Dawn of the Pacific Era

July 5, 1985

Report Outline
Focus on Pacific Rim
Regional Dynamics
The Challenge Ahead
Special Focus

Focus on Pacific Rim

Reagam: World's Future Lies in Pacific

Since the early 1900s, it has been predicted that the center of the world's political and economic gravity would shift from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. “The Atlantic era is now at the height of its development,” President Theodore Roosevelt said in 1903. “The Pacific era, destined to be the greatest of all, is just at its dawn.” And in 1944, just after his triumphal return to the Philippines, General Douglas Mac-Arthur told a group of war correspondents, “The history of the world for the next thousand years will be written in the Pacific.”

The United States has had a Pacific Coast since 1819, but not until the administration of Californian Ronald Reagan did Washington policy makers seem to take that fact to heart. Almost since his inauguration, Reagan and dozens of his top officials, many of whom also come from California, have been proclaiming the dawn of the Pacific era. The Pacific Basin “is where the future of the world lies,” Reagan said Oct. 21.

Americans are not alone in hailing the arrival of the Pacific age. Scholars, businessmen, columnists and policy makers worldwide say the Pacific century is here. “The Pacific is the ocean of tomorrow,” Masao Fujioka, president of the Asian Development Bank, told the Swiss Institute for Foreign Studies in 1982. “We are witnessing the dawn of the Asia-Pacific era.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
U.S. Policy in the Pacific
Apr. 20, 1990  Should the U.S. Reduce Its Pacific Forces?
Apr. 07, 1989  Pacific Rim Challenges
Apr. 25, 1986  The Strategic Pacific
Jul. 05, 1985  Dawn of the Pacific Era
Jun. 06, 1975  Changing Status of Micronesia
Aug. 17, 1966  Australia: Pacific Ally
Nov. 04, 1964  Indonesia vs. Malaysia
Jul. 24, 1963  Malaysian Federation: Union of Convenience
Jul. 05, 1962  West New Guinea: Pacific Trouble Spot
Jan. 28, 1953  Pacific Defense
Sep. 09, 1949  Pacific Dependencies
May 03, 1945  Trusteeship in the Pacific
Alliances and Security Agreements
Bilateral and Regional Trade
Regional Political Affairs: East Asia and the Pacific