▲ From left, moderator and Korean National Assembly Member Jin Park, former Philippines President Gloria Arroyo and former Korean Prime Minister Han Seung Soo. Photo by Darryl Coote.
[May 28, 8 p.m.]
The Jeju Weekly currently has reporters at the forum venue covering a wide range of talks, sessions and panels. We will be posting brief reports on our Web site throughout the weekend, and then compile them into a comprehensive report for Issue 51 of The Weekly as well as in our Chinese edition. -- Ed.
Security was relatively high on the second day of The 6th Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity for the Plenary Session II, “World Leaders Session, New Asia for Peace and Prosperity,” with keynote speeches by former Philippines President Gloria Arroyo and former Korean Prime Minister Han Seung Soo. The discussion was moderated by Korean National Assembly Member Jin Park.
The session began with Arroyo’s speech which called for stronger relations between Asian countries to ensure peace, economic growth, and to establish a cohesive identity for the region.
Arroyo said that some refer to the 21st century as the Asian century, but that “doesn’t imply the path ahead is doing much of the same.”
First, she said, national strategic policy actions must include Asia’s interactions with the global community to further support the interdependence of countries in the region. Arroyo said that this interdependence of Asian economies has made it possible for interested countries to not rely upon European exports.
Arroyo added that continued economic growth in Asia must not occur “on the backs of the poor, nor at the expense of the environment.”
To achieve this interdependence Arroyo said that the rapid rise of China should not be feared, but rather “celebrated.” Its growth has had a “direct and positive affect on the countries of Asia.” Along with its economic prosperity, China’s obligations to its neighbors will increase and help to maintain border control, she said.
This coming together of countries is resulting in a single market, she said, much like that of Europe and at an international standard that is helping to unite the region and strengthen regional economies and security.
“We should envision an economical version of Asia which is continental wide,” Arroyo said, with the goal of a united Asian continent that would bring about multilateral communication.
Former PM Han’s keynote speech began with a retelling of the region’s history and that with China’s fall in the 19th century, all of Asia declined and Korea lost its sovereignty, but “within a span of some two generations Northeast Asia has risen from the shadows of war and poverty to become a key political and economic center.”
He spoke of the great strides made by Japan, Korea, and China, but even still, there are obstacles, like the North Korean nuclear armament, territorial disputes and distortions of history in “the path to establishing and consolidating sustaining institution for cooperation,” throughout the entire region.
Han suggests looking to Europe after the World War II as a model, since they rapidly overcame differences.
Han pointed to the tripartite summit between Korea, China and Japan, first established in 2008, as a “milestone,” and “trail blazing event,” that opened “many trilateral consultations and dialogue channels … spanning trade, investment, finance, energy, environment, and education,” and that they should now deal with more “crucial common issues,” specifically climate change.
This collaboration could spread to other nations, he said, armed with the agenda to lower carbon emissions by creating a Northeast Asia green growth cooperation.
A lengthy discussion followed, lead by moderator Jin Park elaborating on some major issues mentioned in both speeches such as the potential and obstacles in creating a network similar to that of the European Union; the completion of an FTA agreement between Korea, China, and Japan; as well as topics often referred to throughout the forum like the use of nuclear power in the wake of what happened in Fukushima, Japan.
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