The sustained economic growth of East and South-East Asia, in the context of the global financial crisis in 2008. Asia’s ascent in the global landscape is reflected in projections made by Goldman Sachs, which predicted in 2003 that the three largest economies in the world by 2050 would be the People’s Republic of China, followed by the USA and India. China’s rise as a regional and global power has been accompanied by growing tensions and mutual mistrust as China challenges the pre-eminent position of the USA in the East and South-East Asia. In September 2008 Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressed concern that China could narrow US strategic options in the Asia-Pacific through its development of cyber and anti-satellite warfare, anti-air and anti-ship weapons systems, and ballistic missiles. South-East Asia came into prominence in the global war against terrorism following the seminal terrorist attacks in the USA on 11 September 2001.