APEC as a Semi-Solution

Australia’s prime minister Paul Keating has rightly pointed out that “the United States faces a fundamental decision on where and how it wishes to place itself in the emerging economic alignments of the Pacific.” Indeed, the American agenda in East Asia overflows with multiple and often contradictory objectives. Does East Asia create, or threaten, American jobs? Where is the tradeoff between humanitarian and commercial goals? North Korea aside, do the American defense treaties in East Asia exist, to adapt Lord Ismay’s quip about NATO, to keep American forces in, to keep China out, or to keep Japan down?

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