the pacific rim

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  • The Pacific RimThe term Pacific Rim refers to 20 countries/ administrative units along the Asian side of the pacific Rim.

    It also includes numerous islands of the Pacific.

    They home 30% of worlds population and 20% of worlds GNP.

  • The Pacific RimGeographically one can include Mexico, Chile, Canada, USA, Russia.

    Geographically Myanmar(Burma) and Laos can be excluded.

    The selection of the countries stem from the fairly recent developments in economic and geographical power that have affected countries of Asia, South-east Asia and the Pacific .

    The regions included are now being referred to by international corporate and political leaders as a single block.

  • The Pacific RimMany countries in questions share similar cultural influences such Buddhism and rice cultivation.

    Culturally, politically and sociologically diverse region

    But there is a new trend where the entire Pacific Rim will share: a common economic system (free market/state capitalism) and some common lifestyle values (materialism and mass consumption)

  • The Pacific RimCommon awareness of the value of peaceful interdependence steady improvement in the standard of living

    What are the powerful forces that are fueling these trends?Nationalism and global communicationsJapanese currency (yen) and Japanese business strategies

  • Japan & The Pacific RimJapanese aid and investmentPost WW II (1960s)- high quality products to North American & European markets

    1980s- free trade agreements among North American countries & common European economic community (economic blocs)

    Led Japan to heavily invest in countries nearer its own borders.

  • Troubles in the RIMSocial & political instability of many Pacific Rim nations & intense ethnic rivalries divided the people.(The Nation 9 Jan 1989)

    Civil onlyCivil/internationalReligious/ethnicUN involvementSuperpower involvedEstimated total deathsMyanmar*6000 since 1985Cambodia***2.2 million since 1970China- Tibet*1.2 million since 1956Indonesia- East Timor***1 lakh since 1975Philippines***35,000 since 1972Vietnam**4.5 million (1945-1975)

  • Troubles in the RIM (a) WarfareOutlawed Khmer Rouge guerrilla war against elected govt of CambodiaJapan- Russia dispute over ownership of islands to the north of HokkaidoTaiwan- China issue over territoryVietnam- China dispute over boundaryIssue between South Korea & North Korea

  • Troubles in the RIM (a) WarfareConcern over the area of the South China seaLikelihood of large oil deposits near the rocks & reefs of the Spartly islands 1970sChina, Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei claiming the areaChina Vs VietnamChina claiming sovereignty over almost the entire South China sea.

  • Troubles in the RIM (a) WarfareEthnic tensionsFiji- locals Vs immigrant IndiansSouth Asia locals vs. the ChineseMuslims Vs ChristiansChina the Tibetans & most other ethnic groups Vs. the Han Chinese

  • Troubles in the RIM (a) WarfareWith the end of cold war U.S was forced to withdraw its naval base from Vietnam and Philippines

    Thus encouraged Japan to assume larger military role in the region.Japan has acted to increase its military preparedness

    In response China has also increased its purchase of military equipment

    Some largest armies in the world are in the Pacific Rim.

  • Troubles in the RIM (a) WarfareThe tragedy of warfare could continue unless governments manage conflict carefully.In some cases mutual cooperation is already replacing animosity.

    Thailand and Vietnam- sincerely trying to resolve fishing rights disputes in the Gulf of Thailand.

    North and South Korea have agreed to allow some cross border visitation.Taiwan and China have also settled issues relating to fisheries.

  • (b) OverpopulationThere are well over 2 billion people living in the Pacific Rim.China - most populous

    Efforts from Chinese government to control population through strictest family planning policies in the world.

    In some countries like Japan, South Korea and Thailand, single child families and aging population are creating problems.

  • (b) OverpopulationStill, so many children have already been born that pacific Rim governments simply cannot meet their needs.

    As the population density increases, the quality of life decreases.

    Population density - New York City (1,100 per square mile) Tokyo (2,400) Manila (51,000)

    Demographers predict that worlds largest cities will be in Pacific Rim.

  • (c ) Political InstabilityPeople challenging the very right of their govts to rule demand for change in political philosophy

    Cambodia- govt installed by the military of Vietnam; Opposition groups armed with sophisticated weapons donated by foreign nationsAuthoritarian govt. in South Korea, China, Myanmar

    Military Coup attempts in Philippines, Thailand, FijiMilitary takeovers, political assassinations & repressive policies has been the norm of the region

  • (c ) Political InstabilityDiversity of language, religions, racial and ethnic origin, unfair distribution of wealth

    Educated well fed Vs illiterate & malnourished

    All are afraid that their particular language/religion/ethnic group/ social class will be negatively affected by any leader not of their own background.

  • (d) Identity ConfusionConfusion about personal and national identity.Creation of nation-states in response to Western pressure as against tribe/ethnic groupChange in political boundaries- ethnic groups from adjacent countries inside the neighbours territory.

  • Identity ConfusionYears of influence from the colonial era- unsure of roots: European/ Asian PacificPeople in Singapore, Hong Kong and the Pacific Islands unsure of their root/identity

    Indonesia: Muslim country- 87% muslims; North Sumatra (30% Protestant); Bali (94 % Hindu); East Timor (49% Catholic & 51% animist)Philippines: 88 languages; 12 islands

  • (e) Uneven Economic DevelopmentStrong disparity (Japan Vs Laos)Japanese saving $45,000 per person Laotians struggling for square meal

    Developed nations with economic sustainability- Japan- exporting 1/3 of its products to USJapanese Buddhists now interested in profit maximization.

  • Uneven Economic DevelopmentKorea, Taiwan, Singapore successfully searching for more ways to make moneyPacific islands lagging further behind

    Newly Industrializing Countries (NICs) South Korea (ship building, steel manufacturing) , Taiwan (camera, calculator), Hong KongTaiwan Highest GNP in the world for past 20 years

  • Uneven Economic DevelopmentResource-rich developing nations- Full of natural resources held back economically by political and cultural instability

    Example: Malaysia endowed with tropical forests and large oil and gas reserve ruled by coalition government nearly a dozen race based parties

  • Uneven Economic DevelopmentPost 1978 Japan started investing in Malaysia More than 3000 companies doing business one of the worlds large exporters

    Command Economies - lag far behind inefficiency of the system military dictatorship continual warfare

    Significant changes taking place in such nationsEx: China and Vietnam

  • Uneven Economic DevelopmentLess Developed Countries (LDCs) small micro states in the Pacific region limited resource tiny internal market

    Ex: Papua New Guinea recently got independence searching for proper role in the world economy.

  • Environmental Destruction and Social illsMalaysia/Indonesia - Rapid development loss of pristine forest

    Malaysia cutting trees to satisfy the demands of the international market especially Japan-Forests are disappearing at a rate of 3% a year

    Hydroelectric dam construction in other Asian countries seriously affecting natural environment

  • Environmental Destruction and Social illsIn Asia serious disease like AIDS spreading rapidlyIn 1994 Thai Govt. reported that by 1997 2.4 millions of Thais will be HIV-positive.

    According to sources, by 2008, 5,85,830 people have died of this since 1984.

    WHO reported that AIDS is growing fast in Asia and Africa than anywhere else in the world.