Learning to work together in an orderly, high trust lev

, and supported by diverse interest groups will prevent conflicts among stakeholders in the South China Sea,” Santarita said.

China is in the midst of implementing a host of reforms, which are focused on opening up its economy to foreign compet

ition and strengthening its private sector. They are needed to upgrade its industries and avoid the dreaded middle-income trap.

Many of these reforms are exactly what the United States is asking for in the trade negotiation

s, but China is actually pursuing these reforms primarily to achieve its own long-term internal economic goals.

He said Asia’s emphasis on “respect for authority, respect for the environm

ent and the discipline to control the use of resources” will also see Asian leaders purs

uing a more eco-friendly development path and honor their commitments to the Paris climate agreement.

“If there is harmony, discipline, stability and the primacy of family and com

munity over the individual, then any problem can be easily addressed,” Santarita said.

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