• Makati City, Philippines

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Regarding the July 19 “Constructing a Pax Asia-Pacifica,” I agree with the writer Fidel V. Ramos (the former president of the Philippines) that a framework must be established and agreed upon to deal with existing territorial disputes in Asia.

I further suggest that we maintain Asian and Pacific stability based on “Pax Americana,” just as we have since World War II. Even the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations is no match for China’s political, economic and military clout. U.S. support is indispensable regardless of its financial standing.

Moreover, ASEAN countries must refrain from interfering in their neighbors’ internal affairs, as that will undermine our fragile unity. Let’s start at home. Countries like the Philippines, for example, should not associate with Malaysian dissidents. Nor should it criticize Myanmar (aka Burma) for its junta rule or Singapore’s authoritarian regime. Such meddling goes against the ASEAN way, which values harmony more than anything.

We could perhaps enlist Japan and India to be part of ASEAN -Plus-Two to strengthen the balance of power. China would be contained, just as Japan was before World War II by the so-called ABCD line (America, Britain, China, and the Dutch).

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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