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A common view holds that the trend toward Asian financial regionalism is a relatively new phenomenon that became significant after the Asian financial crisis of 1997/98. This paper challenges this view by exploring and analyzing financial regionalist projects in Asia throughout the 1990s. As they demonstrate, Asian countries, especially Japan, have held a strong desire to establish an Asia-only regional cooperation framework at least since the early 1990s. The basic policy stance of the United States (US), in contrast, was to participate in Asian forums and/or itself to propose and establish regional groupings with it as a member. This competition is crucial to understanding the rise and fall of various regionalist projects.
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