Discussions of trade linkages among the emerging markets of Asia often include polarised views. Under one view, China and other Asian economies can grow in harmony, as exemplified in the ‘flying geese’ paradigm (Akamatsu 1961, 1962).1

Okita (1985) noted that the great diversity among theAsian nations in their stages of development and resource endowments ‘works to facilitate the flying geese pattern of shared development as each is able to take advantage of its distinctiveness to develop with a supportive division of labour’. Some recent analyses (e.g. Kwan 2002) also take the view that economies in Asia share mutual benefits from the potential of greater integration of product lines across the region and the increased incomes of Chinese consumers, both of which are reflected in expanding intraregional trade in Asia (see also Zebregs 2004).