What Role Does China Play in East Asian Regionalism

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Since the end of Cold War characterized by disintegration of Soviet Union, great changes have taken place in the world economy structure. Global aggregation development centralized on region has been emerging .Three regional economic entity ,including Europe, North America and East Asian have come to shape, which plays a more and more significant role in structuring the new international order. Recently, shocked by the wave of globalization and regionalization, new regionalism has been emphasized as the basic theory of regional economic integration. With the development of economic cooperation in East Asian, regionalism has turned into a kind of "open" one that emphasizes internal integration while maintaining external linkages, i.e. ten plus three meeting mechanism[1]. The trend has been formed that regional cooperation in East Asia develops into Institutionalization, thus it opens the history of East Asian regional cooperation. How China, as a major Asian power rapidly rising and switching step by step from the edge to the center of the world stage, is functioning in such a specific international environment as East Asian regional cooperation will be discussed in the fowling text.

1、Formation and characteristic of East Asian regionalism

Entering the new century, new wave of globalization impacts the human society fiercely. The influence of globalization reached every corner of the world, covering politics, economy, security, society, culture, ctc. The globalization has been accompanied by a course of regionalization. Since nations lie in a certain region, a solid entity has come to shape among interrelationships of politics, economy, security, society, culture. Meanwhile, globalization has brought great challenges to countries at a disadvantage, which cannot be dealt with separately. Cons-equently, a regional entity is required to confront the globalization.

The economic cooperation in East Asian began in the 1960s characterized by the foundation of ASEAN. However, its economic scale is comparatively small, which has limitation to promote the East Asian economic development. In late 1990s, ASEAN played a confidence-building role in opening new channels of communication among member countries and in providing an incentive to manage their differences by peaceful means. 1.1 With the end of Cold War, peace and development has become the major issues facing the world today. All countries accelerate their steps of economic development. American’s attitude toward the building of regional economic organization has changed. This shift is favorable to Asian regional economic organization. At the same time, The evolution of regionalization in the American continent and Europe served as promoting forces from the outside to promote the regionalism in East Asia, when East Asian countries found it necessary for them to get closer in order to face the outside challenges. There is a clear trend that ASEAN has greatly enhanced its functions and widened its influence. This trend will serve as an opportunity for ASEAN as a leading advocate of East Asian regionalism. Its main mission of maintaining domestic stability now includes the promotion of regional economic growth, in which the establishment of a free trade area has been a major objective. Although a free trade area in ASEAN will intensify internal competition, it will also promote regional economic development. 1.2 Three incidents that happened at the beginning of the century made Eastern countries viewed the regional cooperation through a new perspective and attitude. The first one is the outbreak of Southeastern Asian Financial Crisis. The crisis also demonstrated how little the assistance Asian countries could get from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United States. Therefore it generated a feeling of community among Chinese and other East Asian peoples. The second is that China has been learning to be a responsible member of international...
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