A map shows the Pacific Rim with major trade routes from East Asia, Indonesia, and Australia to points along the western coasts of the United States, Panama, Peru, and Chile.

The countries of the Pacific Rim have geographic, cultural, and economic ties. The region is a major center of ocean trade routes.

Analyze Maps

According to the map, with which Asian country does the United States trade most?

War in Kosovo

As a tense peace took effect in Bosnia, a crisis broke out in the Serbian province of Kosovo. Most of its people were Muslim Albanians. Serbian president Milosevic responded to separatist moves among Kosovo Albanians with a brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing, NATO launched air attacks against Serbia, forcing Serbia to withdraw its forces from Kosovo.

In 2008, after years of negotiation, Kosovo declared independence. While Kosovo Albanians celebrated, Serbs angrily protested. For them, Kosovo was a historic part of Serbia. A small NATO force remained in Kosovo to keep the peace between the majority Albanians and the minority Serbs.

The wars in the Balkans left bitter memories and tensions. The International Criminal Court held war crimes against various leaders, including Slobodan Milosevic. Despite strained relations, the six nations have moved to restore stability to the region. In 2013, Croatia became the first Balkan nation to join the EU. Albania, Bosnia, and Kosovo have also applied for membership.

A New Role for Asia

Much of Asia remains belongs to the developing world. A number of Asian nations, however, are considered newly industrialized countries (NICs). They include the economic giants, China and India, as well as more recent NICs, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Like other nations around the world, they have experienced the ups and downs of the global economy.

Strength in the Pacific Rim

Most of these newly industrialized Asian countries are part of the global economic force known as the Pacific Rim. The Pacific Rim, includes the nations bordering the Pacific Ocean from Asia to North and South America. The Pacific Ocean first became a highway for world trade in the 1500s. By the 1990s, the volume of trade across the Pacific was greater than that across the Atlantic. Some analysts predict that the twenty-first century will become the “Pacific century” because of this region's potential for further growth.

The Asian Tigers

Among the powerhouses of the Asian Pacific Rim were Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea. Because of their economic successes, they were nicknamed the “Asian tigers” or “four tigers.” In 1997, British-ruled Hong Kong was returned to China., where it was given special status.


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Table of Contents

World History Topic 1 Origins of Civilization (Prehistory–300 B.C.) Topic 2 The Ancient Middle East and Egypt (3200 B.C.–500 B.C.) Topic 3 Ancient India and China (2600 B.C.–A.D. 550) Topic 4 The Americas (Prehistory–A.D. 1570) Topic 5 Ancient Greece (1750 B.C.–133 B.C.) Topic 6 Ancient Rome and the Origins of Christianity (509 B.C.-A.D. 476) Topic 7 Medieval Christian Europe (330–1450) Topic 8 The Muslim World and Africa (730 B.C.-A.D. 1500) Topic 9 Civilizations of Asia (500–1650) Topic 10 The Renaissance and Reformation (1300–1650) Topic 11 New Global Connections (1415–1796) Topic 12 Absolutism and Revolution Topic 13 The Industrial Revolution Topic 14 Nationalism and the Spread of Democracy (1790–1914) Topic 15 The Age of Imperialism (1800–1914) Topic 16 World War I and the Russian Revolution (1914–1924) Topic 17 The World Between the Wars (1910–1939) Topic 18 World War II (1930–1945) Topic 19 The Cold War Era (1945–1991) Topic 20 New Nations Emerge (1945–Present) Topic 21 The World Today (1980-Present) United States Constitution Primary Sources 21st Century Skills Atlas Glossary Index Acknowledgments