December 13, 2016

As the Trump administration assumes leadership of American foreign policy, questions prevail about how it perceives the United States’ role in the world and how it will exercise that role.  The appearance of a potentially unconventional U.S. president amidst a world in flux highlights the enormous uncertainties and the potential risks to U.S. stability and prosperity that are now confronting us.

Actually, the thought of integration came from President Ho Chi Minh. In December 1946, he sent a letter sent to the United Nations, written in French, with the following content: Vietnam is ready to open its doors for foreign businesses and experts to do business in Vietnam, and allow other countries to use Vietnam’s roads, ports and airports for transit. 

Yet the presence of costumed adults lining up for London’s own Comic-Con, a Swarovski-encrusted Hello Kittyworth thousands of pounds, and the profiling of Lolita fashion in magazine articles and V&A exhibits, show that cute culture is not just spreading beyond Asia, but it’s here to stay. And it means business. So, what is kawaii and why here and why now? 

One network for Chinese associations all over the world, from as far as Brazil and the United States to Russia, is taking shape. The Singapore Hua Yuan Association has managed to draw organisations from about 80 countries or regions, including cities in China, to be part of this collaborative platform. Most of them were in Singapore yesterday to sign the agreement for the Global Hua Yuan Collaborative Network.

What is much less known about the Rockefeller’s is their philanthropic mission to pursue a cultural exchange between Asian and American artists. Wendy O’Neill, a fifth-generation Rockefeller, expressed her wishes to increase philanthropic support for Korean artists at a press briefing held in Namsan Art Center in Seoul, Monday.

The networks that primarily seek to establish, protect and expand US primacy in Asia are driven by corporate and financial special interests including banks, the energy industry, defence contractors, agricultural and pharmaceutical giants, the US entertainment industry and media as well as tech giants.

Despite Trump’s campaign rhetoric, the US is not in decline. Because of immigration, it is the only major developed country that will not suffer a demographic decline by mid-century; its dependence on energy imports is diminishing rather than rising; it is at the forefront of the major technologies (bio, nano, information) that will shape this century; and its universities dominate the world league tables.