This chapter begins with discussions on the regional character of East Asia and the Pacific, and then focuses on demographic and development issues in East Asia, highlighting China, a rising powerhouse. In the Pacific, cultural complexities vary from the aboriginal peoples of Australia to Maori culture in New Zealand. In Southeast Asia, current political tensions are strongly related to the colonial past. The chapter focuses on Asia's demographic dilemma, and discusses Asian economic development, with an emphasis on China. The legacy of British, Dutch, Spanish, and French colonial control held back economic development in Southeast Asia. China's development program also has international dimensions. East Asia's global connections have become stronger in this early segment of the twenty-first century. The chapter closes with a discussion on East Asia's role in the twenty-first-century world.