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Preferences - extreme contrast versus harmony

Comments on Andrew Elek “Strategic choices for APEC in 2010 and beyond”, 6/05/2010, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2010/05/06/strategic-choices-for-apec-in-2010-and-beyond-2/

I have to confess from the outset that I am not familiar with the real niceties of the different schools of thought in regionalism, so I am not necessarily an enemy or a fried to any schools, although some of my former supervisors may feel disappointed in hearing this.

But I think that may not necessarily be shameful, because better progresses may be made when one takes all knowledge including being taught or heavily influenced by his teachers’ thoughts and still be able to analyse and approach issues with an independent mind. And the teachers should be proud of such students. An independent, not necessarily equally beautiful, mind for thinking should be welcomed.

Having said that, I find it extremely interesting to note that Elek's preference for the two extremes in the spectrum of his discussion over Bergstan's seemingly somewhat middle ground, unless I have profoundly misunderstood Elek's point.

For a layman to the different schools of thought like me, Bergstan's approach appears to be a mix of the advantages of the APEC and WTO. However, Elek is arguing that APEC members should go either what they have been doing or are used to do, that is, a loose and non legalistic approach to economic matters concerned to them and within them, or to the more difficulty WTO and legalistic enforceable approach, nothing should stand in the middle ground that might take the advantages of the two approaches and come to a compromise and suggesting a possible evolution of APEC business.

I assume it is the case that both the APEC way and the WTO way coexist and APEC members subscribe to both of them if they are also members of WTO. Then to me it is possible for them to also accept some compromises in between, unless of course their “preferences” are for extremes but harmony!

That is how I find Elek’s posting interesting, AND thought provoking.

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