Asia’s decade reoriented the world: analysts

HONG KONG, December 27, 2009 (AFP) – Explosive growth in economic and political power ensured that the past 10 years set the foundations for what many analysts predict will be the Asian Century as the world tilts firmly eastwards. Many dangers lie ahead, but observers say the world’s two most populous countries — China and India — appear on course to define the decades to come after the American Century and the British Century before that.

“Yes, absolutely, I think this decade demonstrates the real promise of Asia,” said Alan Dupont, director of the Centre for International Security Studies at the University of Sydney.

“The last two years in particular have seen a sea shift in real power and I think that’s been highlighted by the travails the Americans and the Europeans have had after the global economic and financial crisis.

“It has really focused everybody on the fact that China has now arrived and India is not that far behind, and power really has shifted to the East and away from Europe and North America.”

China had been “a rock of stability”, Dupont told AFP. Time magazine chose “The Chinese Worker” as a runner-up for its annual Person of the Year award in 2009.

Robert Broadfoot, managing di