Essay on Increased Interdependence in the East Asian Community

Essay on Increased Interdependence in the East Asian Community

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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...


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...ning to its neighbors.
Undoubtedly, the time to vigorously pursue a multilateral framework such as an East Asian Community could not be more opportune. Such a community would be vital in promoting peace and managing East Asia’s historic rise in the global arena. Increasing interdependence of the region’s economies and the abundance of transnational challenges present the region with the opportunity and necessity to work together through a multilateral framework. While there are obvious obstacles that need to be overcome and structural issues to be worked out they are by no means restrictive in the formation of such a community as long as East Asian regionalism is led by issues. It is time for the East Asian Community to produce an institutional response that will provide necessary security assurances, monitor compliance, and facilitate a more prosperous region.

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