Asian nations should set vision to build meaningful 'Asian Century'

There is a general belief that the 21st century would become an "Asian Century".

In the last century, the "American Century", two world wars were fought by major powers to settle disputes over lands, seas, colonies and resources, as well as to gain regional and global dominance and leadership.

Will the journey to the Asian Century be the same?

Looking at the existing tensions and potential conflicts between and among major powers in Asia and the neighbouring region - China, India, Japan, Pakistan, North Korea, South Korea, Vietnam, Russia and the United States - the geopolitical setting is as complicated as that in Europe before the world wars.

With weapons that are much more destructive and with countries being more densely populated than any time before, any war would freeze the region's development for years.

Key players as well as smaller nations in the region should collectively set a common vision for what kind of Asian Century we want to achieve.

Albert Ng Ya Ken