Regional Integration in Asia: Prospects and Challenges

  •  Sa Zeng    


Think locally, acting globally. With this motto in mind, this paper aims to show how the becoming ASEAN and its powerful neighbors could avoid costly errors in forming a working union of nations by not looking at the completed total rather than a first, tangible step. By looking at the European Union and how it became what it is today, Asia will be able to avoid exaggerated expectations towards the speed at which a solid agreement can be reached. Especially in regards to the psychological mindset of decision makers grown up in nation centered rather than globally oriented societies will Europe be able to provide a lesson. The paper concludes that a working economic union should be the first step on the way to a united Asia. The underlying condition that most of Asia’s economies are controlled by Chinese emigrants provides for a notion which shall be explored as a possible stepping stone on the way to a working economic integration.

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