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New Art Of War: Ideas for a Summit Meeting

New Art Of War: Ideas for a Summit Meeting

PARK Jae-Hee

Jan. 18, 2008


Hello, I am Jae-Hee Park on The New Art of War.

In November 1993, former US President Bill Clinton gathered world leaders for the first-ever Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit meeting in Seattle. The APEC summit continued as an annual event held among member nations, including Korea, where the 13th gathering was held. Just like this meeting, a summit was supposedly held in a part of today’s Henan Province, Kui Qiu, in 651 B.C., gathering state leaders near the Yellow River. Leaders met to reveal a joint declaration.

Known as the Kui Qiu Convenant, this gathering was supported by the Duke Huan of Qi. Duke Huan of Qi was first of the Five Hegemons, Duke Wen of Jin, King Zhuang of Chu, Duke Mu of Qin, Duke Xiang of Song, and rose to supremacy near the Yellow River. Just like APEC meeting of today, the Kui Qiu meeting was to discuss the international order of that time. By sacrificing sheep, cows, and pigs the leaders showed their commitment to the meeting.

This Kui Qiu Covenant resulted to these five joint declarations.

First, unfilial sons and daughters are to be punished accordingly. Never change an already chosen successor. No matter how pretty, do not degrade your wife in favor of a mistress. This phrase is about family matters.

Second, gather wise people and foster talented people.People with outstanding character are worthy of recognition. This part mentions that education should do its part of social responsibility by emphasizing individuals’ character building.

Third, respect elders and care for youngsters.Do not mistreat wayfarers and wanderers. This part is for social under privileged class.

Fourth, don’t let government official posts be succeeded within a family. Also, a person should not take on multiple posts. When choosing an official, capability should be an utmost priority. Never slay a government official. This article refers to human management by opposing to other family members succeeding posts, by distributing power to various people and by warning against murdering officials.

Lastly, don’t distort the flow of the Yellow River and selfishly bank the water. Do not stop grain from flowing into a land of famine. Don’t affect a city without a notifying other parties.

This clause talks about economic agreements. The Yellow River played a crucial role in agricultural economy those days. Therefore, twisting the waterway for one nation’s favor was met with huge concern. The international exchange of grain and other food supplies helped people to survive while city was also under regulations.

At the bottom of the joint declaration came the phrase:“All the leaders must abide to this alliance and agreement hereafter.” This 2,600 years old declaration got me to wonder.

What would happen if CEOs of many corporations got together and signed a joint declaration? Just like the ancient Kui Qiu Covenant, corporate leaders would gather to help people manage a “neater” family, agree on fairer trade and exchange, work on judicious human management, and discuss more about corporate social responsibility. It would be exciting to see corporate leaders gather not only to spur business activities but also to think about lives of the people dedicate themselves to business.

This has been a lecture on The New Art of War by Jae-Hee Park.

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