The Rising East: The West and U.S. Risk Succumbing to Internal Decay

Sixty-one years ago, a perceptive ambassador to the U.S. and U.N. from Lebanon, Charles Malik, told an American college audience: “The challenges confronting the Western world are basically three: The challenge of communism, the challenge of the Rising East, and the challenge of the internal forces of decay.”

In the ensuing years, the first challenge was met and communism defeated. The Soviet Union is no more, China has shucked communism in favor of what one wag called “market-Leninism,” and North Korea is coming apart at the seams.

The Rising East, in the eyes of some Asia hands, should now be called the Risen East. Japan led the way in economic surge and was followed by the Four Tigers, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Today China and India have started moving to the fore with several Southeast Asian nations in their wake.

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