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Essay: Reflective essay on East Asia: Global Economic Powers

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For my personal reflective essay, I have selected from the book Thinking Globally: A Global Studies Reader (2013) edited by Mark Juergensmeye, Part 2, chapter 6, East Asia: Global Economic Powers. I chose this particular chapter because it sustains a contrasting discussion regarding East Asia and its part in the global economy which alternates well with my major in International business and relations and language, Chinese.

Another factor that aided my decision in choosing this chapter is my interest in East Asian countries, particularly China. My profound interest in China lead me to take up mandarin in my first year of high school and I had kept with it until my final year, I am now ecstatic to continue my learning of Chinese under my Global Studies degree. Regarding my understanding of Global Citizenship, I could come to an agreement that I have an entrepreneurial position (Stein, 2015) seeing how I am interested in the New Zealand’s economy my main focus would be how we can better compete in the global economy (Stein, 2015) but I do not agree with some of its aspects, for example, I think the importance of being able to learn another language is to not only view it as another great acquiring skill to better myself for job opportunities but more so highlight the process of experiencing another culture and diving into every knowledgable aspect of it with an open mind, in doing so diminishing the individualistic behavior that follows this particular approach.

Within this chapter, I was interested in “The great divergence” (Pomeranz, 2013). This essay highlights the relationship between Europe and China and how trade linked the two empires (Pomeranz, 2013). Throughout his discussion, we can understand further, China’s demand for silver and its effect on the economy, the author writes:

indeed… had China in particular not had such a dynamic economy that changing
its metallic base could absorb the staggering quantities of silver staggering in the New World over three centuries, those mines might have become unprofitable within a few centuries. (Kenneth Pomeranz, 2013, pg 160).

My understanding of this is lead by a more entrepreneurial position (Stein, 2015) where the benefits of a trade relationship between the two countries are of great vitality to the state of an economy but I was then reminded it is my job as a global citizen to not just focus on the national benefits and rather than minimizing my capacity to thinking globally is by seeing how this chapter can link me to being a better global citizen.

From this essay, I want to highlight the process of the cross-cultural transmission of food and religion, which along the way local cultures transformed and developed into their style of it (Pomeranz, 2013), we can learn from this mixing of cultures as an aspect that we should be open towards focusing on the cultural aspect rather than the materialistic side. About my aspirations for my Global Studies degree, striving for the improvement of New Zealand’s international relationships is a key goal as it is unrendered that our trade pathways are significant for our country, but also research and find other ways to involve common New Zealanders in achieving global citizenship as well.

“The 21st Century Will Be Asian” (Frank, 2014) The title alone wields its bold statement which was immediately brought to my attention. The West’s misunderstanding of the East Asian financial and economic crisis was taken and analyzed as proof of Asian weakness (Frank, 2014). I believe the idea of Asian and weakness in the same sentence is ridiculous given the fact that during the 20th century the improvement of the East Asian Industry engulfed the world’s industrial export market which was eventually the first time for an economic crisis to start in the east rather than the west(Frank, 2014). This just goes to show how much East Asia is indefinitely a vital part of today’s global economy, but I realize now that they are usually overlooked due to America holding the vast majority of the power. I think Andre Gunder Franks’s argument of the future being Asian is a very likable favor, but if we are realistic and aware of the western knowledge paradigm that is still a margin in today’s society, this outcome can only remain a focal discussion point despite this I think it is very refreshing to hear a contrasting power lead rather that America bearing the power.

The future is unprecedented and I think it is important in understanding how thinking globally can ensure that we are doing our jobs as global citizens and act with the intentions of not just our individualistic benefits but a wider world intent.

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