The 21st century is the century of Asia, in which a new world order that may shape the direction of world affairs will come into effect. China is destined to play a major role, significantly affecting not only Asia, but also the world at large. The axis of world power is slowly evolving towards Asia-Pacific. The global economic activities, growing military budgets, and population trends and a rising consensus within the region indicate that their time has come. After centuries of colonialism, humiliation, imperialism, war and destruction, this diverse and vast region is beginning to regain its historic position in the first quarter of the 21st century. Japan, which had been devastated as result of the Second World War, had emerged from the ashes like a phoenix to become an industrial and economic giant, albeit with US support, owing to its status as a US protectorate. China, on the other hand, had suffered due to Japans and Britians imperialism, but finally stood on its own feet and is now destined to become a world power without external support. It has already surpassed Japans economy, and is challenging the US and is expected to overtake it in the next decade or so. The West is wary of Chinas rising economic strength. Since the financial crisis the US has been following a policy that has become increasingly aggressive in its effort to contain China. Noticeably, Washington has adopted various measures, which focus on propping up India as a counterbalance to China and prevailing upon South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and other countries that neighbour it for joint military exercises to 'encircle China militarily. According to a Russian newspaper, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, of October 27, 2010, the Pentagon is spending a considerable sum of money to contain China. The paper asserts that measures adopted include 'creating an anti-China alliance based on contentious issues such as the unresolved territorial disputes in the South China Sea and the fixed Renimbi currency exchange rate. The countries surrounding China, like Japan, India, Vietnam, Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Taiwan and South Korea are trying to join the anti-China group because they have a conflict of interest with Beijing and are attempting to gain benefits by using USA. On the contrary, the Chinese government, which believes in peace and not war, continues to follow the basic principle of building friendship and partnership with its neighbouring countries. In this regard, it is emphasising on deepening mutual trust. Its leaders have recently visited a number of Asian countries; held broad and in-depth exchange of views with their foreign counterparts on how to deepen mutual trust and bilateral cooperation; and have agreed on many important issues. China has ensured that the Asian countries work together to make remarkable progress in overcoming the impact of the financial crisis in the region. In this context, the Asian economy as a whole grew by 8.2 percent last year. Indeed, it has become an important engine of driving world economic recovery. Also, China boosted mutually beneficial cooperation; advanced regional integration, and worked in properly addressing regional issues. Its resolve to work with neighbouring countries to foster a peaceful, stable region, pursuing win-win cooperation, will go a long way in achieving this end. In the year 2011, China will continue to increase mutual trust since this year has some major landmarks. It marks the 60th, 50th and 20th anniversaries of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Beijing and Islamabad, China and the Lao PDR, and China and Brunei. This year is also the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the dialogue relationship between China and ASEAN. Moreover, 2011 is the year of friendly exchanges between China and ASEAN and between China and India. China will hold work with other Asian countries to deepen the friendship and mutual understanding between the people and pursue common development in Asia. In accordance with its Asia Policy, Beijing will vigorously promote regional integration. The China-ASEAN Free Trade Area has been fully established, marking a good beginning. China will further deepen such cooperation. At the same time, efforts will also be made to advance the practical cooperation between ASEAN and China, Japan and the ROK. China and ASEAN countries enjoy geographical proximity. The two sides are already engaged in friendly cooperation. It is their common aspiration to advance connectivity and network building. In this field, progress has already been made. The future belongs to China in particular and Asia in general. Hence, Pakistan, as a major Chinese ally, must benefit from its Asia Policy. n The writer is a political and defence analyst.