An Alternative Look at the Forces Driving East Asian Community Building
Shaun Breslin
 
 
Shaun Breslin explores, in an East Asian context, why some countries join regional organizations and others don’t. Analyzing different Asian region-building initiatives, he argues that there is a lack of consensus over which countries are part of the East Asian region and which are not—in addition to the role of China as a driver in the debate between narrow and wider visions of East Asia. Breslin concludes that promotion of the wider vision of region in the East Asia Summit represents a deliberate attempt to create an "oversupply of region" and to neutralize Chinese power. Like APEC before it, he argues, the EAS is an "anti-region" supplied in order to prevent the emergence of a truly coherent regional community, and that so long as the "supply of this region is not in equilibrium with the demand for region" developing a form of region that "works" and evolves into functioning institutions will be problematic.


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