nations established 1967. Since 1970-80s, we see the development of international relations at broadcast regional level and development of Sino-US rapprochement. Asia Pacific includes a huge range of political system. Both China and USA, introduced a huge liberal democratic system but also have an authoritarian system and capitalist system respectively. Globalization means the capability of government to control economic development within their own borders.
In Asia Pacific we see wide range of variation in one hand, industrialized advanced countries like USA, Japan, Canada and Australia and in other hand the third world countries. In middle, there are some countries which arose from third world but having some features of advanced countries. Ethnic divisions are seen in number of Asian Pacific countries. Cultural variation between Asia Pacific can be examined. The civilizations of Asia Pacific are influenced from west. Western civilization has influenced Asia Pacific born in imperialist era.