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Promoting regional cooperation

By Qi Jianguo | China Daily | Updated: 2013-07-01 09:27

At present, the security situation in the Asia-Pacific region is generally stable while there remain challenges and risks. In the face of common threats to regional security and a variety of risks and challenges, cooperation is gradually becoming a consensus among Asia-Pacific countries. To be precise, a scenario characterized by promoting development, seeking peace and guaranteeing security through cooperation is gradually taking shape in this region. I'd like to take this opportunity to propose the following initiatives:

First, we should strengthen strategic mutual trust to lay the foundation for security cooperation. The interests of Asia-Pacific countries have not only converged, but also their fears and safety provisions have become common. Based on that, we should consider each other's development as an opportunity rather than a threat, and abandon the zero-sum game mentality, characterized by "if you gain, I lose; if you win, I fail; and if you prosper, I decline".

Only with a broad vision can cooperation be carried out in a sincere way. If we focus on the interests of three to five years, our differences may outweigh commonalities. But if we set our eyes on the interests of next 10 to 20 years, what we have in common will belittle our differences.

Confronted with the complicated and diversified regional security issues, no state can stand aloof, paying attention to only its own interests without a thought for others. Therefore, the countries in the region should come together in times of trouble, strengthen cooperation and jointly explore ways to dissolve contradictions and differences and deal with risks and challenges.

Second, we should give due consideration to the concerns of all parties to strengthen the agreement on security cooperation. Only by respecting rather than confronting each other, and reducing rather than creating more problems can the region's countries enhance mutual understanding, seek common ground and resolve differences to coexist harmoniously.

We should respect the existence of diverse societies in the Asia-Pacific region, seek more common ground while mitigating differences, follow inclusive policies, and refrain from creating imaginary adversaries. We should also respect the diversity in the development paths of other countries, and learn from each other and draw on each other's strengths to offset our shortcomings, instead of assuming an air of arrogance and imposing our opinions on others. Besides, we should respect the norms of international relations and adhere to the five principles of peaceful coexistence, instead of making indiscreet remarks and resorting to indiscriminate use of force.

Efforts should be made to promote bilateral and multilateral security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region and accord priority to more pragmatic collaborations in non-traditional security areas such as counter-terrorism and stability maintenance, international peacekeeping, disaster prevention and relief, anti-piracy exercises and humanitarian aid.

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