Northeast Asian Economic Integration: A Region in Flux

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Over the last decade, essentially since the Asian crisis of 1997-98, the economic integration of Northeast Asia has been marked by three overarching trends. Economic relations have become: 1) more institutionalized; 2) more "Asian;" and 3) more China-centric. These macro-trends are demonstrated and analyzed in the paper. But by way of anticipation, numerous counter-cutting facts need also to be kept in mind. In essence, recent trends, notable as they are, have by no means reversed three counter-realities: 1) economic ties are still largely driven, less by governments and formal arrangements, than by corporations in search of profits and production efficiencies; 2) despite growing economic interdependence across Northeast Asia and between that sub-region and Southeast Asia, Japan, China and South Korea remain heavily linked to global, and particularly US, markets; and 3) though China is an ever important hub in Northeast Asian trade and investment, Japan remains by far the most powerful economic player in the region.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2007

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