The East: Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi, Russian Federation.
The overall content of this 16th convening of the Valdai Club is rich in value.
While sideline meetings between Russia and the Philippines did result in some interesting business agreements including the promise of exploration of nuclear power plant development, the Valdai discussions may be the most significant to the Philippines and those that follow its rapidly upgrading foreign policy.
Weekend Analysis by Melissa Hemingway
Rodrigo Duterte did not seem to fit in with his rambling defence of his murders in the Philippines to which he widely admitted with an explanation.
Duterte did make some important points about corruption within his government. For example he said that two military Generals are involved in the drug trade and that “ninja cops” continue to lie about drug bust quantities and set up their own drug selling businesses with the unreported quantities they steal from evidence.
Corruption in government was maybe one of Duterte’s most salient points. This has become a global issue causing huge public demonstrations and outright riots in:
- Baghdad & Najaf, Iraq
- Beirut, Lebanon
- Caracas, Venezuela
- Cairo, Egypt
- Hong Kong
- Hoogeveen, Netherlands
- Jerusalem, Israel
- Lima, Peru
- Manila, Philippines
- Meppel, Netherlands
- Moscow, Russia
- Paris, France
- Port-au-Prince, Haiti
- The Hague, Netherlands
- Washington DC
Duterte’s profound statements about the drug crisis he claims he encountered when he came to office in mid-2016 implied that the country was more or less doomed without his bloody intervention.
What President Duterte did not seem to realize is that the people in the room squirming in their seats did not agree that the murder of one’s countrymen is an acceptable solution for anything. Perhaps this was because the United Nations has an active Resolution brought by Iceland to investigate human rights violations in the Philippines. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that this is a serious problem with dire consequences.
Russian diplomat Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov was visibly discomforted while sitting in the audience muttering under his breath as Duterte ranted about killing alleged drug users and sellers. There are over thirty thousand to rant about, not twenty thousand as Duterte suggested. Any number past none is of course unlawful. Duterte later summed up saying despite these extrajudicial killings and all of his past statements claiming to be a killer, he himself is not a killer. It didn’t quite fit the intellectual level of the overall discussion which again caused uneasiness in the room.
This three-year policy of overstating the drug crisis in the Philippines counters the statistics that indicate a better than global status 1% affliction of the population. Nevertheless, people should not be using Shabu and other non-prescription narcotics because without any doubt their use is contraindicated because of the morbidly deleterious impact to human health and to the social fibre. That is also true of encouraging a culture of death (murder). Some thirty thousand Filipinos have perished in violent extrajudicial killings. The murder rate in the Philippines is now approaching that of recent short-period analysis of Philippines vs Honduras and Guatemala. It is a serious, calamatous problem.
According to one person FPMag contacted, and repeats on condition of anonymity, Duterte’s rant was received poorly and “no end of derogatory describes how people felt”.
‘Do not look at the carcasses but look at the Philippines’ families that are dysfunctional’, said Duterte.
The full length video from the plenary section is contained within this article below. Seeing and hearing is believing.
Clearly, great minds have convened at this gathering of intellectuals despite the distraction of the Philippines President’s rantings which were interrupted by the moderator at two or more points.
Duterte clearly revels in making the “killing of women” and the end of drug use in the Philippines his gravestone’s inscription. He joked about the CIA watching him and complained about Canada and the United States specifying the stipulation that he cannot use North American-purchased armaments against his own people as a condition of their sale to the Philippines.
The entire audience looked like it suffered deep embarrassment as it listened to the intellectual level of the conference head through the floorboards on the way to hell. Honestly, there is no truer way to describe this fiasco for the Philippines.
Sorry, PH. Next time, send Vice President Robredo.
The Quality of the Valdai Club
His Majesty King Abdullah spoke eloquently about the Palestinian crisis saying Jordan and Russia agree on the need for a two-state solution. That suggestion however has been around for 70 years and still there is no resolution. That fact was not raised. Is it fair to say that the world tires of this longstanding source of friction and that it needs to be solved one way or the other.
On the economies of the East,
“Much has been said recently about the slowdown of China’s economy. There is a myth that the higher economic growth is, the more happy people are. This simply isn’t true. China did not really plan to lead the whole time. There is the example of Donald Trump, who accelerated the economy to 3% growth, but it is not yet clear how this will affect the United States. After all, there are other examples: in 2017, Turkey increased its economic growth to 10%, and then fell into a recession with rising unemployment. Overstatement of growth leads to an imbalance in the economy. China is quite happy with a growth rate of 4-5%; it is not necessary to raise the bar above 6%.” – From the Valdai session summary statement.
As America under Donald Trump leaves the world to focus on nationalistic goals, “Asia has been the main beneficiary of globalization having achieved impressive economic successes. As the global economic model is changing, the issue of how the future interaction will work is arising,” notes a summary statement of the Valdai intellectual ninth session group consisting of Igor Makarov, Xu Sitao, Maxim Oreshkin, Lee Jae-Young, Bruno Maçaes, and Fyodor Lukyanov.
Watch: Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and of particular interest are the rich-content statements of Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan. President Putin covers a range of topics including Syria while King Abdullah nails down Jordan’s concern over the Palestinian condition. It’s a lengthy movie but the best is at the beginning. Philippines President Duterte also speaks on three occasions in the video, making some people laugh.
Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan held the audience in tightly engaged moments on several issues. Watch.