Increased Interdependence In The East Asian Community

1065 words - 4 pages

The notion for an East Asian Community has a long history, but has gained considerable traction since the late 1990s. The Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-98 underscored the need for such a regional bloc that aimed at connecting countries in the region. Since then numerous community building initiatives have been implemented such as the ASEAN+3, the Chiang Mai Initiative, and the East Asian Summit. In addition, the region has entered into a series of bilateral and multilateral Free Trade and Economic Partnership Agreements. These projects were driven by a shared sense of purpose among East Asian countries to construct a more Asian-oriented community. The region enjoys one of the highest growth rates in the world and rising intra-regional trade, investment, banking and financial links, technology transfer, communication, cultural and personnel exchanges have all helped to increase regional cohesiveness, connectedness and interdependence. As the countries in East Asia have become increasingly interdependent, leaders in the region have become more determined to build a framework for greater regional cooperation and integration. Regionalism has become a process in which East Asian nations can competently handle globalization and increased interdependence.
An East Asian Community would ideally seek the goals of preventing conflict and promoting peace among the nations of East Asia, achieve closer economic cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, finance, and development, and advance human security. This community would be guided by respect for internationally accepted principles and norms including mutual respect for international law. Moreover, the community would avoid duplication of the work of other regional frameworks and instead complement their contributions. East Asian multilateral security mechanisms would be viewed as confidence building measures aimed at promoting dispute resolutions and crisis management mechanisms. Traditional as well as nontraditional security issues such as territorial and maritime disputes, border problems, competition for resources, transnational crimes, and international terrorism are common challenges that the East Asian Community would tackle through joint and cooperative responses.
The necessity for an East Asian Community has never been greater. Globalization of the world economy and trends towards regional trading blocs brings new challenges. Global standards need to be defined and regulations harmonized. Regional cooperation and coordination are required to advance the region’s common interests. The region is endowed with an abundance of skilled labor, entrepreneurs, natural resources, capital and advanced technology. These common challenges and complementary resources call for mutually beneficial cooperation and exchanges, not only in the economic realm, but also in the political, security, environmental, social, cultural and educational arenas. The rapid rise of China and its increasing influence...

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