Want a New Map of Asia? Include the United States
Asia Pacific Bulletin, No. 105
Washington, D.C.: East-West Center
Re-defining Asia is now a common discussion among policy analysts. Evan Feigenbaum, for example, has argued that "[w]ithout a new map of Asia that reflects the ways in which Asians themselves are remaking their continent, US relevance—and influence—will wane in the coming decades." But new maps of Asia are unnecessary to achieve America's objectives. A loose definition of Asia has and will continue to serve American interests by providing flexibility of action and association precisely as Asia integrates—unevenly—within itself and with the globe. Satu Limaye argues that achieving American goals requires not a strict definition of a "big Asia" but expanded commitment to the "Pacific principle"—American diplomatic, economic, and security engagement across the Pacific to Asia. The most meaningful and useful map of Asia must now include the United States.