The Asian/Pacific area has become a crucial arena of great power rivalry. It is in this region that the interests and ambitions of the United States, the Soviet Union, Japan, and the People's Republic of China most frequently intersect. At least partially in response to these realities, new or strengthened alignments or relationships—most of them tentative and not yet fully formed—are developing in the region. Among these developments are the Sino-American and Sino-Japanese rapprochements, growing unity within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), and improved relations between ASEAN and China. Whether these developments will serve to ease significantly the heightened uncertainties, tensions, and strains in the region remains to be seen.
For most of the nations of the Asian/Pacific region, the post--World War II decades have been a period of significant economic growth and progress toward the development of viable and stable political institutions. As diplomatic interactions have become ever more complex, and as trade relations among the various countries have expanded, both the economic vitality and the geopolitical importance of the region have gained increasing recognition.
Careful consideration of these varied and complex concerns has led a number of observers to conclude that today's interna-tional environment requires greater emphasis on security-related matters in Asia and the Pacific Basin. Acting upon this conviction, the National Strategy Information Center and five cooperating organizations co-sponsored a conference on "New Foundations for Asian and Pacific Security" at Pattaya, Thailand in December 1979. This book contains the addresses, conference papers (some in slightly altered form), and committee reports that constituted the formal substantive aspects of the conference.