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Enhancing regional security cooperation

By He Lei | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-04 09:49

The present situation in the Asia-Pacific region is generally stable and positive. Promoting peace, pursuing stability and seeking development are the strategic goals and common aspiration of most countries in the region. Yet regional security issues are becoming complex and diverse. Multiple, transnational and interconnected security issues tend to break out abruptly. And lingering issues heat up from time to time, while non-traditional security challenges appear one after another. All these pose grave threats to regional stability and prosperity.

He Lei is a lieutenant general and vice-president of the Academy of Military Science, PLA, China.[Photo/China Daily]

The regional challenges are a reflection of three deep-seated problems which have been disrupting regional security for a long time.

President Xi Jinping has proposed to build a community of shared destiny for humankind, and advocated an Asian security concept featuring common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, which offer new ideas about how to break the “security dilemma” in international relations, create a new pattern for security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, and maintain lasting peace in the region.

China pursues a foreign policy of peace, proposes and takes the lead in practicing the Asian security concept, and has always worked to contribute to and maintain international and regional peace. Although China faces multiple security challenges, it firmly follows the path of peaceful development. And despite modernizing its military, China remains committed to resolving international disputes through peaceful negotiation on the basis of equality, irrespective of how big or small the countries involved are.

China has strived to develop and improve friendly and cooperative relations with other countries in the Asia-Pacific. China-US relations are forging ahead positively and steadily. The Beijing-Moscow comprehensive strategic partnership, too, is progressing smoothly. The China-India strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity has also been deepening. And taking history as a mirror and looking to the future, Beijing remains committed to improving relations with Tokyo.

China has advocated new thoughts on settling complex hotspot issues in the region.

On the South China Sea issue, it has put forward a “dual-track approach”, that is, countries directly involved peacefully resolving the disputes through negotiation and China and ASEAN jointly upholding peace and stability in the region. In fact, on May 18, China and the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations adopted a code of conduct framework, laying a solid foundation for the final agreement on a full code of conduct.

On the Korean Peninsula issue, Beijing has proposed a “suspension-for-suspension” initiative, which means the suspension of nuclear and missile tests by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the suspension of large-scale joint military exercises by the United States and the Republic of Korea.

Aiming at fostering a favorable environment for maintenance of regional peace, China has put forward the Belt and Road Initiative. By improving connectivity in the fields of policy coordination, infrastructure, trade, finance, and people-to-people exchange, it aims to complement the development strategies of the economies along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and promote common development. And the high attendance at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing shows the initiative has evoked positive response from the international community.

It is important to perceive the building of a community of shared destiny in the present tense, not the future tense. As President Xi has said: “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.” So let’s work together and blaze a new trail of Asia-Pacific security featuring joint construction and mutual benefit.

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