More Talk About An East Asian Community

More wind in the sails of the creation of an East Asian Community, but turbulent wind. The idea is being much discussed at the ASEAN heads of government meeting in the Thai resort of Hua Hin, at which China, Japan and South Korea are in attendance. Japan’s new prime minister Yukio Hatoyama was pushing the idea hard but also calling for an albeit undefined role for the U.S. China was making nice to Japan, which is now being nicer to it under Hatoyama, but there was no disguising the fact that Japan wants the U.S. involved as a counterweight to China’s influence in the region, much the same reason China doesn’t. ASEAN was talking about creating an EAC by 2015, a date Hatoyama would be happy to latch on to. Beijing will doubtless be equally happy to wait it out. Xinhua‘s report from Hua Hin noted that the creation of an EAC “is a long-term objective of East Asian cooperation”. The community will coalesce as a trading block long before it does as a political union.

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Filed under China-Koreas, Politics & Society

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