Lately, many questions have been raised about how new currents are reshaping the economic architecture in East Asia, ranging from the Russian Far East to the Indian sub-continent with narrower geographical spans usually drawing most attention as long as they keep in mind either the inclusion or exclusion of the United States. Has TPP, despite complications in ratification by the US Senate, gained the upper hand over RCEP, which missed its deadline at the end of 2015? Has China’s “One Belt, One Road” begun to remake the map of economic integration in Asia, involving both a northern route split between the Russian Far East and Central Asia and a southern maritime route? Is the slump in oil and commodity prices altering the prospects for investments and economic integration? In the ensuing set of chapters, authors take the viewpoints of three major players in the search for a new economic architecture.
Through these chapters, we find several bases of comparison. First, are authors now optimistic or pessimistic about the looming prospects for regional integration along lines that favor their country’s strategy? Second, how do they weigh different types of centrality— by ASEAN? By the United States? By China? Third, how do they link the economic and security dimensions of foreign policy in East Asia? The chapters raise these themes, and this introduction summarizes some of their arguments in advance of drawing comparisons of their overall conclusions looking ahead.