Thinking about the transnational issues that we have discussed during the final part of the course, as well as
the material from the previous parts of the course, do you think that the Asian region is headed toward conflict or
cooperation in the future (choose one)? Support your argument using examples from at least 4 of the following:
economic integration, energy security, nuclear security, military rivalry, territorial disputes, maritime security, outer
space, cyberspace, environmental degradation, food issues, climate change, natural disasters, health, irregular
migration, transnational crime, human rights, and soft power. The strongest essays will present a clear argument and
support it using concrete examples from multiple countries as well as concepts from throughout the course. Engage
with the relevant class materials and cite at least 3 course readings to support your argument.
Asian Region Conflicts
Since the end of World war two, the Asian region has been under the focal lens of the International community. For decades Asia has been characterized by a wide range of transnational issues that affect the region’s social, political, and economic environment. Instability in the Middle Eastern nations has had ripple effects on the growth and development of neighboring countries. This paper aims to explore and better understand the transnational issues contributing to the raging conflicts in the Asian region by investigating irregular immigration, transnational crime, natural disasters, and health. Looking at the case studies of the founding members of the Asian region, including Japan, Vietnam, and China, and Afghanistan, a comprehensive approach allows for comparing the transnational issues in both the strong and weak economies.
In the 21st century, there has been an unprecedented influx of refugees from the war-torn areas of Afghanistan, Armenia, and Bahrain. Most of these refugees of Islamic descent have caused widespread radical beliefs coupled with Islamophobia and xenophobia within these countries. With the continuous increase in refugees in the neighboring countries, there is a growing fear and anxiety of possible extension of acts of terrorism through the Asian region. Although the Asian area consists of Muslims and Christians in equal measure, the continuous growth and infiltration of Muslim extremists’ has been a growing concern in the neighboring regions and become a significant threat to human security, impeding the social, political, economic, and cultural development societies. From this perspective, the growing Islamophobia and have scaled to inhibit the operation of the social, political, and economic front. The Asian region has been infiltrated by Muslim minorities and heavily contributed to the negative backlash from the growing national-populist polities exacerbated by terrorist attacks carried out by Muslim extremists. Although Asia is a traditionally diverse region, the high level of insecurity, hunger, hostility based on ethnic backgrounds, prosecution, and other social chaos contributing to the mass migration of people from one country to another.
With the continuous influx of refugees in foreign nations, there is a rise in insecurity that exacerbates conflicts and wars. The general perception of Muslims as threats to national security has contributed to the transition of irregular migration transcending across International boundaries. The rise in populist national parties has failed to implement any foreseeable policies to protect the minority group, which causes the growing unemployment, poverty, political participation, and limited civic duties. Low living standards cause the immigrants to engage in illegal activities such as money laundering, illicit drug trafficking, bribery and corruption of public and of party officials elected representatives as defined in national legislation, infiltration of legal business, computer fraud, terrorism activities, bankruptcy, theft of intellectual property, sea piracy, aircraft hijacking, illicit traffic in arms, trade of human body parts, theft of cultural objects, environmental crime, and other offenses committed by organized criminal groups which are the primary ills of the transnational crime (Cook, Mely, & Caballero, 2013).
According to the World Drug Report 2010, Afghanistan is one of the leading producers of heroin and is a major exporter to China and its neighbors in the South East region. China has the largest number of heroin consumers. The majority of these consumers are young people below 25 years. However, up until 2015, the Government of China stipulated that biological parents should bear only one child. As a result, this increased the widening gap of workers shortage, which causes low output per production every year. With young people languishing in drug addiction, the workplace, labor, and manufacturing started experiencing slowed production due to the limited workforce. As a result, companies in China overutilize the available workers under low wages, while some opt to outsource labor from neighboring countries at very high costs. Reliance on drugs impedes the growth parameters as the most active percentage of the population cannot put in the work needed to move the country forward. For instance, in Manymar, many young people are affiliated with drug-related gangs either through consumption or production. These gang acts are the leading cause of conflict and other transnational crimes such as drug trafficking to neighboring countries. The drug menace in Asia is a significant contributor to the ravaging conflict and wars spanning across the region. This is mainly due to desperation and lack of resources to meet their needs (Cook, Mely, & Caballero, 2013).
For decades Asia has been facing a series of natural disasters characterized by flooding, hunger earthquakes, Tsunamis, and landslides. For example, Japan’s economy has not yet recovered from the diverse effects of the earthquakes and Tsunamis experienced in March 2011. The aftermath of the Tsunami resulted in allocating large sums of money to restore normalcy in the region. With the rapid effects still scouring large, there’s great tension between policymakers and Government officials on the necessary cause of action. On the one hand, policymakers are adamant about formulating policies to mitigate natural calamities. However, regional collaborative efforts lack depth in scope and commitment to solving the region’s problems.
Although Asia is high level vulnerable to life-threatening diseases and diseases emanating from poor sanitary conditions, the recent COVID-19 has been an enormous stress test for the Asian community (Kerstin, 2000). While previous pandemics have weakened the health care system, the advent of the SARS virus, which eventually led to the COVID-19, has uncovered the enigma ailing the Asian region. Countries such as Vietnam are still ailing from the economic shrink surrounding oil manufacturing and production. Even before the COVID-19 outbreak, Vietnam was under a financial crisis. Corruption bribery and nepotism has caused the radical misuse of the country’s resource. Most of the people in the country are living below the poverty line. They do not have access to healthcare and rely on donations from well-wishers. All the small-scale manufacturing has been paralyzed (Henry & Abraham, 2020).
On the other hand, Afghanistan has become a hotbed of a geopolitical crisis. Today in Afghanistan, there is no sovereign state as rebels have taken them over. As a result, this disrupts and impedes social, political, and economic development in the lens of healthcare. Following this majority of the country’s in the Asian regime lacks a rigid framework to protect its people from the adverse effects of the COVID-19. Failure to cushion the people from this social enigma renders the population unproductive, weak and may lead to loss of life, reducing the working population. In essence, most people will die due to a lack of access to basic healthcare facilities and may cause a steady decline in the population.
In surmise, Asia is a globalized region home to the most diverse transboundary issues that spark the international community’s attention. Drawing insights from developed and developing countries in the Asian basin, it is evident that the dynamics of the transnational issues vary but consist of elements that show striking resemblance in their existence and operation.
Cook, D., Mely, & Caballero, A. (2013). Non-Traditional Security in Asia. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 234-266.
Henry, F., & Abraham, N. (2020, March 16). The pandemic is exposing market vulnerabilities no one knew existed. Will the Coronavirus End Globalization as We Know It?
Kerstin, L. (2000). Health Risks and Responses. In L. Kerstin, Transnational Human Security (p. 621). Open Textbook Publishing.