Not Nation-Building, but Society-Building should be Key

In this stars Webinar, we talked with Urs SCHOETTLI, Consultant on Asian Affairs; Former East Asia Correspondent of Neue Zuercher Zeitung; Member, stars International Board, Tokyo, about the geopolitical implications of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Some key take-aways:

  1. Afghanistan could be the Waterloo or the turning point for the better for the US, i.e. focusing on what is important for the US, i.e. strengthening the focus on the Pacific, on East Asia, on China.
  2. Instead of nation-building, the focus should be on society-building under whatever political system, i.e. on responsible governance, social stability, education and professional training.
  3. There are serious doubts whether the US would intervene in the case of an attack on the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
  4. An open war on Taiwan would not be restricted to Taiwan only, and there would be enormous economic consequences and possibly uprisings on the Chinese mainland. It is easy to start a war, but difficult to exit.
  5. We must not forget that there is no NATO-type of regional security architecture in Asia.
  6. The most dangerous country in the world is Pakistan with its 150 nuclear bombs. If there was a military coup d’état or terrorists or fundamentalists steal some bombs, that would lead up to World War 3.
  7. The main challenge for business is the security of supply chains. Companies should invest more into risk analysis and look at soft factors such as history and the stability of societies.
  8. On the question of Western values coming to an end, Urs said that we should keep these values such as human rights and liberal democracy but open up and recognizing other values such as the concept of duties and the respect for the ageing population and families.

To watch the recording of the webinar, please click here.