East Asia has continued high growth within a framework of world economy for over half a century. The major driving force behind growth and integration is foreign direct investment (FDI) by multinational corporations of advanced economies. It has promoted economic integration in East Asia by means of the generating international production networks or, in other words, production process division of labor. At the same time, in East Asia there has emerged middle class, and transformed the region from ‘world factory’ to ‘world market’. East Asia has also changed its growth mechanism during this century, which is reflected in the altering of the regional major emerging economies from ‘Newly Industrializing Economies (NIEs) between 1960s and 1980s to BRICs. And, China stands on top of emerging economies.
In this article, author traces East Asia’s miracle growth, its factors and mechanisms, and discusses China’s “One Belt One Road” Initiative and its meanings for both Asia and the world economy as a whole.