Nicolas Berggruen Institute
He wants to bridge the East-West Gap -- with philosophy.
To put the Middle Kingdom's soft power in context, while China is building bullet trains to connect 80 percent of its cities, half of all Indians still lack toilets. China's newly aggressive posture in the East and South China Seas, not to mention its commercial cyberspying, threaten to undermine that soft power. This is not to say that China is singularly at fault or that some of its claims are not legitimate and that others, especially Japan, are not culpable in raising tensions. Everyone now also knows that American NSA cyberspying is globally pervasive. But it is to say that much of the rest of the world perceives a new confrontational tone in Beijing.
If invested with popular legitimacy, Europe's success will depend on balancing it with long-term focused meritocratic governance and avoiding capture by short-term and particular special interests. A middle Way between West and East is indeed necessary.
Its time to update the genius of America's Founding Fathers to fit our present circumstances. If we can't manage to be equal to their spirit, the democracy they so carefully crafted is bound to falter.
Symbolically, the Oslo ceremonies are an historical turning point for Europe. By recognizing the European Union's peacemaking past, the Nobel Prize challenges Europe to escape once and for all the destructive pull of narrow national interests and passions.
When the European Union was only an idea, a fantastic object, it was conceived as an instrument of solidarity. Today, Europe hangs together out of grim necessity. That is not conducive to a harmonious partnership.