Chicago Journal of International Law


This Comment argues that not only does China seek to be the leader of Asian economic integration, but also that it is using international agreements with ASEAN to break barriers to the fulfilment of its leadership aspirations. Section II provides a brief summary of the history of Asian regional economic integration and an analysis of the status quo. Section III highlights the economic and political motivations behind China's desire to lead Asian regionalism. Section IV examines some of the obstacles to Chinese leadership, namely Japan's concurrent leadership aspirations, China's inability to control Taiwan, and South Korea's potential as the dark horse leader of Asian regionalism. It also discusses how China has used agreements with ASEAN to circumvent those barriers to its leadership. Section V offers some concluding remarks about China's future prospects for leading a potential East Asian Community.