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A Yearning for New Leaders
We need new leaders. The world urgently needs leaders who possess the insight to accurately discern the demands of the future and the ability to not only prevent latent crises, but turn them into opportunities as well. Korea’s history is a vivid testimony to the repeated catastrophes that can result from a lack of prepared leadership, as shown in the Imjin wars, the Second Manchu invasion of Korea, the Japanese colonial period and the Korean War.
The upcoming decades will present an even more rigorous test. South Korea currently relies on the United States for military and security affairs. At the same time, the country is economically tied to China to a greater extent than it is to the United States and Japan combined. If the life-or-death struggle between the United States and China continues, the Korean Peninsula, where these two powers have locked horns since the Korean War, will likely experience a catastrophe even greater than those of the past. The Korean Peninsula is the only place in the world where these two powers fought a proxy war. It is also the location facing the most imminent threat of nuclear war. Accordingly, it is imperative that the world’s two greatest powers achieve the mission, unprecedented throughout human history, of building a new world order through cooperation.
We are headed towards an unparalleled crisis that cannot be solved through a hegemonic contest between major powers. The world is stacked with nuclear warheads and weapons of mass destruction capable of destroying humanity from a momentary lapse in judgment. The explosive population growth and gravitation toward large cities brought about by the Industrial Revolution is coming back to haunt us in the form of climate disasters, epidemics and ecological destruction. Furthermore, we currently have no idea where the development of digital and bio-technologies will take us.
Despite all this, no one has stepped forward to tackle this crisis head-on. The United States and China are preoccupied with their own national interests and are unable to fulfill their responsibility as major powers. Global challenges are worsening day by day, but global governance capable of establishing and implementing solutions is lacking. The Korean Peninsula lies at the center of this drift. This is why we yearn for the extraordinary leadership able to turn this impending crisis into a golden opportunity.
A Home for Future-Minded Leaders
To create a safer and healthier future, the United States and China must come to an agreement first. To convince these two powers to work together, we need to draw upon the world’s leading minds to produce the best solution possible.
There are certainly examples of groups who have forged new chapters in history through great leaders, no matter how meager their beginnings may have been. In fact, the G1 and G2 of today–the United States and China–are evidence of this. When the United States was founded 240 years ago with 13 states, it was nothing but a newly liberated colony. Even compared to Canada, Mexico and Brazil then, the prospects for growth were dismal. It was only by building a forward-looking government pooling the wisdom of a creative few that the United States laid the foundation to grow into a superpower. Similarly, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had a humble beginning when it was founded in 1921 with only 56 members. China has since grown into a G2 nation and now aspires to become the world leader by 2049, 100 years after the birth of the People’s Republic of China.
It is time for the United States and China to work together for the sake of building a sustainable future for humanity. They need to give the world new hope by moving beyond the limitations of international organizations like the United Nations and by agreeing to pave the way toward a true global government. A grand bargain between the United States and China would signify a convergence of civilizations that cut across the East and the West. It would be the beginning of a new world that transcends the ideologies, values, and institutions of industrial civilization, such as capitalism and socialism, freedom and equality, and democracy and dictatorship. Korea could play a pivotal role in this new order building process by bridging not only the East and the West, but the old and the new as well.
This mission begins with reorganizing Korean society. We must transform from a country that imitates and follows in the footsteps of others to one that creates and pioneers change. A starting point should be securing emerging technologies and industries that can contribute to this new future. It is also crucial to enact a new social contract for the 21st century that makes good use of digital innovation. We need a new promise that both guarantees basic rights for all people and protects all forms of life. From city to state to global governance, there is a need to enhance the insight and capacity of elected leaders. Such leaders must also possess outstanding moral character to earn the trust of the United States and China as well as people around the world.
What we need is talented people who are willing to dedicate their lives to this important mission. Taejae seeks to become a cradle that nurtures the 21st century leaders we need. We aim to serve as a stepping stone for pioneers who are taking on the challenge of turning a crisis of mutual destruction into an opportunity for coexistence. We will endeavor to take Korea to the next level of social and economic progress where it can play a leading role in advancing mutual cooperation and prosperity both regionally and globally. We will provide a platform for public discourse on the future of humanity. We will encourage participation from talented individuals who think about tomorrow beyond today and embrace everyone beyond oneself.
This is both the hope and mission of Taejae, a home for leaders preparing for a better future.