In Brief... World News Review: APEC, East Timor and the New Asian Reality

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In Brief... World News Review

APEC, East Timor and the New Asian Reality

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The Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) had more important things than economics on the table. Peacekeeping for East Timor, the stability of Indonesia and security for critical sea lanes,the China-Taiwan crisis and North Korea missile tests are all key issues. Economics haven't disappeared, but they have been overshadowed by politico-military issues.

The stunning fact is that where Africa has the Organization of African Unity, Asia has no regional security framework. Asia fantasized that they would never need one, that perpetual economic growth would keep politico-military uncertainty at bay. Asia has hit reality at APEC. Asia is a normal part of the world. The only number Asia used to care about was the growth rate. Now APEC has to focus on another number: the casualty rate (, September 13, 1999).