The East Asia Summit is the newest leaders-led regional organization in the Asia Pacific with a broad mandate and an unclear future. Its membership means that it is stuck halfway between being an East Asian regional body such as the ASEAN+3 process and an Asia-Pacific body such as Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation. Expanding the East Asia Summit to include the United States would enhance its ability to be the primary strategic forum in Asia and clearly identify the Summit as an Asia-Pacific body. This would not only improve Asia’s regional architecture, but would also serve the interests of the United States, ASEAN, Japan, China and India. The biggest challenge facing this positive development is convincing the United States to sign the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation and overcoming the concerns of the other regional bodies about an enhanced East Asia Summit. In 2009, a new administration in Washington and the EAS meeting in Vietnam will provide a powerfully symbolic opportunity to invite the United States into the East Asia Summit and allow the Summit and the United States to find their proper homes in Asia’s evolving regionalism.


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pp. 293-312
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