Embracing Russia’s pivot to Asia
(Remarks of former speaker Jose de Venecia, founding chairman of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), co-chairman, International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP); and special envoy of President Duterte to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and for Intercultural Dialogue at the International Inter-Party Forum, Moscow, Russia, October 22-23, 2020.)
Economically, Sakhalin Island’s LNG production is crucial to Japan, South Korea and even Taiwan; between them they consume three-fourths of the world’s LNG supply. Meanwhile, Moscow and Beijing must agree on a way of bene ting equally from their cooperative exploitation of the Russian Far East’s wealth of resources.
Politically, Russia’s leadership participation will be vital to a resolution of the issue of nuclear proliferation and Korean uni cation; and even to the multilateral settlement of American-Chinese differences in the China Sea.
Most practical solution in South China Sea crisis
On the raging con icting claims in the South China Sea, we have repeatedly pointed out that there is the potential for a peaceful settlement. That is to temporarily shelve the issue of sovereignty to pave the way for joint exploration and joint development of the disputed area’s resources.
From an area of con ict, it could be transformed into a landscape and seascape of small seaports, airports, and oil pipelines. Fishing villages and small tourism townships could rapidly rise and the contested areas could become the untrammelled passage way for global shipping, carrying more than 50 percent of the sea fright of the world.
The idea of “win-win cooperation,” of a pragmatic sharing of resources could help build a model for lessening tensions and solving con
icts, and avoiding the possibility of war in Asia’s manifold and dangerous ashpoints.
Between Moscow and Washington, between Washington and Beijing, and between Moscow and the European powers, mutual accommodation must be found that gives the parties strategic reassurance and respect for their core interests.
Ironically, the hard-won peace between the earlier Cold War principals — the United States and the former Soviet Union — has enabled the smaller countries to enjoy well over a generation of political stability and economic growth.
We declare we want no new Cold War in the Asia Paci c. Nor do we wish any state in our Asian region or in any other region to play either the “American Card” or the “China Card” or the
Korean peninsula, another major ashpoint, we also ask for the revival of the long stalemated Six-Nation Talks among South Korea, North Korea, the US, Japan, China, and Russia to consider reuni cation of the two Koreas, which is a most difficult but not an impossible task.
Best elements of capitalism
In the battle against poverty, may we nd a way perhaps of tempering the individual initiative that capitalism stimulates with socialism’s compassion for those whom development leaves behind.
We had much earlier suggested in addressing the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC, and later, the United Nations University in Barcelona, Spain, and various other international conferences, that there might be merit in bringing together the best elements of both capitalism and socialism in a new applied art of governance — based on what works best for a particular society over a speci c historical period, considering the persistent and incredibly huge gaps between rich and poor in our time.
The concept could also integrate the ner features of Germany’s “social market” economy and should perhaps operate under the aegis of a liberal constitutional democracy committed to free elections, free markets, and a free media.
In China, then paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, hero of China’s successful modernization and opening to the world, advocated — in fact, started off — a Chinese economic system neither Marxian socialism nor Adam Smith-type capitalism, but something in between or what has been called “socialism with Chinese characteristics” or “Confucian synergism,” which has worked exceedingly well for China, lifting it to the second largest economic power in the world, next only to the United States.
The ultimate task for our statesmen must be to replace the Pax Americana that has enforced stability on our region during this last halfcentury with a Pax Paci ca founded on the balance of mutual bene t; and freely subscribed to by all the powers with vital interests in the region. After all, the US is and will always be a Paci c power.
In all of these urgent tasks, the leadership and participation of the new Russia and the great Russian people will be crucial.
Like the double-headed eagle on its historic coat of arms, the new Russia looks both West and East. And Moscow’s eastward turn, we welcome most heartily, in Asia.