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 the 19th of the month. This followed the conclusion of the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia on November 16th and the ASEAN Summit on November 13th. With these three global meetings, the period has now become 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, through sanctions and trade wars, the fantastic economic progress of Asia with China at the lead. The Asian success has presented to the rest of the global community a new model of international, regional and unique economic relations with whom to associate.
This desire to associate with the Asian model has not only caught the attention of the rest of the world but also the desire to participate in the same process. The international community has begun to seek membership and engage with the Asian experience for its own national future, to establish stable international relations and predictable economic progress in sharing prosperity. Consider the following highlighted events in the three summits of the November 2022 “Asian Moment” that were given special attention by international media. the
One striking coverage of the international media during the Asian Moment was the first day of the G20 Summit meeting in Bali, Indonesia on November 15 when China’s President Xi Jinping met individually with eight world leaders in only one day. These included 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, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, Spanish President Pedro Sanchez and Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez.
Consultations with China’s President Xi Jinping was one of the most sought after by the 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. This is due the success of China’s proposals to the world, its call for global unity through 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 for three hours and represented the two contrasting world views represented by the two major world leaders. President Joe Biden of the United State, in all goodwill and sincerity, proposed “managed coopetition” as the proper mode of engagement of the two powers. President Xi takes the view, however, that cooperation should be the paramount mode of international relations, even between the two major economic and geopolitical powers on Earth.
As quoted by Chinese media, told Biden, “China-US relations should not be a zero-sum game where one side out-competes or thrives at the expense of the other.” President Xi Jining 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 those of the other, hence the attraction to it.
The Xi-Biden summit sent a consoling signal to the world that, despite the US spirit of incessant competitiveness that continue to push perpetual tensions, China is a steadying force, calming the overly aggressive Western impulses with its millennial patience and tolerance, the mark of all Asian philosophies and particularly those oldest, that seek harmony and compromise, in its transcendent diplomacy and foreign policy, at the same time holding firmly to the principles of national sovereignty, peaceful coexistence and non-interference in the internal affairs of nations.
The dilemma of countries and of the whole (not just Western) International Community” was summarized by a Russian journalist who described the US as a country who is “agreement-incapable”. Not even the Americans themselves can predict the changes in US policy after elections held every four years. For instance, the announced “policy of ambiguity” over Taiwan is simply what the American Indian used to say is speaking with a “forked tongue” – a deliberate statement 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. These US hammerings are designed simply to provoke and provoke without end. Fortunately, China and Asia’s growth and strengthened independent and defense posture can fend off dangers of conflict while the likelihood of durable and lasting peace and prosperity increases year-by-year. As Sun Tzu says, “Win the war without fighting.”
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 shared future” of China and the ASEAN that has withstood the test of time and through “thick and thin.”
Even as the rest of the world is drawn inexorably to the East, s Saudi Arabia and now Qatar are following the trend towards China, closing long-term titanic oil deals that will likely introduce the “Petroyuan”, Germany’s Scholz is bringing German industrial titans to visit President Xi Jinping and, just recently, European Council President Charles Michel also shook the hand of China’s president. It’s all coming together at this moment in history, paving the way for a new, fair and just global structure that will lead to the “Forever Peace” for which humanity has been singing carols for millennia. At hand is the Asian Moment and China’s role in guiding the world community to the next 500 years of human development and the civilization. It will be a 500-year era of tranquility and progress, g leaving behind the 500 years of “forever wars” brought about the infamous era of Western colonialism, imperialism and Cold Wars. This historic November 2022 Asian Moment brings me to see true hope in the future of the world and the human community.