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Beijing urges Asia security framework

By ZHANG YUNBI | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-29 04:58

President says nation is committed to working together on trust-building measures

China has been pushing discussions on building a new framework for regional security and cooperation, and it is committed to deepening cooperation on trust-building measures, President Xi Jinping said.

Xi made the comment as he elaborated on China's role in promoting security in Asia in a congratulatory message sent to an international conference held in Beijing on Wednesday.

The gathering is the second conference of the CICA Non-Governmental Forum and it was attended by around 300 delegates including former political leaders, scholars, experts and media professionals. CICA is the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, a multilateral framework on Asian security.

The forum, first proposed by Xi, held its first meeting in 2015 and has been a venue for promoting security ideas.

Xi noted that since China took the chairmanship of CICA in May 2014, it has fulfilled its duties and has made efforts to advocate and implement an Asian security outlook that is common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable. China is serving a second two-year term as chair.

China has also sought to boost the legal basis and institution-building of CICA, expand CICA and its partner network, and mobilize nongovernmental entities to offer advice and suggestions, Xi added.

Lee Hae-chan, former Republic of Korea prime minister, told the forum, "As intraregional interdependence increases and the economies of each region develop together, security risks will lessen."

The Belt and Road Initiative is "an excellent endeavor to enhance Asia's economic development and inter¬dependence", said Lee, who visited Beijing in May as a special envoy of ROK President Moon Jae-in.

Shakhrat Nuryshev, Kazakhstan's ambassador to China, told the forum that mutual trust in security is needed as the countries build the Belt and Road. The initiative, proposed by Xi, is a new "propeller for cooperation" among countries, he said.

As CICA celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, Xi said in his message that it has served the common aspirations of Asian countries in seeking a path toward regional security and development.

It has provided a helpful way to beef up communication, deepen mutual trust and strengthen cooperation for the past 25 years, Xi said.

Andrey Denisov, Russian ambassador to China, said China "has attached great importance" to the institution-building of CICA, and its efforts include promoting semiofficial or nongovernmental dialogue.

Yang Jiemian, former head of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said that although the region "does not have a consensus on how to build a regional security architecture", forums like the Wednesday gathering will help.

"Forums do not possess enforcement power. However, their discussions of the present problems and their vision of the future trends will definitely enlighten the relevant parties on their way to building a security architecture," Yang said.

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