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In the global race for growth, the Asia-Pacific region is emerging as the front runner. This study provides a history of East Asia, tracing the essential stages in the rise of the region from its birth under colonial rule to the post-Cold War era. It recounts the evolution of: China, Japan, North and South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. An outline is provided of the major forces that have shaped East Asia into its present economic, political and social shape. Originally published in French, this work should prove a useful tool for understanding the past, present and future of a region that has become a significant actor in the international political economy.