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The Asia Pacific region, and especially East Asia, has experienced rapid economic integration without the 'Hard politics' of legally binding economic and political treaties, unlike Europe where integration has been institution?]led. The 'Soft politics' and market?]led integration in East Asia set against a background of political tensions and rivalries in key relationships in the region. The paper measures trade and investment performance in the world economy. This allows comparison of bilateral and regional trade and investment flows. A measure of the effect of political distance on both trade and investment flows is also defined. The growth of China?]Japan trade and investment, despite political distance between the two countries is discussed to highlight and elaborate on key findings.
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