What motivates regional financial cooperation in East Asia today?
Publication Date: January 2005
Publisher(s): East-West Center
Author(s): Jennifer Ann Amyx
Series: AsiaPacific issues ; no. 76
Regional financial cooperation in East Asia is proceeding with unprecedented intensity. Latest developments include two Asian Bond Funds, created by the regional central bankers group, and an Asian Bond Markets Initiative launched by the finance ministers of the Association of South East Asian Nations member states plus China, Japan, and South Korea (or ASEAN+3). Some observers continue to attribute such cooperation to sharpened antagonism between East Asia and the West since the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. But this view overlooks a key internal driver: China's shift to a more proactive stance toward regional cooperation. Far from demonstrating an antagonism toward market-based financial systems, ASEAN+3 members are embracing more liberal rules for economic interaction in their creation of regional bond funds and markets. Financial cooperation in East Asia is today motivated by factors that differ considerably from those observed in the immediate aftermath of the Asian financial crisis and the implications extend beyond East Asia.