Over the past decade or so, two major developments have deeply altered
both the economic and political setting in East Asia, giving rise to what can arguably be called a ‘‘new Asia’’, an Asia that has the potential to dra-
matically affect world balances. The ﬁrst of these changes relates to the
apparent shift away from informal ‘‘open regionalism’’ towards an institution-
based form of economic and political co-operation in the region, while the
second is associated with the rise of China as a major actor in the eco-
nomic, diplomatic, and strategic regional arena.