Environmental Challenges faced by Asian People Prompt: In your opinion, what are the most prominent environmental challenges faced by Asian people? What might be the solutions? Your response/comments/answers shall consist of at least one complete paragraph with at least 250 words. What is regarded as a scholarly posting? Scholarly posts should have the following: Quality […]
According to de Blij (1997), geographic realms are established on similarities of functional relations between societies and their natural environments. As such, the most significant environmental challenges faced by Asian people is the shift of economic structure resulting from colonialism. Western colonialism rule produced a hierarchical configuration of economic activity between the colonized and colonizers. The Philippines was the wealthiest nation in East Asia in 1820, while present-day Taiwan was the most impoverished area (Kim, 2009). In Taiwan, the level of economic growth was double that in the Philippines 150 years later. The divergent financial performances of the mentioned nations mirror overall differences between Southeast and Northeast Asia. The Southeast Asian countries were, for a long time, wealthier than their counterparts in Northeast Asia. However, they fell behind in the 1960s and 1970s, and the income gap between regions has been growing.
The reason for the shift in economic structure is that, on the one hand, some of the countries in Northeast Asia, such as Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, carried out fundamental land reforms that radically stabilized income in society. On the other hand, most nations in Southeast Asia inherited “extractive colonial organizations” that preserved income disparity (Kim, 2009). The extractive colonial institutions comprised extreme levels of inequality that profited the existing ruling elites and guaranteed them a return to power. The distinction resulted in some unintended results (Winfield, 2011). Consequently, it became challenging to change such institutions. The social organization and institutional structure remained intact when the colonizers left the colonies. Thus, choosing not to inherit these in-egalitarian colonial organizations allowed Northeastern Asian countries to break from the colonial legacy, which enabled the commencement of the developmental state.
Based on the neoclassical economic model, the government should play a minimal role in producing economic growth. Nonetheless, the solutions to the challenge in question require the states to play various essential roles in attaining success as the Northeastern Asian nations. First, a country must adopt a set of industrial policies characterized by export-oriented industrialization (EOI). Secondly, the government must be able to sustain and implement “big push” programs and insulate itself from a specific interest in society (Kim, 2009). Finally, the state needs to embed itself in the community to implement optimal manufacturing policies that capitalize on industrial investment, which, in turn, will result in a high level of economic development.
de Blij, H. (1997). Geography: Realms, regions, and concepts. John Wiley & Sons Australia, Limited.
Kim, W. (2009). Rethinking colonialism and the origins of the developmental state in East Asia. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 39(3), 382-399.
Winfield, P. D. (2011). Introduction: Religion in Asia today. CrossCurrents, 286-289.
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Published On: 01-01-1970