Washington International Law Journal


Desaix Anderson


The economic opportunities and the challenges the United States faces in the Asia Pacific region are both daunting and exhilarating. Prospects are describable only in megaterms: the doubling of energy needs within the decade; one trillion dollars of new infrastructure projects envisaged over ten years; the integration not only of China into the regional economy, but also the emergence of India, with a population which is expected to exceed China's in the next century; the massive environmental rehabilitation requirements, for example, in China; staggering food supply requirements; exploding telecommunications networks and educational exchange opportunities. Developments in Asia and the Pacific are dramatically transforming the global geo-economic structure. The Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation ("APEC") forum has suddenly emerged as the principal vehicle for facilitating this transformation. Our common goal should be to make sure that this is done in a way which not only preserves the equities of all but also ensures the birth of a beneficent and cooperative Pacific community which sustains the dynamic development which has characterized the region in recent years. The challenge was captured in the "Vision Statement" issued at the conclusion of the historic Seattle APEC Leaders meeting on November 20, 1993. In their "vision," APEC Leaders committed to "deepening our spirit of community based on our shared vision of achieving stability, security and prosperity for our peoples." That commitment encapsulated the political commitment of the leaders to building a Pacific community, as called for in Seattle by President Clinton.

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