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US retreat should not stop Asian economic integration

Creation of strong regional trading system should eventually lure Washington back

| Japan

If the Asia-Pacific region is to sustain its remarkable economic integration over the next few years, it will have to go it alone without leadership from the U.S.

The political prospects for intraregional cooperation as leaders gather in Vietnam for the 25th APEC Summit on Nov. 11 are auspicious. Asia has strong leaders: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan just won re-election by a landslide and Chinese President Xi Jinping has further consolidated power ahead of his second five-year term. Asian economies are humming too. The region's growth rate is accelerating and the International Monetary Fund and Asian Development Bank have each raised their growth projections in recent months.

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