Interdependence lays the basis for a regional security mechanism

By He Lei Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/4 20:33:39

At present, the Asia-Pacific situation is generally stable and positive. Promoting peace, pursuing stability and seeking development are the strategic goals and common aspirations of most countries in the region. At the same time, regional security issues are becoming more complex and diverse. Multiple, transnational, and interconnected security issues tend to break out abruptly.

These Asia-Pacific security challenges are a reflection of three deep-seated problems which have been disrupting regional security for a long time. First, lingering Cold-War remnants such as the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula keeps fermenting and remains complicated and unresolved. Individual countries maintain their security through exclusive military alliances, base their own security on other countries' insecurity, and don't hesitate to stir up conflicts and provoke trouble. Secondly, a lack of strategic mutual trust means that necessary actions taken by one country to safeguard its own security leads to overreactions, and even vicious interpretations, by others. Thirdly, a lag in coordinated regional security mechanisms to maintain regional security. Hence, there is tough work ahead and a long way to go for a unified and highly-efficient Asia-Pacific security framework to take shape.

In recent years, Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed to build a community of shared future for all mankind, and advocated an Asian security concept featuring common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. These ideas have provided brand-new thoughts on breaking out of the "security dilemma" in international relations, creating a new pattern for Asia-Pacific security cooperation, and maintaining lasting peace in the Asia-Pacific region.

China pursues a foreign policy of peace, proposes and takes the lead in practicing the Asian security concept, and has always worked to maintain, build and contribute to international and regional peace. Although the Chinese armed forces keep growing, China has always been committed to resolving international disputes through peaceful negotiation, and has opposed resorting to force or threats. In the process of settling disputes through negotiations, China has always held that all countries are equal regardless of size, and issues should be settled equitably through consultation on this basis of equality.

China has striven to develop and improve friendly and cooperative relations with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. China-US relations are forging ahead positively and steadily. The China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership has been progressing at a high level. China-India strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity has kept deepening. In the spirit of regarding history as a mirror and looking forward into the future, China has been devoted to the continuous improvement and forward movement of China-Japan relations.

China has actively advocated new thoughts on settling complex issues in the region. On the South China Sea issue, China has put forward and supports a "dual-track approach," namely, peacefully resolving disputes through negotiation and consultation by countries directly concerned and jointly upholding peace and stability in this region by China and other ASEAN countries. On May 18, China and the 10 ASEAN member states adopted the COC framework, laying a solid foundation for the final agreement on a full code of conduct. On the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, China has proposed a "suspension-for-suspension" initiative, namely, the suspension of DPRK's nuclear and missile tests and the suspension of large-scale joint military exercises involving the US and South Korea; as well as a "dual-track" mechanism which is intended to advance and achieve the two tracks of denuclearization as well as building a peace mechanism on the Korean Peninsula.

Through policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity, the Belt and Road initiative aims to complement the development strategies of the countries along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. Highly praised, positively responded to, and actively attended by relevant countries and international organizations (such as the UN), the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was successfully held recently in Beijing and has already gained fruitful results.

Chinese armed forces have committed themselves to doing their utmost to shoulder more international responsibilities and obligations. They have intensified their participation in UN peacekeeping operations, deepened international security cooperation in overseas escort missions, and displayed their humanitarian spirit and strong professional quality in international disaster relief operations.

As Xi points out: "Never have we seen such close interdependence among countries as today, such fervent desire of people for a better life, and never have we had so many means to prevail over difficulties." China's proposal and practice of the Asian security concept conforms to the developmental trends of the times, has a global significance, and opens a vast vista for Asia-Pacific security cooperation. Let's join hands, work together, and blaze a new trail of Asia-Pacific security featuring joint construction.

This is an abstract of a speech by He Lei, Vice President of Academy of Military Science, PLA, at the 2017 Shangri-La Dialogue. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn Follow us on Twitter@GTopinion



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