The Impact of Regionalism and the Role of the G20
Edited by Jehoon Park, T. J. Pempel and Geng Xiao
Chapter 12: East Asian Community Building
12. East Asian community building Wei Pan1 12.1 INTRODUCTION In this chapter I intend to address three related issues: (1) explaining obstacles to the progress of building the East Asian community; (2) presenting a new theory of international relations in the 21st century; (3) following the new theory, suggesting solutions to overcome the obstacles. 12.2 OBSTACLES TO BUILDING THE EAST ASIAN COMMUNITY At a time of globalization, to build an East Asian ‘economic’ community is not difficult. In the first decade of the 21st century, East Asia has already become a closely linked community in the economic sense. China, Japan, Korea and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries have already built and institutionalized close economic linkages. Bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) in the region are expanding; and the East Asian countries have become major trading partners with each other. We should be quite satisfied with this economic community. Furthermore, East Asia is a major economic partner with the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), and China has become the number one trading partner with Africa and South Asia, and the number two trading partner with Latin America. A four-engined picture of the world economy is foreseeable. The engines might be the US, EU, East Asia and China. I exclude China from East Asia, however. China is certainly part of East Asia, and it is the engine for the East Asian economic community. Yet, China is also a problem for community building. I exclude China from East...
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