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N. Gingrich: Address to Peace Summit 2023, Session V

Address to Peace Summit 2023
May 2-5, 2023


It's a great honor to be here. I've listened with fascination to everybody who has spoken so far, and I appreciate your comments.

I really want to bring you a message of hope and optimism. I believe almost every person here thinking of their country would say, “yes, I live in a beautiful land.” Whether it's the sunrise, the sunset, the rain, the dry season -- every country has a unique range of beauty. The challenge for both North Korea and China is that for most people, living their own lives in freedom in a beautiful land is very much preferable to being in a dictatorship.

I want to suggest two things briefly and then toss it to my good friend Dr. Michael Pillsbury. First, that in the absence of war -- and this is the great dilemma that Kim Jong-un faces -- in the absence of war, the prosperity of South Korea is going to go further and further and further away from the poverty of North Korea.

At some point, that becomes psychologically unsustainable. One of the major things that broke the Soviet Union was people being allowed to go to New York City and discover that there were vegetables and fruit on stands with no guards. If a country was that wealthy, everything they'd been told was a lie.

Similarly, there is a point in God's good time when the average North Korean will realize that they are being cheated 365 days a year from a chance to live a better life with a better future, with greater happiness. The problem for Kim Jong-un is that it would mean the end of the dictatorship. On the other hand, if he tried to preempt that by starting a war, that would mean the end of the dictatorship, because they will not survive a war.

I'm an optimist that at some point -- maybe ten years, 20 years, 30 years -- took us from 1946 to 1991 to defeat the Soviet empire. It may take two decades, it may take three decades, but at the rate things are going, the free people of the beautiful land will attract the poverty-ridden people of the totalitarian state.

Xi Jinping has a different problem. All around the planet he's not faced with an American empire. He's faced with an empire of freedom. He doesn't have to deal with us. There are really smart people in South Korea. There are really smart people in Taiwan. There are really smart people in Japan. There are really smart people in the Philippines. There are really smart people in Australia. In every single one of those areas, people are saying, “how do we make sure China cannot dominate us?” Not how they can't dominate the United States. “How can we make sure they can't dominate us?”

Presently, an informal, gigantic coalition of freedom has a very simple message for the Chinese people. We're very happy for you to be in a beautiful land. We're very happy to trade with you. We're very happy to live next to you as neighbors. What we will not tolerate is your totalitarian dictatorship trying to control all of us. Therefore, I come here today as an optimist who believes that freedom, a belief in God and the extraordinary inventiveness of free people is simply going to drown the dictatorships. We will look back and realize that this was a moment of darkness, but it was followed by a sunrise of freedom.



To go to the Peace Summit 2023 Schedule page, click here.