"Fundamental shifts underway in Asia could constrain the U.S. role in the multilateral affairs of Asia. The centrality of the United States is now being challenged by renewed regionalism in Asia and by Chinas rising influence. While the United States traditionally has played a central role in setting the agenda and shaping the goals for multilateral cooperation in the region, including the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group, there is the potential that the upcoming East Asian Summit, to which the United States has not been invited, could lead to a new regional forum led by China that would exclude the United States and increasingly displace APEC, and other more inclusive fora, as the leading multilateral grouping of Asia. Although there are a number of obstacles to the realization of an East Asian bloc that would limit American influence in the region, some observers are of the opinion that the United States should take further steps to reinforce its own regional role and revitalize ties with allies, friendly countries, and others to deter that possibility."
CRS Report for Congress, RS22346