The raging coronavirus epidemic and China’s decisive response; an assembly of youth and women political leaders in Ulaanbaatar

In the midst of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic facing China, and indeed, the world, we, in our humble capacity as Founding Chairman and Chairman of Standing Committee of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP), wrote President Xi Jinping to extend our sympathies and prayers to the Chinese government and the Chinese people

The Communist Party of China (CPC) sits in the 37-member Standing Committee of the ICAPP, which, we are always delighted to note, represents some 350 ruling, opposition and independent political parties from 52 countries in Asia, including the political parties of the Philippines.

In our letter, we told President Xi that we are confident that China would definitely surmount this crisis, for as history would show, the Chinese people had faced gigantic crises and sufferings in the past, but they had always overcome them and emerged triumphant.

Truly, China hadalways risen up to the multiple challenges that confronted them in the past and has today emerged as a global economic power, with a strong security force. An unshakeable proof of the strength of character and indomitability of spirit of the Chinese people, no doubt.

Indeed, nobody knows how long and widespread the Corona Virus epidemic will rage and gauge its effects on public health security as well as socio-economic development not just in the countries hit by the outbreak but in the international community.

A few days ago, the foreign ministers of China and the ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam) met in Vientiane, Laos and discussed possible ways and means of cooperation in battling the Corona Virus.

They agreed, among others, to “share information and best practices in a timely manner, including exchanging available epidemiological information, technical guidelines and solutions for epidemic prevention and control, diagnosis, treatment and surveillance.”

ASEAN and China are closely linked as they are each other’s biggest trading partners and tourist destinations.

Today the crisis rages. We hope that in a few months, God willing, the spreading virus will sputter out and the plague will come to an end.

In the meantime, government and our citizenry, families, friends, townmates and neighbors must and should help each other in every possible way.


This coming April, youth and women leaders from all over Asia will troop to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia for the Youth Wing and Women’s Wing conference of our International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP).

The assembly will be hosted by the ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), led by its Chairman, incumbent Prime Minister Uhknaagiin Khurelsukh. The MPP sits in the Standing Committee of the ICAPP.

In the course of our speaking engagement in Ulaanbaatar, we will also meet with Prime Minister Uhknaagiin, Speaker of Parliament (State Great Khural) Gombojavyn Zandanshatar, and other political leaders of Mongolia.

We and wife Gina last visited Ulaanbaatar in 2008, when we addressed an international conference participated in by leaders of parliament, political parties and civil society organizations, organized by the New York- and Seoul-based Universal Peace Federation (UPF).

UPF is managed today by civil society leaders led by New YorkerDr. Thomas Walsh and Seoul philanthropist, Madame Hak Ja Han Moon, widow of the celebrated UPF Founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon, who built a hotel and automobile assembly plant in Pyongyang, then donated both to the North Korean government and people. Their charities worldwide are non-stop and plentiful. 

Hon. Former Speaker of the House Jose de Venecia Jr.

Hon. Jose de Venecia, Jr. served as Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines from 1992 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2008, and is Founding Chairman, International Conference of Asian Political Parties. During his distinguished career, Hon. De Venecia was instrumental in successfully securing a peace agreement with the secessionist Moro National Liberation Front in southern Philippines and in forging a ceasefire and a peace pact with the rebellious Armed Forces group, RAM-YOU. He also revived the imperiled and long-stalled peace process with the communist National Democratic Front-New People’s Army, and progressed peace talks with the residual fundamentalist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Mindanao. Hon. DeVenecia is a member of GPF’s Global Leadership Council.

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