Opinion / Featured Contributors

Boao 2016, A new Asia for Asians

By Chua Chin Leng (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-03-22 10:07

Boao 2016, A new Asia for Asians

The aerial photo taken on March 18, 2016 shows the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) International Conference Center in Boao, South China's Hainan province. Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference will be held from March 22 to 25. [Photo/Xinhua]

In the 2015 Boao conference, the theme was Asia's New Future, Towards a Community of Common Destiny. In President Xi Jinping's keynote speech, it was about a peaceful Asia of equals, where every country should be treated equally, and be respected to choose their own development path. And development and progress were only possible in a stable and peaceful domestic and international environment.

The old paradigm of war of conquest, war of domination, war as a solution to international problems is no longer valid in this new world as we enter the 21st Century. There are many reasons why war is no longer a tool for diplomacy. The weapons of war are too destructive, the big populations and the concentration of populations in big cities, densely build up areas, the interconnectivity and interdependence of nation states could not afford a major war.

Most important is the progress of civilizations. The people of the world have lived through the worse of human history, more civilized and enlightened know that human kind can progress and grow together without resorting to war.

Asia, with its millennium years of civilization, has risen from the ashes of western imperialism and colonialism, to progress and live in peace. Asia has been the victims of military aggression and conquest and is in the best position to push for a new world order of peace and friendly economic competition through cooperation. Military competition and war of conquest must be relegated to the past as relics of history.

The Boao conference should address the implications of the American 'Pivot to Asia' by planting military bases all over Asia. This is an archaic ideology of imperialism and colonialism when might was right. Asia should discard the concept of war in diplomacy and to reduce military tension in the region, to devote their resources towards economic development and the well being of their people, instead of engaging in a costly and wasteful arms race, in the acquisition of more weapons of war and destruction and the building of military alliances, military bases and conducting unfriendly and hostile war games in the region.

Asia should continue to build a new community with a common destiny of peace and progress for the people of the continent. Asia should work towards demilitarization of the region and allow real diplomacy to work without the threat of war. The continent has progressed in the last 70 years without war. The countries that were progressing slower or not progressing are countries engaging in war or had been in war. Asia must not allow war to flare up in the region again. The people that want war in the continent are people outside Asia.

Going forward, the conference could work towards a United Nations of Asia with its own Security Council of Asian members to decide the fate of the region’s countries. Asia has grown up and need not continue to be ruled by the dictates of the West. Asian countries must remove the yoke of colonialism and imperialism and be truly independent countries, to chart their own destiny, to decide what is good for the continent.

Asian countries need an international organization of their own to represent the interest of the continent and give a voice to a united Asia.

The author is a political observer from Singapore.

The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and don't represent views of China Daily website.

Most Viewed Today's Top News