Asan Plenum


Panel: Evolving New World Order in East Asia (Regency Room)
Date/Time: Tuesday, April 30, 2013 / 17:00-18:15
Talking Points for: Evans Revere, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

China’s rise is changing the face of East Asia and altering regional power dynamics. It is also prompting speculation that a new, China-centric East Asian order may be emerging. Some observers believe that China’s ascendance is being accompanied by the decline of the United States, an erosion of Japanese influence, and the fraying of a post-Word War II system with the United States at the center of a network of complementary regional alliances and partnerships. It would be a mistake to presume the demise of this contemporary regional order.

Integrating an economically powerful and more militarily capable China into the region will be a crucial task in the coming years. So will the need to ensure that China plays a constructive regional role. But there are deep concerns in the region about Beijing’s ambitions and assertiveness, and China’s territorial disputes with many of its neighbors are generating unease. These concerns have already prompted regional actors to urge the United States to play an even more active role in the region’s economy, security, and diplomacy, and Washington is responding positively to this. The ongoing crisis in Korea has also reminded the region of the important role the United States plays in preserving peace and stability.

As a result, there is every reason to believe that there is plenty of life left in the current regional order, that the United States will remain a dominant force in regional affairs, and that regional rivalries and suspicions will prevent the development of a radically new regional order any time soon.