Asian Values
1 / 68

Asian Values - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Asian Values. 2009. VALUES . I should go to school because: 1. My parents want me to be in school 2. I want to be with my friends 3. I want to learn about many things in this world 4. I like to prepare for serious work later in my life 5. I need education to help my family

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.

Download Presentation

Asian Values

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript

Asian Values



  • I should go to school because:

  • 1. My parents want me to be in school

  • 2. I want to be with my friends

  • 3. I want to learn about many things in this world

  • 4. I like to prepare for serious work later in my life

  • 5. I need education to help my family

  • 6. I want to become an engineer, doctor, teacher, etc. some day


  • Different concept between the East and the West – ‘Goodness’ vs ‘Rights’ -- Fred Dallmayr

  • Ours (The West) is largely a rights-based morality” --Henry Rosemont

  • Individuals have rights, and there are things no person or group may do to them (without violating their rights)." -- Robert Nozick

  • Classical Confucian -- "qualities of persons“ and with "persons who have or do not have these qualities"; where western morality invokes "abstract principles.“

Asia – the World’s bright economic spot

  • Asia-Pacific region will be the fastest growing regional economic block from 2003 to 2007, estimated growth rate at 5.9% *

  • In Nov 1993 on national TV, facing the horizon, the ex-President Eduardo Frei depicted the economic importance of the Pacific Ocean.

* Economic Intelligence Unit & the Asian Development Bank

Asia – the World’s bright economic spot

  • Chile hopes to strengthen its relations with Asia to advance global free trade.

  • Chile was the first South American country to establish relations with Beijing in Dec 1970.

  • Chile has Free Trade Agreement with South Korea and China. In June 2005, Pacific Four (P4) –Chile, Singapore, Brunei and New Zealand

  • Chile signed with Japan in Sept 2007.

2. Inventing “Asia”

  • Asia –the East and Orient–European invention from ancient Greeks. It refers to the vast land and people east of Europe borders.

  • The Near (Middle) East, the Far East

  • Southeast Asia

  • Regionalism in East Asia --- historical patterns of cooperation, common challenge of the West, the quest for an Asian identity, growing economic interdependence

3. Region-building in Asia – “Asia Consciousness”

  • Post-second World War, numerous region-building --The Inter-Asian Relations Conference in New Delhi, South East Asia Command (SEAC), Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (Seato), Maphilindo (for Malaya, the Philippines & Indonesia uniting the Malay peoples) and ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian States)

  • The ASEAN +3 regionalism

  • “East Asia Community”

  • Many “Asias” – religious /civilization divisions

4. Challenges on Region-Building

  • IR divisions -- The China/Japan division, antagonism between Japan and Korea, Thailand and Burma, Indian and Pakistan over Kashmir …

  • Different impact of colonialism between British, Dutch, French, American and Japanese colonialism

  • North-South divide within the region

  • What type of regionalism prevails - an exclusive regionalism or an inclusive regionalism embracing the United States, Australia and other Western countries? - It will be determined partly by the success of the promotion of 'Asia' consciousness.

5.The East and the West: Key questions to ask about “Asian Values”

  • What are these ‘Asian Values’? Are they different from “western values”?

  • What are the contexts and the origin of the “Asian Values” debate?

  • Are “Asian values” the culprit for Asian Financial Crisis?

  • How do ‘Asian Values’ relate to globalization and development?

6.Overview of the Presentation

  • Part One

    • Historical Roots

    • European Advance

    • Background, Context

    • The Concept of ‘Occident’ and ‘Oriental’

    • Development of “Asian Values” Debate

    • Proponents of “Asian Values”

  • Part Two

    • The Essence of “Asian Values”

    • The Assumptions of “Asian Values”

    • Empirical Studies on “Asian Values”

    • Why did they clash with the West?

    • Asian Values and Democracy – Divergent views

    • Asian Values and Human Rights – Divergent views

7.Overview of the Presentation

  • Part Three

    • “Asian values” and Economic Development

    • The ‘myth’ of Asian Economic Miracle

    • The Asian Financial Crisis: Were “Asian Values” the culprit?

    • The Asian Financial Crisis: Going beyond culture and values

  • Part Four

    • Are these values particularly Asian in nature? The illusion of ‘Asia exceptionalism’?

    • Criticisms on “Asian Values”

    • “Asian Values” – the model of the future or the model in decline?

    • “Asian Values” – Local VS Global

    • Conclusion

Part One

  • Historical Roots

  • European advance

  • Origin, Background & Context

  • The Concept of Occident and Oriental

  • Development of “Asian Values” Debate

  • Proponents of “Asian Values”

8. Ideology of Asia consciousness – Historical Roots

  • In China, nationalist regime of the 1920s spoke of an Asian spiritual unity, Sun Yat-Sen as the father of a Sino-centric movement

  • Japanese victory over Russia in1905 an impetus to an Asian unity

  • Japanese Co-Prosperity Sphere of World War II -- 'ancient glory of the spiritual life of Asian peoples'.

  • The Bengali religious leader, Vivekananda (1863-1902) --'on the material plane, Europe has mainly been the basis during modern times'; on the 'spiritual plane, Asia has been the basis throughout the history of the world”

  • The Nobel Prize-winning Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore –renaissance Asian civilization

9. European Advance

  • India, Burma, Malay Peninsula & Northern Borneo – _____ colonies

  • Philippines – __________ and _________ colonies

  • Indonesia – __________ colony

  • East Timor – __________ colony

  • Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia-_________ colonies

  • Central Asia – __________

  • European colonialism spurred nationalist movements and awareness as a region

  • The Cold War divided the area into __________and ___________ alliance systems centered on the Soviet Union and United States.


  • Uno del los puertos con mas trafico en el mundo – segundo puerto con más trafico

  • El Tercer Refinador de petróleo más grande del mundo

  • Uno de los primeros centros financieros de Asia

  • Una de las ciudades más cosmopolitas en el mundo

  • El primero en el ranking mundial de Calidad del Trabajadores en 49 Países – MEJORES TRABAJADORES DEL MUNDO

  • El segundo en el alinea mundial (segundo después de Estados Unidos) en el informe Global de Competitividad 2000

  • La puerta entre el Este y el Oeste

10. Background & Context

  • “Asian values” – a long campaign against western colonialism

  • The idea of `Asian Way' existed in late 1970s, originated in Singapore, moved to international academic debate in the 80s

  • “Asian Values” – key factor of ‘Asia miracle’ in 80s

  • In the early 1990s, the concept of “Asian Values” was used by Asian political leaders to ensure social stability

11.The Concept of the “Occident” & the “Oriental”

  • The Asian Values advocates stress the existence of a "shared identity" in Asia, and the understanding of "Asia" (Oriental) as a concept opposite to that of "West" or "Occident"

  • Started in the 19th and early 20th century by European orientalists – Max Weber

  • In the 1950s, Western social scientists saw Confucianism as a serious obstacle to economic development

  • ‘Protestant ethics’ as providing a unique source of value motivation in the development of capitalist society in the West. (Max Weber)

  • West – rationalism, individualism, tolerance, scientific

  • East – subservience and intolerance of different views, superstitious

12.Proponents of “Asian Values”

  • The rise of studies of “Asian values” in the West after the end of colonization and the fast economic growth of the region

  • The most articulate proponents –‘Singapore School’-- Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew, a retired senior diplomat, Tommy Koh, Kishore Mahbubani

  • Other prominent advocates are Malaysia ex-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed and his then deputy Anwar Ibrahim

12.Proponents of “Asian Values”

  • East Asia `Confucianism emphasis of hard work, thrift, filial piety and national pride have fuelled regional economic growth’. -- China government official Li Xianglu

  • Asian elements which have supported Japan's economic development `have come to serve as a model for the world' – Senior diplomat Ogura Kazuo

  • `Asia can present itself as an alternative to the West' and that more people are questioning the Western model of development'- Thai academic Chaiwat Satha-Anand

  • 'The Asianisation of Asia' -- Japanese intellectual, Yoichi Funabashi

Part Two

  • The Essence of “Asian Values”

  • The Assumptions of “Asian Values”

  • Empirical Studies on “Asian Values”

  • Why did they clash with the West?

  • Asian Values and Democracy- Divergent views

  • Asian Values and Human Rights- Divergent views

13. The Essence of “Asian Values”

13.The Essence of “Asian Values”

14.The Essence of “Asian Values”

  • Family is the key social organization

  • Group interests above individual interests

  • Consensus rather than confrontation in political decision-making

  • Social cohesion is priority, through moral principles and strong government;

  • Economic growth is a natural development of social cohesion and strong government

  • Organic view of society

15.The Assumptions of “Asian Values”

  • A set of core civilizational values, common to both the Confucian and non-Sino traditions of East Asia

  • A questioning of the legitimacy and efficacy of the Western model development's universal application

  • A conviction on the rise of the “East” and the fall of the “West”

  • ‘Asian values’ play in a part in shaping the ‘Asian miracles.’

16.Empirical Studies on “Asian Values” – conceptualization

  • One of the most authoritative empirical works to date is a ground-breaking study by David Hitchcock (1994)

16.Empirical Studies on “Asian Values” – conceptualization

16.Empirical Studies on “Asian Values” – conceptualization


The Ministers and representatives of Asian States, meeting at Bangkok from 29 March to 2 April 1993, pursuant to General Assembly resolution 46/116 of 17 December 1991 in the context of preparations for the World Conference on Human rights,

Adopt this Declaration, to be known as "The Bangkok Declaration", which contains the aspirations and commitments of the Asian region:


4. Discourageany attempt to use human rights as a conditionality for extending development assistance;

5. Emphasize the principles of respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as non-interference in the internal affairs of States, and the non-use of human rights as an instrument of political pressure;


7. Stress the universality, objectivity and non-selectivity of all human rights and the need to avoid the application of double standards in the implementation of human rights and its politicization, and that no violation of human rights can be justified;

Double Standard Argument

Nowhere is the double-standard approach to human rights more glaring than in the West’s evasion of its responsibilities through its inaction in the face of the massive and gravest violations of human rights in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Surely, their apathetic and meek response to genocide, ethnic cleansing and rape, in the heart of Europe, makes a total mockery of theirpreaching and posturing on the promotion and protection of human rights in far corners of the world.

We ask ourselves what credentials do they still have to preach about human rights when the most blatantabuse of those rights before their very eyes goes unpunished.-----The Malaysia Minister of Foreign Affairs


18. Recognize that the main obstacles to the realization of the right to development lie at the international macroeconomic level, as reflected in the widening gap between the North and the South, the rich and the poor;19. Affirm that poverty is one of the major obstacles hindering the full enjoyment of human rights;

Priorities Argument

The right to development should be given priority overcivil and political rights.

Poverty and lack of development are directly attributable to macroeconomic policies that increase “the widening gap between the North and the South, the rich and the poor.”

Priorities Argument

The Chinese government, which argued during theVienna Conference that “[w]hen poverty and lack of adequate food and clothing are commonplace and people’s basic needsare not guaranteed, priority should be given to economic development. Otherwise, human rights are completely out ofthe question.”


8. Recognize that while human rights are universal in nature, they must be considered in the context of a dynamic and evolving process of international norm-setting, bearing in mind the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds;


9. Recognize further that States have the primary responsibility for the promotion and protection of human rights through appropriate infrastructure and mechanisms, and also recognize that remedies must be sought and provided primarily through such mechanisms and procedures;


call[s] for greater recognition of the immense complexity of the issue of

human rights due to the wide diversity in history, culture, value systems, geography and phases of development amongthe nations of the world.”

Context Argument

Western over-reaction to [Paragraph 8’s] simple description of reality—that moreover explicitly recognized the ideal of universality led to much of the acrimony that characterized the debate between the West and Asia at the Vienna Conference.”

What seemed to be controversial about the position is that it suggests a contradiction; the rights cannot be both viewed as universal and interpreted differently according to one’s culture??

17.Why did “Asian Values” clash with the West?

  • The fallacy of the ‘universality of the western model of development’

    Mahbubani criticized the Westerners for their inability of `to see that non-Europeans may have reached a stage of development where they can progress without having to repeat Europe's mistakes

17.Why did “Asian Values” clash with the West?

  • Convergence with the West yet divergence from the West, modernization but not westernization

  • From former President Deng Xiaoping to Jiang Zemin till Hu Jintao, they have revived the “spiritual civilization” to promote the “socialist ethical and cultural progress” of the Chinese people

  • For decades Western commentators considered ‘Asian values’ as the cause of backward development in Asian societies.

  • Asian values – freed Asians from their low self-esteem, the legacy of years of western colonization

17.Why did “Asian Values” clash with the West?

  • The different interpretation of ‘democracy and human rights’

    • The West perceives the Asian regimes employ “Asian values” to defend an illiberal form of government.

    • Asians question why Western countries impose their cultural values and ethnocentric definitions of human rights on Asia

17.Why did “Asian Values” clash with the West?

  • “What is clear is that there is a general discontent throughout the region with a purely Western interpretation of human rights.” - Bilahari Kausikan

  • “There is suspicion arising from Malaysia to Korea to Japan, that the Western media's agenda of human rights and environmental protection......are means to keep Asia from developing further economically.” -- The Seoul Bureau Chief for the Far Eastern Economic Review commented in 1994

18. “Asian Values” and Democracy –Divergent Views

Ref: Yi-Huah Jiang, 2003

  • Type I -- Asian values as distinct from the West and Asian countries need not embrace the model of liberal democracy.

  • 􀂄 " If Singapore became a Western-style, individualistic society, he says, "we'd go down the drain; we would have more drugs, more crime, more single mothers with delinquent children, and a poor economy"—Former Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew (Bell, 1997: 7)

18. “Asian Values” and Democracy –Divergent Views

  • Type II - Asian values as distinct from the West but liberal democracy is the universal model for all.

  • 􀂄 ‘The future of Asian countries depends not only on continuing economic growth but, more importantly, on a strong commitment both to human rights and democracy and to the revitalization of Asian traditional values and cultures. The two sets of values complement each other and are equally important’ (Chan, 1997: 46).

18. “Asian Values” and Democracy –Divergent Views

  • Type III – Asian values are more rhetoric than actual, and democracy is a universal value which is not culture-bound.

  • 􀂄 Therefore, the distinction between East Asian and Western values is false" (Alatas, 1998: 11).

  • "It makes little sense to ask whether 'Asia' needs democracy, for it is the same as asking whether America or Europe needs democracy" (Ng, 1997: 12).

18. “Asian Values” and Democracy –Divergent Views

  • Type IV -- Asian values are more rhetoric than actual and liberal democracy is not the only choice available to mankind.

  • "Yet even if there are no essentially Asian values, it challenges us to think what we mean by “democracy”.

  • Different democratic societies may have different view of the relative importance of social order versus individual rights, it follows that alongside liberal democracies there could be non-liberal --or at any rate less liberal -- variants of democracy" (Emmerson, 1995: 96).

Part Three

  • “Asian Values” and Economic Development

  • “The ‘myth’ of Asian Economic Miracle

  • The Asian Financial Crisis: Were “Asian values” the culprit?

  • The Asian Financial Crisis: Going beyond culture and values

19. Asian Values and Economic Development



19. Asian Values and Economic Development

  • To most Asian leaders, economic and social rights precede over civil and political rights. Economic growth and development are prioritized over individual freedom.

  • The manifestation of “Asian values” have produced divergent social and economic outcome

  • China

  • Japan

  • Indonesia

  • India

  • Burma and North Korea

  • Singapore and Malaysia

19. Asian Values and Economic Development

1.China has great economic growth but without political freedom;

2. Japan is the richest & has most freedom.

3. Indonesia practices democracy but with poor economy

4. India has more freedom in politics than economics

5. Burma and North Korea are the poorest and have the least freedom among the Asian countries;

6. Singapore and Malaysia are rich and half free

19. Asian Values and Economic Development

Common characteristics of the East Asian Tigers are:-

  • Focused on exports to richer industrialized nations

  • Trade surplus with aforementioned countries

  • Sustained rate of double-digit growth for decades

  • Non-democratic and relatively authoritarian political systems during the early years

  • Undervalued currencies

  • High level of U.S. treasury bond holdings

  • High savings rate

20.The ‘Myth’ of Asian economic miracle?

  • Paul Krugman compared East Asia ‘spectacular’ growth to Communist economies in the 1960s.

  • Input-driven growth (growth in education, employment, stock of physical capital) vs Output-driven growth (better management and efficient use of resources)

  • Input-driven growth runs into diminishing returns, inevitably limited

20.The ‘Myth’ of Asian economic miracle?

  • A nation can only continue to growh economically if there is a rise in output not just input

  • Rapid Soviet economic growth was due to: the willingness to save, to sacrifice current consumption for the sake of future production

  • Soviet economy grew by its ability to mobilize resources, not its ability to use them efficiently.

  • Asian growth, similar to the Soviet Union, seems to be caused by growth in labor and capital rather than by gains in efficiency

20.The ‘Myth’ of Asian economic miracle?

  • The Asian miracle seems to have been based on perspiration rather than inspiration

  • “If there is a secret to Asian growth, it is simply deferred gratification, the willingness to sacrifice current satisfaction for future gain.” (Paul Krugman, 1994)

  • Simple economic principles – openness to foreign investment with state-managed market

  • A balanced perspective: cultural and economic factors to shape the success of the Asian miracles

21.The Asian Financial Crisis: Were “Asian Values” the culprit?

  • “The current crisis punctures the idea of Asian exceptionalism. The laws of economics have not been suspended in Asia.' (Francis Fukuyama)

  • 'Asian values have become Asian liabilities.' (US News and World Report)

  • “Yesterday, we admired Asian values and almost despised our own. Today, deregulated America is in fashion' (The New Statesman)

  • Some 'conservative' Americans ponder 'whether Asian values might teach Americans something'. In fact, however, America now has the opportunity, especially through the IMF, to 'spread its worldview at almost no cost to itself.' (Sebastian Mallaby in The National Interest)

21.The Asian Financial Crisis: Were “Asian Values” the culprit?

  • Asian government were accused of fostering crony capitalism that led to overinvestment in bad projects

  • Asian values did not cause the crisis. Corruption and nepotism are a debasement of Confucianist values. If Asian values were at fault, why aren’t Hong Kong and Singapore affected? (Lee Kuan Yew, 1998)

  • Poor system was the primary cause: weak banks, inadequate supervision and weak exchange-rate policies and excessive borrowing in the past three to four years. (Linda Lim, 1998)

  • Both domestic and international banks gave loans indiscriminately during the euphoria. Thai baht was the most vulnerable and was attacked in early 1996

21.The Asian Financial Crisis: Going beyond culture and values

  • The core of the problem: Volatility of global financial markets – sudden huge inflow of capital starting from 1993 and 1994 and then the sudden outflow in 1997. (Eisuke Sakakibara)

  • “The West has pushed us to open our markets, but what are we getting in return? Through globalization we have created a monster.” – Park Yung Chul, President of Korea Institute of Finance

  • Implications: Too much freedom too fast in both markets and politics can lead to downfall

Part Four

  • Are these values particularly Asian in nature? The illusion of ‘Asia exceptionalism’?

  • Criticisms on “Asian Values”

  • “Asian Values” – the model of the future or the model in decline?

  • “Asian Values” – Local VS Global

  • Conclusion

22.Are these values particularly Asian in nature?The illusion of ‘Asia exceptionalism’?

  • Is ‘East-West’ model exclusive?

  • Western industrialism was built in the 19th century upon values of strong government, moral propriety, hard work and thrift, similar to “Asian Values”

  • The Asian values are favorable to Asia’s present stage of the economic development, just as “Victorian values” suited 19th century Britain

22.Are these values particularly Asian in nature?The illusion of ‘Asia exceptionalism’?

  • ‘I do know that many of these ‘Asian values’ were once also ‘western values’. (New Straits Times, March 16: 1995, 10) – Mahatir, Margaret Thatcher.

  • “Asian values” are similar to the Christian principles. - Former British career diplomat Hugh Cortazzi.

  • Why did the West move away from these values?

    • A process of moral decline

    • Democracy has its own backlash. ‘Democracies are beginning to learn that too much freedom is dangerous.’ -- Mahatir

23.Criticisms on “Asian Values”

  • Cultural Relativism

  • Ignore heterogeneity and diversity

  • Asian values may in fact be ‘Chinese capitalism’, are in fact ‘typical’ to a restricted part of the region, in particular, the East Asian countries

  • Cultural Stereotype

  • Stereotyping, oversimplification and mutual misunderstanding

24.“Asian Values” – the model of the future or the model in decline

  • Is Asian model an alternative to liberalism?

  • Problems in the West society to reconcile individual rights with the interests of the larger community, a call to restraint ‘excessive liberalism’

  • Too much democracy blockage to economic growth

  • The “Asian values” thesis received support in the New Right in the 1980s – ex-U.S. President Reagan and ex-UK Premier of Margaret Thatcher –Traditional values are conducive to the freedom of the market

24. “Asian Values” – the model of the future or the model in decline

  • Current social and economic problems of the West are not the causes but the products of social change inherent in the development of capitalist society

  • The central question of the viability of ‘Asian model’ if this model is confined to only the period of early growth of capitalism – intensive mobilization of labor and capital

  • Individualistic Protestant ethic good for early capitalist development, Collectivist ethic of a Confucian type good for later global capitalism development (Levy, 1992)

24.“Asian Values” – the model of the future or the model in decline

  • International pressures on Asia to reform human rights, labor relations, legal system –U.S. and other Western industrial powers to break into Asian markets by imposing liberal market rules

  • Asian leaders see them as destroying the competitive advantage of the country.

  • “American political leaders hold double standards when it is in their interests but are less inclined to maintain the same standard when it is not in their economic interest, based on human rights rhetoric.” (Mahbubani 1998; Mauzy, 1997: 212 in Michael Hill, p. 25)

25.“Asian Values” – Local VS Global

  • East Asian form of modernity -complexity relationship between globalization on the one hand and localization on the other.

  • Asian Values – a ‘local’ voice to counteract globalization. The biased perception of ‘West is the BEST and SUPERIOR’ and the Mc-culture pervades among the young generation in Asia

  • The Globalization of the local and the localization of the global

  • Globalization in effect is the ‘universalisation’ of Western particularism

  • The American sociologist Peter Berger claims that East Asia has made a ‘second case’ of ‘capitalist modernity’ after the model of Western Europe


  • “Asian values” produced distinct political and economic institutions than the West

  • Most social problems in advanced capitalist countries in Asia resemble western nations, but with differing degree

  • The inherent problems of global capitalist development and modernization – In search for a model

  • ‘East-West’ –’Asian values debate’ reflects deeper unresolved political & ideological issues

  • A call for a fusion between the best practices of the East and the West

  • Login