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Asia Heading Rightward: Embarking on a New Era

For decades, support for Palestine was one of the most important causes taken up by many Asian countries. The Soviet Union's collapse ushered the continent into a more realist era. Consequently, most Asian states either shifted to the right or were replaced by rightists. This shift represented a major setback for the Palestinian freedom struggle; where its major traditional supporters; leftists and Muslims, were marginalized either by realist politicians or by the engagement of people with their domestic problems. The paper tries to understand the major characteristics and motives of this approach.

Asia Heading Rightward Embarking on a New Era
Indian paramilitary troopers stop a Kashmiri resident during a curfew, following the killing of a Kashmiri student in downtown Srinagar on June 9, 2017. AFP PHOTO

Over fifty years have passed since the last colonial power left the Third World and the (new) states or societies have had to deal with many challenging issues, like the Zionist occupation of Palestine. In the 1960s and 1970s, several revolutionary groups, were engaged in combating direct as well as indirect occupations, such as the American presence in Vietnam. These groups were supported by the Soviet Union and its allies like China, Eastern Germany and Czechoslovakia. 

Once the revolutionaries achieved independence, they found themselves face to face with the challenge of modern state and the power that it wields. This challenge required different skills, strategies and tools from those of revolution and internal revolt. Many experiments in creating a state failed because of corruption, cronyism and impoverishment of their own people, making it a must for these regimes to review their policies and try to answer some ‘existential’ questions in a different way. This was more plausible after the retirement of ‘revolutionary men’ or the old guard, during the dissolution of the Eastern Block, and the emergence of the ‘statesmen’ who had a different understanding about the role of governments. Changes in the leading states like China motivated the more marginal states to move in the same direction. During the term of President Deng Xiao Ping China started moving slowly away from its Marxist ideology and inched towards a free market and an open economy.

With this big shift in political priorities, Asian countries started moving right-ward where they perceived they could progress more in terms of internal development with the corresponding economic and social prosperity of their peoples

With the Eastern Block dissolved, many Asian countries found themselves in an open confrontat

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