The USA’s relationship with the East Asian region remains crucially important and a revealing indicator of its own power and the changing status of the region. Economic, political and strategic developments in East and South-East Asia have been profoundly influenced by the USA, and not always for the better. ‘East Asia’ is a relatively new formulation that conceals as much as it reveals. The USA has many relationships with the countries of North and South-East Asia, and describing them as East Asia is a convenient shorthand, albeit one that implies an underlying identity and coherence that is not self-evident or uncontested. The USA’s role in facilitating the so-called ‘Asian miracle’ is not always recognized or appreciated, especially in the USA itself. China’s rise presents challenges to the USA on a number of levels, all of which flow directly or indirectly from the rapid expansion of the Chinese economy.