(Asia Times) The fault lines that could shake Asia By Yu Bin
Jan. 8, 2005
While much of Asia has been overwhelmed by the year-end tsunami, the outpouring of sympathy and assistance will eventually soothe the pain and destruction. What the tsunami may not be able to change, however, is the much deeper and stronger socio-economic-strategic undercurrents that are gathering momentum in Asia. As the year of the Monkey in 2004 ushered in the Rooster in 2005, the region is being torn by two different, if not opposing, forces. One is economic dynamics, which is largely natural, integrating and mutually beneficial, and conducive to social cohesion and political stability. The other is one of political-cultural engineering of identity change toward "normal states". This pursuit of symbolic goals, ironically, also is associated with greater political-military assertiveness. As a result, the specter of the past is again haunting the globe, as the region approaches the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.