The economic dynamism of early European nation-states solidified naval transportation as the foundation of global commerce, giving rise to the great cities of Asia located on coastlines and along key waterways. Today, this 400-year epoch of Asian geopolitics focused on the littoral is changing. The great Eurasian supercontinent is reconnecting internally.
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Americans are not in the game. And, if you’re not in the game, you can’t score. If we’re serious about rebalancing our attention to Asia, we need to get involved in the new institutions Chinese and other Asians are creating.
If decades of torrid growth have been the opening scene on Asia’s economic stage, the region’s reconnecting—through new roads, railways, and other infrastructure—could be the next act.