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«Comprehensive Security: Challenge For Pacific Asia♠ James C. Hsiung New York University Abstract This study identifies the origin, components, and ...»

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Certain other problems may also appear elsewhere but are different in nature in the Asian region or example, drug trafficking. If, in Latin America, drug pushers deal in cocaine, Asian drug dealers concentrate on heroine trafficking. Still other problems are either so much more severe or so different in Asia that they stand out in comparison with the rest of the world. Japan aging problem is probably the most severe among all known cases anywhere. Without doubt, Japan problem with women rights is the most severe among industrialized countries. Whereas racial conflicts are known in many other places, the bi-communal (Malay-Chinese) conflicts in Southeast Asian countries are unique in terms of their frequency, intensity, and extent of violence involved. Other problems such as illegal migration and human smuggling, which we did not discuss earlier, are likewise very real threats to human security at both the micro (individual) and macro (society) levels in the region.106 Most disheartening is the reported transborder trafficking of women and children, by the hundreds of thousands, annually in Southeast Asia.107 Third, on environmental security, Pacific Asia has more than its share of the hazards and inroads that one may find in other regions. Heading the list is the threat of sea-level rises caused by global warming, which is particularly worrisome, as the region abounds in island nations and archipelagic states as well as littoral countries with long coastlines. Other problems include those confronting shared resources, air pollution and wildfires, growing terrorism, and maritime piracy. Two of these (man-made Indonesian wildfires and maritime piracy) are endemic to the region.

The above summary opens the way to a commentary, as follows.

Commentary and Looking Ahead Given this eport card” on how the Asian region is faring in respect of the three component parts of comprehensive security, what is the ottom line” as to whether and how the Pacific Asian region can do better in anticipation of the time ahead as compared with other regions? Of the three previously discussed findings, our safest bet is that the region smallest worry is economic security. If anything, in light of the lessons from the recent financial crisis, the area states could invest more Cf. Paul Smith, ast Asia Transnational Challenges,” pp. 15-17.

Mikel Flamm, rafficking of Women and Children in Southeast Asia,” U. N. Chronicle, Vol. 60, No. 2 (June 2003), pp. 34-36. Here, some 225,000 are transported across borders each year, according Unknown to U.S. State Department statistics, as compared to more than two million worldwide (at p. 34). Deleted: over collaborative energies in mapping ways to ward off future attacks by international currency speculators. Unlike economic security, environmental security is the region Achilles’ heel, and the many environmental security problems defy single-nation solutions. The problems require multination collaboration at the regional level, at a minimum, which is especially true of transnational crimes such as terrorism and maritime piracy, which have become increasingly virulent since the financial crisis of

1997. If Pacific Asian countries are to cope with these threats effectively, they must cooperate in the most intimate ways possible. They need to share tactical intelligence, build mutual trust, and put aside political rivalries and suspicion to address the wider concerns. But this is easier said than done. As Paul Smith108 points out, mutual suspicion thwarts any wish for a regional approach. One example was seen when Japan proposed deploying its coast guard in joint patrols to help fight piracy in the region; the suggestion received cool responses from neighboring countries, which still remember the atrocities committed during the Japanese aggression in the 1930s and 1940s and thus have reasons to fear Japan military presence in the region. On this, as on other issues (such as Japan bid for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council), the neighboring nations’ suspicions and distrust will not subside before and unless Tokyo is ready to acknowledge its past aggression and atrocities and apologize to its Asian neighbors, an action which Japan neighbors have demanded repeatedly, in vain.109 In conclusion, the ultimate challenge to Pacific Asia in the age of comprehensive security is for the region nations, each of which is doing well in its own way on the economic security front, to learn to collaborate as a region to combat the threats to their environmental and human security. The prospect over the long run is, however, not as dim as it looks, for two reasons. The first is based on the region experience in the recent crisis, in reaction to which member states collaborated, for instance, to establish an early warning system against future signs of another such dire threat to their economic security. It proves that, given time and a grave-enough threat, the region can rise to the occasion.

The second reason for optimism comes from a preliminary reading of the ongoing power realignments in the larger area of sia Pacific,” which in our Smith, ast Asia Transnational Challenges,” p. 20.

Three examples of the Japanese atrocities during World War II include (a) Rape of Nanking, when Unknown 300,000 Chinese civilians were killed in a wanton three-week massacre by the Japanese Kwantung Deleted: :

army, December 1937; (b) germ warfare; and (c) omfort Women,” a practice in which hundreds of Unknown Asian women were abducted into Japanese military brothels to serve as sex slaves. See Chang, Rape of Deleted: wanton

Nanking; Harris, Factories of Death; and Tanaka et al., Hidden Horrors.

definition denotes the Pacific Asian region plus North America (the United States included). Already, a positive development has occurred across the Pacific all the way to the shores of America. Long before September 11, China and the United States had joined hands in the fight against drug trafficking in the Asian region. For a few years, their law enforcement agencies have cooperated occasionally to stop contraband drug shipments. The two countries signed an agreement on 19 June 2000 to increase cooperation in the fight against illegal drugs, especially heroin and methamphetamine (New York Times, 20 June 2000, p. 11). Concededly, beyond the immediate step of international cooperation in interdicting drug supplies, much more work needs be done in the rehabilitation of the addicts, which requires joint action by national governments in the region. But the U.S.-Chinese bilateral collaboration is a good start, for the experience thus gained, and the cooperative habit formed, could pave the way for expanding the efforts in other pursuits such as eradicating human trafficking, maritime piracy, and so on. The collaboration could also entice other governments to join, thus expanding the currently bilateral efforts into a region-wide network for combating international crimes and terrorism. In the post-9/11 fight against terrorism, U.S. cooperation with China and Southeast Asian nations (Indonesia and the Philippines, for example) has stepped up. That development could also help to bring the region nations together in a common endeavor in combating other threats to their comprehensive security.

The U.S. and Asian expectations in 2003 that China will play a more proactive role in helping to defuse the North Korea nuclear buildup threat, with China own interest in maintaining stability on the Korean peninsula, 110 are but two more incentives for the Chinese to step forward to becoming a stabilizing force in the region.

Developments since the Asian crisis have helped create a regional awareness that the countries, despite their diversities, share a common destiny in the face of the ravaging forces of globalization. The ASEAN ten members are building a free trade area (FTA) with China known as the ASEAN+1 formula, cashing in on the vast Chinese market and the tumbling tariffs following China entry into the World Trade Organization. Another factor drawing member nations closer together is that China has also begun to be seen as an intra-regional source of foreign direct investments (FDI) in these Asian neighbors. Both developments are extremely important because the ASEAN was originally conceived in the 1970s to promote China stakes in Korean peninsular stability emanates from the $42 billion annual trade that it has with South Korea. hina Breaks with Its Wartime Past,” Far Eastern Economic Review, 7 April 2003, p. 25.

member states’ trade and security interests (China was then the threat). The rise of an ASEAN+1, as such, implies a strategic reconceptualization of the traditional security interests in today changed world. It is also an indicator, however indirect, that ASEAN nations, like others, are now following a security dictate of a different sort, such as that of comprehensive security expounded previously in this paper.


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