NEW YORK, November 11, 2011 — Asia Society released its latest task force report, U.S.-East Asia Relations: A Strategy for Multilateral Engagement at an event here with Simon Tay, Chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs and Associate Professor of International Law at National University of Singapore, in conversation with Parag Khanna, Senior Fellow, New America Foundation.
The report, released one day before the APEC Summit in Honolulu, calls on the Obama Administration to renew and deepen U.S. engagement with Asia on a multilateral basis and outlines a series of steps for the U.S. to do so.
As the Obama administration looks to solidify the American presence in East Asia, it finds a region transformed since the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Since that time, East Asians have expressed a growing and layered approach in regionalism ranging from free trade and economic agreements among neighboring countries, to ministerial meetings and summitry in the ASEAN+3 and East Asian Summit processes. Despite these variations, the phenomenon of East Asian regionalism has shared a common feature: it has thrived on an intra-Asian basis that largely excluded the U.S. Given the current economic and political climate, the U.S. cannot afford to be on the outside any longer.
The task force was co-chaired by Han Sung-Joo, Professor Emeritus at Korea University, and J. Stapleton Roy, Director for the Kissinger Institute on China and the United States at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The co-directors of the task force were Simon Tay and Michael Kulma, the Executive Director of the Global Leadership Initiatives at Asia Society.
The task force's recommendations include: