By Herman Tiu Laurel, PNA
The last of three major global conferences this November 2022 affecting the peace, progress and prosperity of mankind, the Asia-Pacific Economic Community (APEC) meeting in Cambodia just ended on Nov. 19. This followed the conclusion of the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia on Nov. 16 and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit on Nov. 13. The period became known as the “Asian Moment” focusing the world’s attention on this region and its vitality in guiding the affairs of the globe.
Curtains opened on the “Asian Moment” after several decades of the spectacular peaceful rise of China followed by the consequential rise of ASEAN and the tandem’s successful navigation of the rough waters of the South China Sea stirred up by forces external to the region and the efforts of the same external forces to suppress the fantastic economic progress of Asia with China at the lead through sanctions and trade wars. This success has presented the rest of the global community with a new model of international, regional and unique economic relations to associate with.
This desire to associate or relate with this model has brought not only attention from the rest of the world but also the desire to participate in the same process that the international community has begun to seek membership in and engage with for their own national future, the establishment of stable and stable international relations and predictable economic progress in sharing prosperity. Consider some of the most highlighted events in the three summits that constitute the November 2022 “Asian Moment” which the international media gave special attention to.
One striking coverage of the international media during the Asian Moment was on the first day of the G20 Summit meeting in Bali, Indonesia on Nov. 15 where China’s President Xi Jinping met individually with eight world leaders in that one day alone. That is, French President Emmanuel Macron, Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Senegal’s President Macky Sall, S. Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, Spanish President Pedro Sanchez and Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez.
Consultations with Chinese President Xi Jinping was one of the most sought after by world leaders, a measure of the importance of China’s views on global events and developments, highlighting the significance of engagement with China and a rising Asia with its impact on world affairs. The reason for this is the success of China’s proposals to the world: the call for global unity via a multipolar world, win-win diplomacy and economic cooperation through such endeavors as the Belt and Road Initiative, and cooperation to build a – ”Community of Shared Future for Mankind”.
The second highlight of the “Asian Moment” was the Xi-Biden meeting that stretched to three hours and resented the two contrasting world views represented by the two major world leaders. President Joe Biden of the United States, in all goodwill and sincerity, proposes “managed coopetition” as the ideal and proper mode of engagement of the two powers. President Xi takes the views, however, that cooperation should be the paramount mode of international relations, even between the two major economic and geopolitical powers on Earth.
“China-US relations should not be a zero-sum game where one side out-competes or thrives at the expense of the other”, the Chinese media quotes President Xi Jining telling Biden, and continues, “The successes of China and the US are opportunities, not challenges, for each other. The world is big enough for the two countries to develop themselves and prosper together… China-US interactions should be defined by dialogue and win-win cooperation, not confrontation and zero-sum competition.” I think the world liked the sound of President Xi words more than the others, hence the attraction to it.
The Xi-Biden summit sent a consoling signal to the world that even though the US spirit of incessant competitiveness exists and pushes perpetual tensions, China is steady in trying to calm the overly aggressive impulse of Western civilization with its millennial patience and tolerance, the mark of all and particularly of the oldest Asian philosophies, in general, seeking harmony and compromise, and showing this in its transcendent diplomacy and foreign policy while firmly holding on to the principles of national sovereignty, peaceful coexistence and non-interference in internal affairs of nations.
The dilemma of countries and of the real and whole (not just the Western) International Community” is what the Russian journalist has learned to describe the US with, as a country that is “agreement incapable”. Not even the Americans themselves can predict what US policy can change to be after elections every four years and even announced policies like the “policy of ambiguity” over Taiwan actually means what he American Indian used to call “forked tongue” – a deliberate policy that insinuates ultimate betrayal and treachery like hiding a knife behind the back.
While China continues to present bright prospects for common peace and prosperity through cooperation and sharing, the US continues to hammer on non-real, irrelevant and arbitrarily concocted issues such as Hong Kong, Xinjiang or Taiwan designed simply to provoke and provoke without end. However, China and Asia’s growth and strengthening independent and defense posture can fend off the dangers of conflict and as Sun Tzu says “Win the war without fighting” while prospects for durable and lasting peace and prosperity increase year-by-year.
ASEAN continues to be perfectly happy with the Asian Moment under the shepherding of China’s diplomacy of cooperation, dialogue, economic sharing of the fruits of trade and commerce, having become the top trading partner of China. ASEAN has taken up the cudgels to champion peace, reconciliation and economic cooperation amongst all regions and countries. China’s Premier Li Keqiang reaffirmed the “comprehensive strategic partnership with a shard future” of China and ASEAN that have withstood the test of time and through “thick and thin”.
While the rest of the world is inexorably drawn to the East, such as Saudi Arabia and then Qatar now gravitating to China closing long-term titanic oil deals likely introducing the “Petroyuan”, Germany’s Scholz bringing German industrial titans to visit President Xi Jinping and more recently the European Council President Charles Michel to handshake with China’s president too. It’s all coming together at this moment in history, paving the globe for a new, fair and just world structure that will lead to the “Forever Peace” humanity has been singing carols to for millennia.
The “Asian Moment” and China’s role in guiding the world community to the next stage of the development of the human community or mankind’s civilization to an era of 500 years of tranquility and progress is at hand, helping humanity leave behind the 500 years of “forever wars” brought about the historic era of Western colonialism, imperialism and Cold Wars. This short assessment of the historic November 2022 Asian Moment calls on Asia brings me to see true hope in the future of the world and the human community.
Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in the foregoing article are solely the author’s and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the Philippine News Agency (PNA) or any other office under the Office of the Press Secretary.