NORTHEAST ASIA: KEY-NOTE TRENDS in INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS and INTERESTS of the RUSSIAN FEDERATION

 

N.B. LEBEDEVA Ph.D.,Leading Scholar at the Institute of Eastern Studies of Russian

Academy of Sciences Moscow, RF

 

Dear Chairperson! Dear friends! Dear Colleagues!

 

It Is a great honor for me to be in Seoul at "Northeast Asian Women's Peace Conference ? Women's Six Party Conference". We have come to participate in this Forum in momentous time indeed. We are presenting the different countries of different systems and different civilizations. I believe, from the standpoint of women who give birth to life, bring it and protect it and from standpoint of those who love living, we will exchange our views as fellow thinkers bound by common destiny as human beings with open eyes and warm hearts.

 

What brings us together here is ardent desire to create and spread waves of peace and denuclearization from the Northeast Asia (NEA) to every corner of the world, to change the Cold War Culture to Peace Culture, to discuss how to involve more women in the peace negotiation process and post-conflict period, to strengthen the role of women at all decision-making levels in national and international institutions.

 

I am sincerely sure that we can show the wisdom of women who occupy a half of the world population and exert efforts to stop antagonistic relations and to cooperate in peace building on the Korean Peninsula.

 

Now, please, allow me to present you certain aspects of my vision of the main trends in the NEA. This region became one of the leading world centers lately. The situation in the NEA is very contradictory. On the one hand, its development is dynamical with a high degree of economic integration. But on the other hand, the regional international relations are unstable, mobile and diverse. Practically there are no any political organizations and mechanism for solving regional problems in fields of policy and security.

 

The main factors and reasons for such instability are the following:

 

1. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the dissolution of Bi-polarity in 1991, the balance of power within the NEA Quartet (the USA+ Japan and the USSR + the PRC) has seen a radical geopolitical transformation.

 

Russia appeared in a deep economic-political crisis that influenced on Russia role in the world and the NEA as well. Now Russia is not a superpower, but a regional power. However skyrocketing world oil and gas prices etc. effectively fuel domestic economic growth. Recent economic rebirth has been underpinned by growing stabilization of political life, gradual restoration of national sovereignty, political unity etc.

 

2. Unfortunately, the region is full of post-Cold War hot spots, frictions and tensions between northeastern states, which remain latent, neither exploding into full-scale warfare nor moving towards resolution in the foreseeable future. We may divide them into two broad categories ?the first consisting of confrontations between nation-states (the Korean peninsula, the delicate Taiwan Strait issue, frictions between China and Japan, between SK and Japan, over islands in the South China sea, over some territories), the second consisting of conflicts within states.

 

3. Moreover, there is one bitter pill on Korean peninsula. On the ninth of October, 2006, the North Korea (NK) nuclear test, the hard Resolution N 1718 adopted by United Nations Security Council (UNSC) demonstrated fragility of security and stability in the NEA. I have been to Hiroshima and seen with my own eyes frightful "traces" of nuclear bombs incinerated that town. In that time when I attended the Conference of women from twelve states of Asia-Pacific against nuclear weapons, for disarmament and saving the planet (held in May of 1988, in Japan), nuclear weapons amounted to 50,000 war-heads in the world.

 

Now in 2008, as well-informed experts at the Stockholm peace Institute consider, eight nuclear states accumulated and store about 10 000 units of nuclear weapons. Certainly it is much less than before. In Hiroshima I realized the simple truth, once and forever. If a nuclear war breaks out, no doubt, it will be the last war in human history. It will have neither winners nor losers. Reducing the nuclear threat in the world in the near term is a very urgent but uneasy task. Why is this problem a real brain twister for generals and politicians? Because, on the planet it appeared and appears new nuclear threats coming from terrorists or pirates who could get nuclear arms by accident. So called "floating bombs"or pirate ships with nuclear arms on board could call at any port of any state.

 

But strange things can happen in politics too. Paradoxically, there are precedents for voluntary nuclear disarmament. Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine gave up nuclear arms for gains in other domains. South Africa did so without any external rewards etc.

 

All of us understand now, that the role of nuclear bombs changed since then. They are not only tools of deterrent but also tools of prestige, blackmail and ‘bargaining"in the negotiations.

 

Luckily more and more people on the Earththink that safety world is nuclear-free world. Success of the third session of the fifth round of six-party negotiations on denuclearization, reconciliation and unification on the Korean peninsula showed up potential and will-power of states to cooperate in the sphere of peace and security. Moreover, in fact six-party talks are the sole multilateral process on security in the NEA and might lay the effective foundation for creation of regional mechanisms of broader multilateral cooperation in this sphere.

 

4. It is noteworthy that booming China has become an active economic and political actor at the regional and global levels. It had made progress in a number of areas. It portrays itself as an effective but peaceful rising power while making clear that it iswilling to build its international relationships and to occupy a respectable place in the international system. In spite of some trade and other frictions with the U.S. and the EU, deteriorating relations with Japan etc., China carries on calculative policy towards the USA, the EU and neighbors. China stands for the principle "One China", which is not a main danger for Taiwan. Taiwan can lose in global economics competition with continental China in perspective. China continues its sprinter running while Taiwan economics temps became slower.

 

China gained major diplomatic credit pulling together the fourth round of six-party talks, where its and Seoul key positions were coinciding more often than with those of the USA. As a whole, China intends to play the role of the center of a geo-economic system of cooperation, trade and investment networks in the region in perspective.

 

Even brief description of accelerated growth of Chinese economic and political influence in Asia and world affairs permits us to consider China as a second regional power here and future superpower. Now China - the USA axis determines the international picture in the NEA instead of bygone Soviet-American confrontation. China ?Japan axis plays second fiddle. Why can we examine the radically transformed balance of power in region just in such key?

 

5. The fact is that deep divisions remain in the USA about whether the "rise" of China is a "threat" or "opportunity" to cooperate.

 

China and the USA have diametrically opposed goals in the NEA. Washington aim is to neutralize the rising Chinese power. Beijing desire is to limit American influence in the region step by step using its active positions in a growing number of multilateral regional organizations such as the SCO, the Eastern Asia Summit (EAS) etc.

 

Some scholars consider, that American preoccupation with the war on terrorism, plus the rise of China amid growing Asian regionalism was threatening to weaken US leadership in Asia in a certain extent. According to American documents, in the months before 9/11 2001, the Pentagon prepared to build up U.S. armed forces in Asia and Western Pacific (WP) to strengthen its stand and for eventual confrontation with China.

 

In pursuit of its own interests Pentagon is implementing fundamental re-grouping of their forces and moving out military bases closer to China and Taiwan Strait (TS). Nobody can argue the fact that Guam is nearer 3miles to TS by comparison with the US large-scale base on Hawaii.

 

The US Pacific Command is relocating 7marines from Okinawa to Guam, where nuclear ships, for instance "Los Angeles", are very frequent visitors. After finishing the construction of special docks, airfields and other facilities on Guam it can base on nuclear submarines, bombers "B-1" etc. As a result, Guam modernization budget amounted to $ 5 billion for the last year.

 

The US 7-th Fleet conducts about 100 navy exercises a year in cooperation with such states as Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Thailand etc. These measures mentioned above are not all in the US "hedging" strategy with regard to China.

 

6. The key place in it belongs to strategic partnership. Japan is the US ally in Asia N 1, which provides a variety of military and logistical support along with hundreds of millions of dollars assistance. Japan extended its refueling mission for the US armed forces in the Indian Ocean and the status of its base "Kemp Dzama"in the central part of the archipelago, agreed to host an American nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, advanced Japan ballistic missile defense efforts which are implementing in collaboration with the USA etc. Recently Japanese government transformed the Administration of National Defense into The Defense Ministry. Tokyo was and is the member of the six-party Talks with positions closest to those of the USA.

 

7. Seoul is of importance for implementation of the US military plans in the NEA on the base of 55 years old security treaty. Under this treaty the US deployed its armed forces and facilities in SK for decades. New functions of American forces in SK ? is their admittance to military operations in TS. The main base of the USA forces stationed near Seoul is moving to Pentkhak, on The Yellow sea shore, in front of China.

 

Why does the phenomenon of two Koreas rapprochement prick up the US ears? Firstly, Washington worries about future destiny of the US ?SK military Alliance. Secondly, it would be much more difficult to deal with united Korea and to control the whole situation in the NEA. Moreover, as independent experts think, also there is one threatening fact that in perspective SK can slip away from the US control and drift towards China.

 

8. At last, the far-going fact is that on March 13, 2007 Japan and Australia signed a joint Declaration on Security Cooperation which can influence negatively on affairs in the NEA. This agreement completed the formation of new security triangle in Asia - Pacific which was made up by the USA and its staunch allies. With each of them since 1951 Washington has had agreements on broad cooperation in military sphere. Three-power alliance is called to unite efforts for resistance to threats of nuclear missile attack and also for confrontation to aforesaid potential ambitions of China in Asia. Another main goal of new alliance is the building joint anti-missile defense system. As it is well known, the USA and Japan are cooperating actively with each other in this sphere lately. Now Australia is ready to join them too. This system may be similar to one which Pentagon is building in Eastern Europe recently. In due course it might be connected with each other or with the same system being built in Alaska.

 

9. It is not a top secret that the most serious problems facing Russia today remain internal in nature ? demographic decline, dependence on the energy and raw material export, poor state of national health care system, corruption etc. But Rome was not built in a day. Presidents V. Putin and D. Medvedev declare that Russia must be a nation with mature civil society and stable democratic political system. It must develop a globally competitive market economic, build modern high-tech mobile armed forces ready and strong enough to defend Russian citizens and national interests. They have done and do a lot in these directions. I mean implementation of several national programs and projects.

 

The fundamental goals are to maintain national sovereignty and political control over vast expanses of traditional Russian lands. In the light of that the Russian government intends to strengthen its "security belt" or "belt of good-neighborliness and cooperation"through closer inter-state integration within the Commonwealth of Independent State (CIS), with China and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), with other friendly countries in the East. Especially oil and gas play a big role in Russian integration into the NEA and Asian economy.

 

Russian-Chinese relations are developing in all areas ranging from strategic cooperation on global problems, to policy coordination on regional issues, to economic, trade, scientific, cultural andcross-boarder exchange. In July, 2008 Russia closed boundary problems with China, signed the joint agreement on islands on the Amur river. Russian and Chinese leaders confirmed and confirm their positive estimate of progress in six-party Talks on denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, appealed to continue these talks, showing flexibility and goodwill in the name of strengthening peace and security in the NEA and on the Korean peninsula.

 

Russia strives to keep up the reunification momentum by creating aproper balance in its individual various relations with SK and NK, supporting the further development of the Korean process. Whatever happens on the Korean peninsula in the immediate future or in the years to come, it is clear that Russia national security interests, and its economic and political goals will be directly affected.

 

What can we, women of the NEA, do for peace building and harmony on the Korean peninsula and in the North-East Asia?

- let us do our best to rouse public opinion on the basis of activities of the present Conference, demand the respective governments to change their military policies, to limit their military budgets and try to eliminate nuclear weapons,

-demand to reduce foreign military presence, say, on Guam or elsewhere and to return its lands to the Chamorro, indigenous people of this island,

-promote the inclusion of more women as negotiators equal with men in all committees or subcommittees of six-part Talks,

-as to peace culture we must put our energies into creating a non-violent society all over the world, learning the skills from inter-personal to inter-state relationships which enable all of us to live harmoniously together.

 

Probably these proposals are half-baked. Let us leave no stone unturned and discuss all our possibilities and actions on this way.

Thank you for your kind attention.

 

N. Lebedeva

번호 제목 글쓴이 날짜 조회 수
79 Country Report : Korea [224] 평화여성회 2012.04.16 52353
78 Cora Weiss <Opening Remarks> [419] 평화여성회 2011.04.01 48156
77 개회사(영문) [600] 평화여성회 2010.10.14 40657
76 Keynote Speech : Sylvia Kotting-Uhl [203] file 평화여성회 2012.03.22 27419
75 Country Report : United States [348] 평화여성회 2012.03.22 26866
74 개회사 (The Opening Remarks) [428] 평화여성회 2012.03.22 24966
73 Keynote Speech : Young-sun Gi (61번글 영문) [186] 평화여성회 2012.03.22 21990
72 Country Report : Russia (65번글 영문) [238] 평화여성회 2012.03.22 21573
71 Recommendations: To the Six-Party Talks and countries to attend the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit. [175] 평화여성회 2012.03.21 19898
70 환영사 (Welcoming Remarks) [198] 평화여성회 2012.03.22 17493
69 Country Reports : China (69번글 영문) [284] 평화여성회 2012.03.22 16672
» Country Report Russia [115] 평화여성회 2010.06.01 14841
67 Speech of Ms. Mavic Cabrera-Balleza on February 24th, 2011 [82] 평화여성회 2011.04.01 14658
66 축사(Congratulatory Message) [136] 평화여성회 2012.03.22 12633
65 Congratulatory Addresses [102] 평화여성회 2010.10.14 12037
64 Country Reports 미국(영문) [20] 평화여성회 2010.10.14 11128
63 20080902 2008 동북아여성평화회의 국제회의 자료집 file 평화를만드는여성회 2009.09.14 10630
62 Country Reports Korea [107] 평화여성회 2010.06.07 10586
61 Speech of Ms.Hyun Back Chung on Feb.24th, 2011 [332] 평화여성회 2011.04.01 10427
60 Country Report : Japan (63번글 영문) [9] 평화여성회 2012.03.22 10392

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