If one were to rely on the dominant literature on the theory and practice of regional integration, and then look at what is commonly known about the geographic zone referred to as East Asia (Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia), there would be much reason to discount the feasibility of an East Asian community ever becoming a reality. The diversity among the countries of the region – in terms of culture and worldview, political-legal systems, levels of economic and technological development, asymmetry in size and in power attributes, degrees of political maturity and stability, among other factors – militate against the development of a common or collective East Asian identity. Furthermore, mutual suspicion and occasional hostilities still characterise relations among countries of the region, most importantly between its two great powers – Japan and China. East Asia also continues to be a region of sharp divisions harking back to the Cold War, with unresolved conflicts across the Taiwan Straits and on the Korean peninsula, as well as potential flashpoints arising from the territorial, maritime, and resource disputes among various countries in the region.