East Asia’s voice in global and economic governance is far smaller than it should be given the region’s contribution to world growth and its general significance. The region is under-represented, by any measure, on the International Monetary Fund, the Bank for International Settlements, and the Financial Stability Board. Only in the G20 does the region have fair representation, but because it doesn’t speak with a unified voice, even there the region’s impact is limited. This article explores how regional nations might work together to rectify this situation and what keeps the region’s three largest economies apart on so many issues. In particular, the article explores how Japan needs to take responsibility for its history and understand the price it is paying for not doing so. The article also contrasts China’s generally adroit use of aid, soft loans, and other measures to garner influence, with its highly counter-productive belligerence over territorial claims in the South China and East China Seas. The article advances a thesis that might explain this ‘split-personality’ behavior by China, why in some fora its behavior is subtle and highly effective in attaining its national interests, yet when it comes to territoriality issues it behaves utterly differently and in ways quite adverse to its larger agenda.
Ross P. Buckley,
How East Asia Could Amplify Its Voice in Global
B.C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev.