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World economic power is shifting to the Far East. Some observers suggest that the next century will be the "Asian era."' If the prediction of an "Asian era" connotes world economic dominance by Asian nations, it is undoubtedly overstated. The far more likely scenario, and what observers probably mean, is that the global economy of the twenty-first century will be seamless, with the nations of East Asia becoming increasingly important and perhaps even indispensable participants. In either case, Asia will not play a full role in the world economy until China approaches the status of a newly industrialized country.

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