Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Statement on the Recent Surge of Missile Testing on the Korean Peninsula (10.06.2022)

Ukraine: ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Statement on the Reported Killing of Civilians in Ukraine (08.04.2022)

Kingdom of Cambodia: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation – Outcomes of the 16th East Asia Summit (EAS) (27.10.2021)

ASEAN Civil Society Conference (ACSC)/ASEAN People’s Forum (APF): Press Release (17.10.2021)

Opinion: UK – Why be apart of Europe (EU) when the water is bluer in the Pacific (CPTPP)?

The United Kingdom is really a special breed and the Tories leadership is something else. After all the years of tussling and muffling the transition and the negotiations with the European Union (EU). Which be recent reports will be a steady affair for 50 years. The government of United Kingdom (UK) have now opted for a new “union” or Free-Trade Agreement.

The UK had the most beneficial and biggest trade deal with the common market in the European Union with all of its member states and EEA. However, that has been dismissed, as they have the new Withdrawal Agreement and non-membership, which was so important for the Tories to set in action. They wanted to get out so they could have their own agreements, deals and not be bound by Brussels. However, the ending of common market with the EU have caused its trouble. There are problems with logistics, forms and declarations of produce/products across from Europe to the United Kingdom. Still, in the midst of that.

The Tories have a new idea. The Tories are joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Where the negotiations are starting this year to be a part of the Free Trade Agreement between 11 nations. These are: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Clearly, the UK ditched the simple trading across the bay. Instead of getting things to the Low Countries, France and Italy. Heck even Germany, Polen and the Czech Republic. Why not try to send Yorkshire tea easier to the Kingdom of Brunei?

By all means, any trade deal is a good deal for a nation. However, every nation and every kingdom tends to trade most with their neighbours. That is a historical fact for most nations. They tend to have most common with the nations right beside it. Surely, it is should be easier to sell something from London to Dublin. Instead in this case it will be easier sell something from Bristol to Auckland and that is insane. But, that is the Tories in a nutshell.

It is nuts and bonkers that the ones screaming to leave one thing is signing up this quickly. That they are moving over to another project that easily. Yes, there might be less stings attached, but on the other hand. The UK had a good hand, but they spoilt it by leaving. The Tories and the UK could have had more influence and used their buying power in the Union, but instead they couldn’t care less.

Now, they rather go on the deep dive in the pacific. Instead of just across the British channel. That is just weird. That say it all about the leadership in Downing Street and at Whitehall. That they have these ideas and think it can ease the pain. Yes, they will get sales and get trading going on in the pacific. However, how will that be substantial in comparison to what you used to have with the European Union?

It is not like these sort of arrangements and logistically is easily accessible. The CPTPP will be a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) but at what cost?

The EU have by comparison 43% of the World Trade. While the CPTPP have 14% of it. Yes, it is a substantial part of the world trade in the CPTPP. Nevertheless, the UK haven’t shot the silver bullet here. It is like they just trying to patch the hurt and make it sound splendid. Even though deep down… they know they lost out of chance of a lifetime and they are afraid of turning back.

That is why the deep blue sea of the Pacific seems so refreshing compared to crossing over the familiar channel from Folkestone to Calais. Peace.

Philippines: Anticipate rising rice prices ahead

In these times were living in, the Department of Agriculture or other authorities cannot monitor or control every avenue of the Republic. The President and his associates can issue and ask for the public to follow guidelines. However, this will be hard to follow in the days ahead. As the exports of rice from Vietnam will dwindle. Even as the DA has stockpiled enough for 75 days. There will still be questioned, as the public are on lockdown and people cannot move as they used too.

The Luzon is already under quarantine and under direct lockdown. While Mindanao isn’t under that yet. Still, this will stop the movement of rice and other goods. With this in mind and with the COVID-19 or Coronavirus outbreak. The most likely thing to happen, when the public are not allowed to cross checkpoints and leave their homes. The traders, the farmers and everyone involved will need to be compensated. This will make the process more expensive, as well as the ability to import rice from Vietnam and elsewhere will be harder too. With all of those pieces in mind, the price from farm-gate to the consumer will rise.

The DA can by all means, monitor and challenge the rises of prices. They can send out information about their stockpile and the previously bought stock of rise in 2019. However, now in 2020, as people are living and seeing the spread of virus. The stops, roadblocks and lack of imports will make the prices go up. That is common sense.

The stockpiling which was done is positive. That the DA has stocks for three months of ordinary supply is good. However, the ability to transfer, the ability to get the rice moved will be harder. When the army and police is guarding the barangays and the communities. This will hit it and the ports will not as open as before, because the state has already issued guidelines.

With all this in mind, the prices are most likely rising and the basic commodity of rice will go up. Even if the warning letters comes the way of the DA. They cannot stop the inevitable. This is not just scrupulous traders, but usual tendencies when situations like these transpire. If there becomes shortage in Zambonga Del Sur or del Norte. Expect the prices to sudden rise. That because the rice from the stockpile in Luzon isn’t arriving there. The rice from Davao isn’t crossing Mindanao, because of the social distancing and the authorities are blocking the movement. Which likely could happen too.

Even if the ASEAN partners wants to help, they still got their own neck to consider too in this crisis. COVID-19 is hitting worldwide and therefore, the damage is everywhere. Philippines will be hit like everyone else. In this instance with imports of rice, as Vietnam and Thailand is not doing as much as they did in the past. That will affect the prices and will limit the scope. As well, as the other travel advisory and other measures made across Asian nations in concern of exports an so-on.

The DA and the authorities means well, they are trying to signal positivity in the midst of a crisis. However, initial thoughts from me is that with a crisis like this the prices will rise. Unless, the state decrees the prices. They nationalize all parts the food-chain from the farmer to the consumer. Where every party has a fixed price and therefore the rice is costing a much as they set it to be. If they don’t do that, then the prices will spiral and go up. As the fear, the ability locally and in the Barangay’s can use their means to put it up. Since it is less movement, they can initiate a jump of prices and the national authorities cannot follow-up in all areas.

That is why this will most likely happen. It is a force of nature. Even with a giant stockpile. That stockpile is one place and not made across the Republic. The rural Barangay’s will not get their additional loads of rice quickly. Not in this time. Because, the state and authorities doesn’t have the capacity or ability to move that quick. Therefore, there will be change of prices and costs will go up. They can try to stagnate it, but if they wanted to control it. They should do so on decree and nationalize it. Peace.

Opinion: Illegal trade of pangolins is the cause of this pandemic

Who knew a mammal like pangolins would cause this much pain and suffering. The illegal wild-life traders in Asia would bring these to small locations in Wet-Markets, where they sell wild creatures from all over the globe. So, that the Chinese elites can eat wild animals, which is supposed to bring luck and healing. While they are in closed off locations, where the animal diseases are spreading between the animals and also onto people. This is how we gotten the COVID-19 or Coronavirus, which we know of today.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) writes this about the Pangolins: “These solitary, primarily nocturnal animals, are easily recognized by their full armor of scales. A startled pangolin will cover its head with its front legs, exposing its scales to any potential predator. If touched or grabbed it will roll up completely into a ball, while the sharp scales on the tail can be used to lash out. Also called scaly anteaters because of their preferred diet, pangolins are increasingly victims of illegal wildlife crime—mainly in Asia and in growing amounts in Africa—for their meat and scales” (WWF – ‘Pangolin’).

In February 2020, the National Geographic had this report: “In China, where pangolins are strictly protected too, the government allows certain clinics and hospitals to sell pangolin scales for medicinal purposes. As of 2016, some 200 Chinese pharmaceutical companies were also allowed to manufacture more than 60 products containing pangolin scales, according to the China Food and Drug Administration’s online database. Officials say scales for medicinal use are distributed from a government stockpile, but China has never clarified how large the country’s stockpile is or where the scales came from. As the Wildlife Justice Commission reports, the medicinal system is likely being used to launder illegally obtained African pangolin scales into China’s legal domestic market” (Rachel Nuwer – ‘Illegal trade in pangolins keeps growing as criminal networks expand’ 11.02.2020, National Geographic).

When you have an issue like this and there is scientist saying the first bearer of the virus hitting the world comes from this mammal. That the pangolins are the ones who first carried it and had it. This is happening because we take the wild-life out of its habitat and put them into wet-markets for sale. Selling wild-life like other commodities and for traditional medicine. Instead of actually having scientific effects of the matter. Where they are then exposing their illnesses to both other animals and human beings too. That is why we’re living through this issue today.

This here should be a lesson to not support illegal wild-life trading. Stop trading of wild-life and in general, if possible let the wild-life live in the habitat they comes from or even be part of their natural surrounding. Not being taken away for their scales or their meat. Which has happen, where they was transported, put into small environment and made it possible for the virus to spread. This the reality and that is why COVID-19 got spread to new areas.

This is not just a Chinese problem. Even if they are the ones with the Wet-Market and the tradition of using pangolins as medicinal. Still, the illegal traders, poachers and the whole chain of people still active. They are ensuring their next check and their profitable transaction, as they know perfectly well, there is big business is selling this mammal to China. The Chinese isn’t alone this, this is also a problem in Vietnam as well. Therefore, it is only becoming evident because the virus started in Wuhan, China.

This here is a warning about the danger of this life-style. The pangolins are not made or living for medicinal exploits, neither healthy to use it in this way. As it causes a pandemic. Which shows they should stay in their habitat and become a commodity. Since, becoming a commodity, they also become a dangerous. A danger the world is now facing.

We can ask ourselves, is it worth risking humanity over transferring wild-life like this? The answer should be no. Not because we’re all green or climate change activists or all the above. However, because we care about the environment and out own well-being. Also, that the nature should run its course and we shouldn’t interfere with it, unless we know the consequences of our actions.

So, we now know what happens … and therefore, should stop the trading of pangolins, indefinitely. Peace.

ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN (8 August 2017)

The historical call between Kissinger and Marder: Shows how the NSA became a WaPo source!

In December 12, 1972 there was a unique phone call between Journalist Murray Marder at the Washington Post and the then National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger under President Richard Nixon. Here we can see allegations from the Washington Post and the Nixon Government warfare in Vietnam. How it is explained and how the sudden approach of Marder get the truth and also get Kissinger to explain the situation, instead of getting angry and stop listening to press. Something, today’s government should learn, since this is not stopping the spin, but explaining the facts. Also, come forward. We are even seeing that Kissinger went to become “government source”, instead of being named in paper. Just take a look!

Let me show you pieces of the conservation between Marder and Kissinger to give some context:

Kissinger: Yes, Murray.

Marder: Henry —-

Kissinger: Not that goddamn paper deserves a return call

Marder: Ah, you mean the editorial or me or what?

Kissinger: The Editorial. No you’ve been 80 % rational. But for a newspaper that’s accusing us of not showing enough goodwill; now to accuse us of naivety is almost more than one’s morality can stand. But go ahead, you’re not responsible for the editorial”

He later continues:

Marder: This is what I wanted to get at because the Press Office response was it was untrue that Kissinger asked for 126 charges. But we said, well, we thought it was too much because that leaves the question: “well, was it 125 or was it anything or was it –”

Kissinger: The last day we asked for none whatsoever. You know, I don’t know how the sons-of-bitches are counting – they might, during the course of 15 days, if they count every word that was ever suggested in these discussions, they might amount to something, I don’t know. We did not – – there were never more than 8 points seriously at issue at any time during the 15 days. All of this is off-the-record”

Later again:

Marder: Which I’m not trying to do obviously because of this is the kind of thing you get a sweeping accusation from somebody of 126 charges.

Kissinger: The major issue that was discussed occurred in one place and did not recur through the document.

Marder: um-humm.

Kissinger: It is just not true.

Marder: Right.

Kissinger: You know, it might be hard to accept it. The U.S. Government may be telling the truth and Hanoi may be lying but it’s just barely conceivable.

Marder: No, the question here was just simple the way the way he is slinging the 126 around, it was obvious to anybody following this that there are not 126 charges probably in the entire agreement in any substantive form and he has gone on to say that – –

Kissinger: Look, can anybody really believe that having negotiated the Berlin agreement, the Shanghai communique, the SALT agreement, that one could be so wrong at the end of October as to think that 126 issues could be settled in three or four days?

Marder: No, I would think absolutely not.

Kissinger: Or is it more likely that we raised exactly the issues that I mentioned at the end of October? Issues on the assumption of a decisions to settle are easy. And on the assumption of a decision not to settle become insoluble.

Marder: Yeah, yes. I would have no problem with that”

Later in the conversation:

Marder: What is not clear to me is do you see a probability of them dumping everything into that record? That would mean a break and everything if they would go that far.

Kissinger: They wouldn’t do that; they wouldn’t look to good.

Marder: I would think there is a limit. The point is that they probably do not want to break off the negotiations but want to register some great indignation and dismay and generate whatever support pressures from China and Moscow to support them there.

Kissinger: I think that’s right. Murray, I’ve got to run but will you write this please by keeping White House or anybody else out of it.

Marder: All right but I must use something – – Administration sources said the charge of 126 has no foundation whatsoever.

Kissinger: That’s right”

Finally:

Marder: This is why I called you because the White House thing left that hanging.

Kissinger: Hell, it wasn’t anything like 10. I mean, in fact, only 10 things that were ever seriously discussed.

Marder: Right.

Kissinger: There may be a lot of things but all of this is basically irrelevant because all of those issues have in fact practically been settled.

Marder: Right, right. Just one brief thing, the timing discernible at all on any next move on their part?

Kissinger: I have no estimate on that.

Marder: Um-humm.

Kissinger: Okay, Murray.

Marder: Thank you, Henry.

Kissinger: Right. Tell ______ that I deeply appreciate his editorial.

Marder: I will”

If you see how the conservation was between the National Security Advisor and Washington Post Journalist. Shows how the political game is played and what efforts being made. How it went from I hate that editorial, to I appreciate it. Certainly, politician will act first in defense and say the papers are wrong. But when he changed and listened to Kissinger, the story got altered and the information being given made sense. So it wasn’t a spin. Maybe, the White House of today could learn from it today.

U.S. History: H.R. Haldeman note on Nixon order to “monkey wrenching” Vietnam-War Peace Negotiation (22.10.1968)

During a phone call on the night of Oct. 22, 1968, Richard M. Nixon told his closest aide (and future chief of staff) H.R. Haldeman to “monkey wrench” President Lyndon B. Johnson’s efforts to begin peace negotiations over the Vietnam War. Nixon long denied giving such an order, but Haldeman’s notes, which were quietly made public in 2007 and were recently discovered by the historian Jack Farrell, prove he was lying.

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