[NEWS IN-DEPTH] 2020 Munich Security Conference: Foreign Policy Issues to Take Centerstage…


now as the rest of the world struggled
to contain the corona virus outbreak that began in the Chinese sea
Ohan leaders diplomats and the world’s top foreign policy thinkers crammed a
hotel in the Bavarian capitalist past weekend for prestigious gathering which
has been dubbed as Davos for defense the annual Munich Security Conference
the three-day gathering like previous year’s aim to take the temperature of
the state of international peace and security but it was rather clear by the
end of the weekend that those in the global affairs arena could not stay too
far away from discussing China key foreign policy gem discussed at the 2020
Munich Security Conference the topic of our news in depth tonight with dr. koh
miang hyun research fellow at the asan Institute for Policy Studies and a
member of the Munich Security Conference of 2015 making great to have you back on
the program since for letting me know at this conference
it’s an annual three-day gathering often described as Davos forum for
international peace and security you yourself have participated in this a
conference first off why don’t you explain to us you know what this
conference is and how it’s relevant to global defence and security so Munich
Security Conference started back in 1963 in order to get the United States policy
maker establishment and the European policy policy making establishment much
closer and engaged in depth dialogue about though in our standing issues of
the day in foreign policy and national security that remember that back in 1963
when the Munich Security Conference started out the world was engaged in a
cold war and confrontation between epic confrontation between liberal West and
the communist East and sustained us develop into the actually the premier
Chuck Juan dialogue the involves leaders from 70 different countries so Chuck one
meaning is actually a meeting of a high level of officials who are actually in
government at a time so this is actually has become the model from other
multilateral security conference around the world for example the well-known
example in Asia will be the shangri-la dialogue that takes place every year in
Singapore so shangri-la dialogue was one other
Frances that consciously was based on the Munich Security Conference so you
could say that the security conference is a matter of all foreign policy and
national security conferences right so on the shangri-la Conference was um I
guess born out of that now contrary to last year and the year before there are
a lot of talk about China this year the Americans came out strong defensive
remark Esper warned America’s allies that it was time to wake up
deterrence threat Secretary of State mark impair declared the West was
winning against the conflict with China and I see a trump administration
officials said Europe was missing the point if they did not see China through
and us against them one so first let’s listen in to them and on that point
China has had a border or maritime dispute with nearly every nation
bordering it and let’s talk for a second about the other realms cybersecurity
Huawei and other Chinese state backed tech companies are Trojan horses for
Chinese intelligence Russia’s disinformation campaigns try to turn our
citizens against one another reliance on Chinese 5g vendors for example could
render our partners critical systems vulnerable to disruption manipulation
and espionage it could also jeopardize our communications and intelligence
sharing capabilities and by extension it could jeopardize our alliances to
counter this we are encouraging allied and US tech companies to develop
alternative 5g solutions and we are working alongside them to test these
technologies at our military bases as we speak no what are we witnessing here oh
this is a very interesting I mean clearly I mean although I mean in terms
of timing it makes the United States sounds like a bully because you know all
these are high-level officials in the translation came out at the moment China
is actually suffering from a very serious pendulum which is killing
thousands of its own citizens so but then on the other hand it’s Desa
consistency here in the sense that translation is keep actually continue
its campaign to pressure the foster China will
remember like last year China and the United States were engaged it’s very
serious trespass and essentially it was a u.s. way of our reminding China was
making sure that China stay in the second place in the all global economic
order this time they are emphasizing technology and technology if you can
characterize trade the economy in economic issue of the present today
technologies there is a issue of the future
so essentially United States is engaging this constant campaign to check China’s
rise at present and then by targeting technology right now by reminding the
world to sideline this a Chinese technological giant Huawei you know in
major markets such as in Europe I think a United States at telling the European
allies to make sure that the European allies join the United States therefore
the child check China’s rise for the future as well so essentially it’s a
360-degree way of checking China’s rise and Munich Security Conference is a
supreme location to remind the European leaders to you know join the United
States Air Force in this regard because right now there’s a feeling or sense
that perception that European allies of the United States are wavering in you
know adjoining the u.s. campaign to check China’s rise so a
check-and-balance campaign going on here however German
President Frank Val – time Maya kicked off the conference by taking an indirect
swipe that present Donald Trump’s America first campaign and warned that
the US would prioritize its own interests first at the expense of Ally
so let’s listen to that and our closest ally in the United States of America
under the present administration itself rejects the idea of an international
community attitude each man for himself already the world
politics as if everyone was taken care of when he everyone only carry
themselves great again even at the expense of neighbors and partners at
least it seems like so now it seems like there is a bit of a transatlantic rift
there is that right yeah so we know that the present Trump has been especially
critical over all like a world leaders has been especially critical of
Chancellor Angela Merkel and I mean and clearly not time I your being the
president even though is a ceremonial post the oppressor of Germany I think he
couldn’t miss a chance to take a take a serve in essentially he bagged at these
kinda Croatians but I think even though it’s a German president I think there’s
more to that here because Europeans in general not just the Germans in the
European in Europeans in general they’ve been very upset at translation policy in
general and I think there’s no I mean foreign policy projects that the
European Union and the European countries have invested all our efforts
and attention such as the Paris climate Accord the Iran nuclear agreement and so
forth and of which United States have either cancer or cancer or cava drawing
and these are the issues that Europeans have been very like I agree I agree I
agree aggravated by the you know such action by the United States and the
American unitl militarism also doesn’t go down well with the Europeans because
there’s I mean there’s a perception that the u.s. is taking away like a
unilateral approach to global affairs but also United States is pressuring the
Europeans to spend more known didn’t their own defense NATO or the sharing
issue is a major issue for the you know European nation states and in their
regard I mean remonstration has targeted German again for not living up to its
job shared or not the best product so I think there are many friction points
between Europe and the United States right now and I think I actually
irritates the Europeans especially that Trump has been very cold air even ago
friendly even now say with the traditional Oracle Western nemesis such
as Russia North Korea but then when it comes to Europe I mean Trump only has
harsh words for them so I think this is a reason why you know we are sensing
growing rift between Western Europe and the United States today
sure now US Secretary of State might compare trying to spell the European
misgivings over the trustworthiness of American leadership and and really
dismiss notions of the power of the West is in decline in doing so he enlisted
Washington’s efforts on North Korea’s denuclearization now in your view the
Trump administration can it be free from such accusations well I think it’s
kind of ironic that in a secretary Pompeo is saying that the United States
contributing to the global in world peace which is true I mean in the wrong
run has in United States has been a major stabilizing force and in the
global affairs in general I mean Aztec leader ship in negotiations and the
depreciation is armament and military support additional workers but then I
think what what another picture I mean the sticking point you say it’s the US
withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal I mean that was the status quo in the
Middle East has been quite stable before United States withdrew from the the deal
which has aggravated Iranians and we in fact the Iranians are restarting the
nuclear program right now and that’s led to actually actual clash between the
United States and Iran in evidence by the assassination of the Qasem Soleimani
asura so you know who knows small clashes are taking place around the
Middle East and also I think all Europeans are thinking that Americans
between irresponsible in some regard such as by abandoning the khadisha
allies in Syria and which empower the Russians hand in the Middle East and
also hands hands and I think a desire evidence that the Europeans are other
critics of the United States kapala C would bring up to counter what a
secretary Pompeo said for the first time South Korea’s foreign minister was
invited to speak as a panel member at one of the conference’s main sessions
she spoke about South Korean diplomacy and the importance of multilateralism
as well as the Korean Peninsula peace process of course I’m you know we aren’t
seeing much progress there yeah that’s that’s kind of ironic right but then I
think you know 40 mr. Kang I wanted to bring up the issue of a
Korean Peninsula peace process because this will be an example of I mean one of
the few examples in which the South Koreans engaged in in a multilateral
approach to bring about stability in the Korean Peninsula the Korean peace
process is about essentially in a nutshell involves like our neighboring
countries which all happen to be a major powers such as China Russia and Japan
and to collectively guarantee security stability in the Korean
Peninsula meaning guarantee the security of North Korea so it is like what you
know typical you know experts in foreign policy would call a mini lateral
approach to solving these kind of problems
and I think that example was very taken I think you know in the in this kind of
graduating where the multilateral reason is you know it’s a full on the table
over and over because the code is conscious with you know the American
agenda America first policy exactly so I think that’s a reason why I
think I’ll probably Foreign Minister can’t did a good job in you know taking
the example of a Korean police about peace process
now what was also interesting is the North Korea broke its silence over this
past weekend over South Korea’s proposal to open individual tours up to the north
what do you make of this this move by Pyongyang so I think you know I mean
clearly the message is safer there’s nothing new there I mean gain the tone
yourself sounded quite critical the South Korean government’s effort to
restore some sort of economic engagement with North Korea and because it came up
in the context of criticizing South Korea and the American officials
dialogue over how to restart this kind of tourism in North Korea but I think
living within the lines contextual message is that the North Koreans are
watching this carefully so they’re following this how South Korean is
behaving and then walk and therefore they are making in terms of restoring
engagement projects with North Korea so the message from North Korea is that you
window just a critical of a South Korean plans they’re watching and then they’re
watching of interest they’re watching and they’re watching with interest now
last but not least I want to touch upon that the South conformed minister’s
words that she in fact had the time to discuss
SMA negotiations so basically the defense cost sharing with her American
counterpart we know that South Korea’s defense minister is off to DC this week
to discuss that what do we expect on that front
well so I think I mean the u.s. and South Korean sized
met at least six times so far to negotiate this issue but even bother
sharing I mean you I mean the rumor is that the US has come down quite a bit in
terms of theum I’ve been asking demanding South Korea
to pay up I mean from the lofty height of five billion to something along the
line you have the fear or something which the South Koreans are countering
by saying that beyond the defense cost-sharing the South Korea’s buying a
lot of American weapons and so forth but I think they each really difficult into
aiming at having some sort of agreement reached by this week or next I think it
should be unlikely the research because South Korea’s facing election election
season there’s a general election came in coming up in April and any kind
agreement where South Korea is paying up a lot more than we used to which is
contributor an outcome which is not going to go down well with the Korean
public so I think you know the current government tractable with keeping up
that kind of impression so they would like to pull off the conclusion of
negotiation after the election takes taking place in April but then I think I
mean some sort of conclusion is actually in the elliptical president Trump is
actually paying close attention to this till something will happen soon but not
this week or before April but now before April 15th that’s right all right come
in here research fellow at the asan Institute for Policy Studies many things
for your valuable insights as always my pleasure

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