pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

Issues & Insights Vol. 05 – No. 09

In the post-Cold War and post-Sept. 11, 2001 world, a great deal of attention has been paid to multilateral cooperation in East Asia and to the formation of economic and political cooperation and dialogue mechanisms aimed at creating a sense of East Asian and broader Asia-Pacific community. The United States has been an active partner in some of these community-building efforts and, in recent years (unlike the early 1990s), has been generally supportive of – or at least not actively opposed to – those in which it is not a member. In fact, the Bush administration, despite its (sometimes deserved) reputation for unilateralism elsewhere, has been particularly supportive of East Asian and broader Asia-Pacific multilateralism. This appears to be changing, however, as Washington keeps a cautious eye on the evolution of the ASEAN Plus Three forum (involving the 10 ASEAN States, plus China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea) into an East Asian Summit (EAS).