A New Manifest Destiny

Despite the ravages of the Corona-virus, the US trade and tech war and its challenges in Hong Kong and Taiwan, China saw positive growth in Q2 of 2020 according to a report from the Asia Times.  Even India’s economy expanded 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2020 despite the prowess of the pandemic. Could it be that an Asian manifest destiny is emerging?

Manifest Destiny was the a concept first coined in an op-ed in the July-August 1845 publication of the Democratic Review. The idea the expansion of the US across the North American continent was inevitable, good and in some cases God ordained. Many believed that America’s growth from a few states to 50 and its hegemony in the Western Hemisphere was destined by every means. As hundreds of European settler pushed across the American West.

The financial savvy of many Asian states have become clear as the US has come hat in hand to do business with India in the hopes of pivoting from one Asian powerhouse (China) to the next (India). From 2017-2018, India conducted nearly 63 Billion USD in trade with Africa, according to a 2019 Economic Times report.

The IMF projects that regionally, Asia’s growth is projected at 5 percent and 5.1 percent in 2019 and 2020 respectively. This means Asia itself is among the most stable with measured growth. While the Asia region doesn’t have the highest growth rate, it does have the most stable. It could be the China is just the tip of the iceberg, as the barons of industry, elite are changing, with new values and new goals that threaten the old order. Often asias willingness to cooperate often correlates a tiny pivot unbeknownst to most Western deal-makers that become windfall gains years, even decades later.

It is not clear whether Russia will be among this curious pact, as even it cements alliances in eastern Europe, bolstered by major oil wealth, strategic positioning and strategic alliances.  With the European Unions precarious fiscal and alliance record, it may be that eastern European states may shift their alliance from EU inclusion further east in favor of what may be better and more lucrative outcomes for their populations. As it stands, there is some sort of manifest destiny at play, but its not the kind we’ve ever seen before.

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