Da Hsuan Feng, University of Texas at Dallas and Senior Executive Vice President for Research at the National Cheng Kung University at Tainan, Taiwan, outlined a future scenario based not on triadic competition among China, India, and the United States but rather envisioning a political and economic convergence of China and India. In his talk, “Googling My Late Father,” he described his long connection to India, having been born in New Delhi in the 1940s to a journalist based there. Many years later, he came across a published interview between India’s Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his father, in which Nehru voiced his hope that India and China would move forward together. The rift between the two countries in the 1950s was a great disappointment to Nehru. Now, the increase in international commercial activity and the growing middle class in both countries will drive demand for better health care, environmental quality, and quality of life.
A European Union was scarcely imaginable amid the ruins after World War II, said Feng. In the same way we may be surprised by a convergence of interests in Asia. He posited a future train ride from Seoul to Mumbai that would not require passport checks, just as Europeans now travel from Helsinki to Rome, the result of increasingly shared interests.