The sustained economic performance of the major East Asian economies in the second half of the 1980s has once again revived discussions about the formation of regional economic organizations, or even an Asian Pacific economic bloc. Part of the rationale for such moves has been the perception of growing interdependence between the regional economies. However, these regional economies are also strengthening their links with other parts of the global economic system. This article considers the major trends in the regional growth record of the East Asian economies in the 1980-1987 period(1) by examining the economic linkages of trade, investment and aid between these countries, and between this group and their major non-regional economic partners. There has been considerable excitement about recent growth rates and growing economic integration in the East Asian region. Here we argue that these changes within the region need to be placed in the context of a growing global interdependence.