November 9, 2000 | News Releases on Asia
Now in its 15th edition, "The U.S. and Asia Statistical Handbook" is a compendium of facts and figures on the economies, political systems and militaries of the two regions. With key social, political, economic and military statistics on the United States and 33 countries and territories in East and South Asia, it has become a standard reference for reporters and analysts who specialize in Asia.
Ties between North and South Korea strengthened last June when leaders of both countries met for the first time in 50 years and signed pacts declaring that both nations will seek reunification, reunite separated families and improve economic relations. Those moves will likely raise questions about the presence of U.S. troops in South Korea and present challenges to the alliance between the United States and South Korea, editor Paolo Pasicolan says.
"However, long-term peace on the peninsula depends on whether or not North Korea lives up to its promises-something it has not done in its previous dealings with the outside world," writes Pasicolan, a researcher at Heritage's Asian Studies Center.
On a more positive note, Pasicolan finds that Asia's recovery from its 1998 financial crisis is exceeding expectations. Thanks in part to a large U.S. appetite for Asian goods, regional growth is expected to surpass 6 percent for the second consecutive year. But income, living standards and employment have yet to return to pre-crisis levels, and many economists doubt that Asian monetary authorities can continue to stave off inflation.