The 21st century has often been called the Asian Century, and the United States has an important stake and role to play in the region’s growing significance. East Asia in particular is becoming increasingly important as it accumulates economic, political, military, and social might. The region, composed of diverse actors with sometimes difficult relationship, is slowly integrating and faces challenges in this process and in the larger process of globalization.
China’s ability to maintain its spectacular growth will be perhaps the main determinant of the Asian Century. All regional actors, including Japan and the United States, will have opportunities to benefit from China’s growth, but will also become increasingly vulnerable to economic downturns in China.
The Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies (CNAPS) at the Brookings Institution and the Keizai Koho Center (KKC) co-hosted a conference in Tokyo on May 21 to examine these trends. Leading experts from Japan, the United States, China, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan discussed regional integration, a sustainable Chinese economy, and the impact of the United States on the region. Speakers included a number of Brookings scholars and former and current CNAPS visiting fellows.