Events surrounding the fallout from the 1997 Asian financial crisis spurred these countries into forging deeper linkages across an increasingly wide range of areas. Although these links were initially due to a desire to avoid a repetition of the 1997 Asian crisis, the lessons learnt, as well as the need to combat emergent new challenges, have seen East Asian states increasingly act in a more collective manner. Regional states now collaborate on areas as disparate as environmental concerns, public health threats, disaster relief and human resource development. The expanding ASEAN+3 dialogues in these and other areas are testimony to the commitment and resources being channelled into forging a more coherent grouping of East Asian states.