Poised to enter the twenty-first century, the Asia-Pacific region is rapidly emerging as a global economic and political powerhouse. Looking at both Southeast and East Asia, this richly illustrated volume stresses broad, cross-cutting themes of regional history, with an emphasis on the interactions between cultures and nations. In this updated second edition, Mark Borthwick provides a significantly revised introduction, which gives an overview of political evolution and cultural and economic trends since ancient times. He then considers more recent developments in their historical context, balancing national and international factors underlying Asia-Pacific economic growth and political change. New areas receiving attention in the second edition include the Japanese economic slowdown, Japan’s attempts at political reform, China’s current economic dilemmas and environmental crisis, the sustainability of East Asian economic growth, the North Korean crisis, and Asia-Pacific regionalism and global interactions. The book also provides chronological updates for Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Borthwick concludes with an examination of the key domestic and international issues facing the nations of Pacific Asia and the probable interactions these nations will have with North America and with the global economy. The companion text to the PBS telecourse series, 'The Pacific Century', which first aired in the fall of 1992, the book also stands alone as an interdisciplinary introduction to Asia and the Pacific. The video series was awarded the prestigious Silver Baton for Excellence in Television & Radio Journalism.