Parag Khanna's popular new book The Future Is Asian joins a long tradition of pan-Asianist thinking. He sets out to describe a new, unified Asia stretching from the Mediterranean and Red Seas across the Eurasian continent to the Pacific Ocean, including Russia, Australia, and New Zealand (p. 6).1 “Even though Asia is the most heterogeneous region of the world,” Khanna writes, “there is a growing coherence in its dizzying diversity: some psychological underpinning, some aesthetic familiarity, some cultural thread that permeates Asia and differentiates it from other regions” (p. 5). How like the transnationalizing Filipino pan-Asianist Mariano Ponce (1863–1918) he sounds.

Khanna's conception of Asia is oriented toward the future but draws from a unique historical moment of interconnection and economic boom stitching Asia into something whole—larger than its constituent parts. Asia produces, exports, imports, and consumes more goods than any other region, and it trades and invests more...

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