Marcos: Asia Pacific determined to do away with Cold War mentality | Global News

Marcos: Asia Pacific determined to do away with Cold War mentality

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 10:00 AM January 17, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — Countries in the Asia-Pacific region are united and determined to do away with the Cold War mentality, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said, adding that those nations should decide their destinies away from intense geopolitical rivalry.

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The Presidental Communications Office (PCO) on Tuesday said the President made the remarks during a luncheon hosted for him and the Philippine chief executive officers (CEOs) by the economic team in Davos, Switzerland on Monday.

Marcos said countries in the Asia Pacific are facing pressure to take sides due to intense geopolitical tension in the region.

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According to the President, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies are committed to the idea that they cannot return to the Cold War formula, where they had to choose whether to be under the Soviet Union or the United States spheres of influence.

However, that puts the Philippines in a very precarious position, being on the front line of this conflict, Marcos said, adding, “this is the very fine line that the Philippines has to choose.”

“However, I think we are determined as a group in ASEAN and in the Indo-Pacific, those around the Indo-Pacific, despite all of this conflict we are determined to stay away from that,” Marcos said, as quoted by PCO.

“And simply because we are anchored in the idea that the future of the Indo-Pacific, the future of Asia Pacific, for example, cannot be determined by anyone but the countries of the Asia Pacific and that removes us immediately from that idea that you must choose, we choose our friends, we choose our neighbors, that’s the choice that we will make,” he added.

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Marcos also highlighted the tendency for nations to move toward nationalism and protectionism due to the present crises, such as the coronavirus pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Citing the Philippines as an example, the President said the pandemic brought the country back to the basics, in which it could no longer depend on importation to survive.

“We have to strengthen our own local economy to be able to withstand shocks such as the pandemic, such as Ukraine in the future and there is an element, there is a tendency of protectionism in that because we take care first of our own businesses, we take care first of our own industries, we take care first of our own economy,” he said.

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Although there are some disruptions, Marcos said he believes the world will find itself on the path toward globalization.

“I think the tendency after things have settled, after countries such as the Philippines have put in place the elements of policy, the elements of legislation that are necessary to be able to adjust to what is the new coming economy, once that is in place, I think that the globalization will start — we will start to return to the tendency of globalization. I think it is inevitable,” he said.

The President and his delegation arrived in Davos, Switzerland, on Sunday afternoon (Manila time) for the 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF).

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During his trip, Marcos said he would promote the Philippines as a “leader and driver of growth and a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region” at the WEF), and look for partners for the government’s plan to build more infrastructure and ensure food and energy security.

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