The “Asian spring” currently unfolding between Beijing in the north and Manila in the south is directly affecting the global supply chain, according to the Financial Times.
“China and Vietnam are engaged in a dangerous stand-off in the South China Sea. Chinese ships are routinely harassing Philippine boats as Manila takes Beijing to an international court. The Thai army has declared martial law in what some view as a ‘soft coup’, and, not to be outdone, Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, is making noises about a nuclear test,” the newspaper summarized the situation in a recent report.
While the geopolitical tensions are challenging Governments, they are also creating problems for multinationals and transport companies alike, all of which rely on Asian countries to maintain global supply chains.
The situation is comparable the aftermath of the catastrophic tsunami and earthquake that hit northeast Japan in 2011, which unveiled the true fragility of global supply chains.
According to the Financial Times, the situation is also highlighting that “China is no longer the holy grail for cheap manufacturing”.
As wages are rising all across Asia, the newspaper is now expecting India to take the lead, at least if Narendra Modi can face down the “bureaucracy-wallahs” as new Prime Minister.