عنوان مقاله [English]
The East Asian crisis was one of the major events that caused Asian countries to suffer greatly from dependence on Western countries. After the 1997 crisis, Asia, China and Japan started a close competition in order to shape the structure of East Asian region, and are constantly pursuing intensive efforts to reach East Asian leadership. The main question of the current paper is that “how China's and Japan's efforts to dominate on the East Asian region in the form of ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+6 are evaluated?” In response to this question, the hypothesis of the article is that China and Japan, through regime-building and balancing expand their membership in the East Asian region through the development of ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+6.
The current research method is descriptive-analytic. Data compilation is based on library method. All of the data needed to this article are gathered from external sources.
The 1997 Asian Financial crisis has changed the structure of the region, and East Asian countries paid more attention to regionalism. The apparent change in this direction is the formation of institutions including ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+6. China, by creating ASEAN+ 3, attempts to stabilize its position in the East Asian region and pursue its objectives with various initiatives. China has been able to establish extensive trade and economic relations with ASEAN countries after two decades, and has consistently sought to support a more limited and coherent mechanism of ASEAN+3. Japan, observing the progressive influence of China in the region, has tried to use China's rival countries like India to balance its growing presence in Southeast Asia. The pursuit of this goal led to the formation of ASEAN+6 or East Asia Summit, which in addition to ASEAN+3 includes India, Australia and New Zealand. Japan has also been able to justify ASEAN with regarding to negative effects of China's growing presence for the future of region, and eventually, the ASEAN countries accepted the broader (East Asia summit) with two goals including gaining more economic benefits and balancing China, and instead the East Asia Free Trade Area (including 16 countries) named Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) adopted as the agreement of all parties. This regime has left 21 rounds of negotiations until March, 2018 and due to multiplicity of members, it is difficult to gain agreement soon.
India, which is expected to become a great power in near future, is one of the main leverages of Japan to limit and counterbalance China. Each of these two regimes represents the long-term strategy of China and Japan to shape the regional structure. By looking at the extent of the influence and presence of China in the East Asian region and understanding and justifying the countries to restrict China, it seems that in regional vision, we will see more activities in the form of the East Asia Summit (ASEAN+6), but the point which is worth to mentioning is the difficulty of continuing cooperation, if there is a conflict of interests between the powers in the regime which will not be unlikely with the increasing power of the parties. It should also not be forgotten that over time and based on the experience countries can use different mechanisms, even if it occurs, to prevent disputes, peacefully. Despite these challenges, the regionalization process in East Asia has shown a positive outlook, and it seems that we will see more regional cooperation in the near future.