The European Union and East Asia
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The European Union and East Asia

Interregional Linkages in a Changing Global System

Edited by Peter W. Preston and Julie Gilson

The global system has seen sweeping changes in recent years and this has precipitated a revival of interest in the relationship between Europe and Asia. This book examines the extent and nature of the regional linkages between East Asia and the European Union. Issues discussed include: the reactions and approaches of both regions to the Asian Crisis; postcolonialism and the balance of power in Europe-Asia Relations; trade relations between Europe and Asia and the revival of the Silk Road; and the development of the role of Asia-Europe Meetings.
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Chapter 11: East Asia: emergent regional dynamics

Peter W. Preston


Peter W. Preston INTRODUCTION At the turn of the new millennium the East Asian region is subject to close attention from political agents, policy analysts and scholars. It is clear that the region is undergoing widespread economic and social change. This chapter will present a broad survey of the salient economic and political changes presently underway in the region. It will seek to complement the detailed work presented in earlier chapters with a synoptic overview of emergent regional dynamics. The discussion will be ordered around the notion of complex change. We might speculate that it seems likely that the future of the region over the next few years will be shaped by the intermingled logics of the continuing shift to the modern world, the drive towards regionalism and finally the continuing effects of the recent financial crisis.1 READING CHANGE IN THE GLOBAL SYSTEM The end of the cold war has had a series of remarkable consequences for European observers. As the obfuscations of the period fell away, leaving politicians, policy analysts and scholars free to contemplate the world directly it became apparent that the global system had taken a distinctly tri-polar form. It was clear that the USA constituted one key power within the global system, indeed this was a familiar matter, however what was new was the relatively abrupt realization that the European Union also constituted a distinctive sphere, and that, moreover, East Asia, hitherto regarded as one of the arenas of cold war competition2 had been undergoing a...

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