chapter
Part II: The policies of the great powers
Pages 105

The conduct of American foreign policy towards the Asia-Pacific since 1945 has been shaped by the complex inter-play between global priorities and regional interests. As the world's leading power in the second half of the twentieth century, the United States has tended to cast its policies in terms of global visions and strategies. The significance attached to East Asia should be considered not only in terms of the historical evolution of American relations with that part of the world, but also with reference to its place within the broader international context of America's foreign relations. Relations with particular regions and countries may have their own distinctive features, but ultimately, the extent of American engagement has been determined by the place allotted to them within the larger scope of American priorities as a whole.