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The Unraveling of the Global Order: Asia Adjusts

The Johns Hopkins SAIS community of alumni and friends in Hong Kong gathered for a special forum featuring Kishore Mahbubani, who spoke about the return of Asia as a leader on the global stage. Mahbubani touched upon the need for populations of countries in the West to recognize the growing influence of populations in the East and to embrace globalization rather than reject it. A resurgent Asia, he said, is good for the United States and the West. He pointed to the success of ASEAN in brokering peace in Southeast Asia, a region historically fraught with wars and cultural tensions, as a beacon of hope and example of the potential of international cooperation. Finally, he cited the inevitable disruptiveness of technological innovation, particularly as mobile phones become more popular in developing regions like India and connect market actors in new ways.

Following the keynote address, a panel of elite members of the Johns Hopkins SAIS community discussed changes in the global system on the horizon, including the political undertones of China’s international policies, the importance of multilateral institutions and the corrosion of the consensus upon which they were founded, and how multilateral actions can be implemented with the force of internationally respected customs and laws. Alumnus David Frey ’95 moderated the discussion. Questions from the audience of over 130 alumni and friends explored subjects like security in the South China Sea and the recent US border tax proposal.

Keynote address Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore and former President of the UN Security Council

Panelists Laura Cha, Chairman of the Financial Services Development Council of Hong Kong SAR and non-official member of the Executive Council of Hong Kong SAR Moderator, David Frey ’95, Partner in Markets Strategy and National Head of U.S.-China Strategic Corridor for KPMG China David M. Lampton, SAIS China Director and George & Sadie Hyman Professor of China Studies John Lipsky, Peter G. Peterson Professor of International Economics at the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs and Foreign Policy Institute Senior Fellow

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