FORMER President Fidel V. Ramos called for a new regional order in the Asia Pacific “based on the balance of mutual benefit rather than on the balance of power.”
Speaking before members of the Trilateral Commission Asia Pacific Group (TCAPG) on Friday, Ramos said the challenge for statesmen is to replace the American peace that has enforced stability in the region, he said.
“But such an Asia-Pacific peace will endure only if it is based on the balance of mutual benefit rather than on the balance of power,” he said.
Ramos said the continued growth in Asia Pacific requires that nations contain their rivalries and avoid arms-buildups.
“Our countries should ensure and maintain that the spirit of cooperation to prosper is always stronger than the competitive impulse to dominate,”
Ramos said “a more doable kind of regional architecture” should be espoused in Asia Pacific that would lead to peace and sustainable development.
The trilateral commission, founded in 1973, pooled experts from Europe, North America and Japan to promote mutual understanding and closer cooperation on common problems facing the world.
“Our basic task must be to organize a concert of nations to manage military rivalries and avoid arms build-ups in the Asia-Pacific region through deepened bonds of caring, sharing, and daring for each other,” Ramos told TCAPG members who are in the country for a three-day conference.
Ramos, a former Armed Forces chief of staff, said military budgets should be regulated to reduce the procurement of lethal weapons and alleviate poverty through savings and investments.
He said, however, that to achieve an Asia-Pacific peace, the richest and most powerful countries in the world, particularly the United States, China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) 10 bloc must also be
The peace will guarantee open and safe navigation across the West Philippine Sea.
“This will maintain early warning systems and search-rescue-recovery capabilities and enforce international maritime law against the smuggling of firearms, drugs and other contraband and especially human trafficking,” Ramos said.