Regina Ip Lau Suk-ye, a pro-China lawmaker from Hong Kong walked out of the 4th Edition of the WION Global Summit when Taiwan's former Defence minister Michael Tsai referred to the coronavirus as the Wuhan virus and called Taiwan a country.
“I don't think you should stigmatise the virus by calling it Wuhan... I am sorry I have to leave this forum; Taiwan is not a nation, it is a renegade province of the People's Republic of China”, Suk-ye said as she walked out of the summit.
Themed 'Power Play in a Post-Pandemic World’, the summit was attended by dialogue partners from 15 countries, either virtually or in-person.
India's External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar graced the event as Chief Guest and highlighted India's visible leadership during the Pandemic. "Our domestic priorities were harmonised with our global outlook in the Vaccine Maitri that now extends to almost 80 nations.', Jaishankar said, adding that Power plays always existed and it's the playing field that's now shifting.
Pavan Kapoor, Indian Ambassador to UAE, delivered the welcome note on behalf of the host nation, United Arab Emirates. He said, “Countries now perceive global trade very differently. The metrics of measuring power are now very different - trade, connectivity, data, technology.”
Opening a session on the Peace deals of West Asia, Former U.S. National Security advisor John Bolton said It was the changing perception and recognition of the threat from Iran that led Gulf states into formalising ties with Israel.
Jerusalem's Deputy Mayor Fleur Hassan-Nahoum hinted at the possibility of Israel signing more peace accords with other nations. “There is a lot of talk about different countries. I would guesstimate Oman, which also has a young leader interested in peaceful relation with Israel”, she added.
Jason D Greenblatt, Former White House Middle East Envoy who brokered the West Asia deals stressed on the urgent need to resolve the Palestine issue.
"We did prove that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Israeli-Arab conflict, though intricately tied together, can indeed be separately solved - and that's essential for this region", he said.
"We want to fix Yemen, Palestine, and Syria. We should not club the issues together. We have to demand responsibility from Palestinian leadership as well. The issues of Palestine, Yemen and Syria shouldn't be mixed. They must be though fixed and resolved", Greenblatt added.
Speaking on the post-pandemic World order, Yasuhide Nakayama, State Minister of Defence said a free and open Indo-Pacific is key to peace and stability for the world order.
He cautioned the world about the threat posed by China. “Using military power to change power is not healthy”, Nakayama said.
Gauging the new world order, Youssef Chahed, former chief of government, Tunisia, said “The new leadership will come from many countries like India, Brazil, Europe, and China. The country or the force having recognised as safe from the pandemic will gain power.”
Speaking on the session on World Economy, Ian Goldin, former Vice President of the World Bank said, “the centre of gravity of global economy has moved more towards East Asia during coronavirus pandemic.”
Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, Foreign Secretary of the Maldives and dialogue partner for the session said his country was able to survive the pandemic due to its “friendships, and partnerships with the rest of the world.”
Alexander Dynkin, President, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations said “India is of the few powers that is independent from all capital around the world. India is doing relatively well is an important player in the post-pandemic order.”
Kaimar Karu, Former Minister of Foreign Trade and Information Technology of Estonia, was a part of the session on Digital Revolution.
He said “I hope and believe that our future will be more sustainable. I don't really mean the nature or the climate because the planet will be fine, humanity may not be so much.”
Audrey Tang, Digital Minister of Taiwan said she hoped the idea of “connected spaces and digital public infrastructure” will gain attention.
“In order to make civic life worth internationally, we also need investment into digital public infrastructure”, Audrey said.
The Summit was aired on WION on 24th March. It will air again over the weekend on Saturday and Sunday at 9 PM and 10:30 PM IST.
The event is also available on WION’s social media and YouTube channel.
DR. S. JAISHANKAR at WION GLOBAL SUMMIT- Full Quotes
“Significant changes in American strategic posture are equally important, and not unconnected. The collective character of the West, including its alliance manifestations, is no longer the same. Historical players like Russia or Turkey or Iran are far more active in their near vicinity, in the case of Russia, well beyond.”
“When it comes to power plays, it has many concrete expressions across different parts. The collective character of the West in terms of its alliance manifestation is not the same. Russia and Iran are far more active in their vicinity. The influence of middle powers has grown.”
“In an incredible and dynamic global situation, the pandemic has introduced many more variables, some of which came as a shock to the entire global system. The pandemic has raised fundamental concerns about the virtues of globalisation by bringing out the importance of reliable supply chains. It has also brought out in the open the behaviour of states at times of stress, thereby highlighting the more uncomfortable realities of global politics. It made us realise the quality of leadership and the strength of motivation. It has made health security and perhaps food security far more integral to the national security of countries.”