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Region draws strength from Asian values: China Daily editorial | Updated: 2024-06-03 19:36
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Defense Minister Dong Jun delivers a keynote speech on China's global security vision at the 21st Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Sunday. YONHAP NEWS AGENCY

Instead of serving to strengthen the solidarity of the Asia-Pacific in the security realm by promoting exchanges among relevant stakeholders, the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on the weekend has only exposed how divided the region has become.

As was evident at the gathering, it is the friction caused by the United States' confrontational approach to competition with China that has created the division, as the US tolerates little space for cooperation.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Japanese Minister of Defense Minoru Kihara, and Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Shin Won-sik convened a trilateral meeting on the sidelines of the forum on Sunday to discuss ways to counter the "dangerous and aggressive behavior" of China in support of "unlawful maritime claims" in the South China Sea.

In their team-building meeting, they agreed to execute the first iteration of the new, multi-domain trilateral exercise, Freedom Edge, this summer to defend the Washington-defined "rules-based order" and safeguard "freedom of navigation".

Portraying themselves as guardians of peace and stability, they called for a peaceful resolution to the Taiwan question, pretending to be ignorant of the fact that it is their flouting of the one-China principle that is undermining the foundation for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, a direct cause of such a resolution looking increasingly unlikely.

These moves, along with the ongoing crises in the Middle East and Ukraine, both orchestrated by Washington, should prompt third-party countries in the Asia-Pacific and beyond to see clearly the essentially aggressive nature of the US' approach to security which is single-mindedly purposed to maintain its hegemony.

As expounded in the Global Security Initiative it has proposed, China prioritizes cooperation and communication to address security issues and concerns.

And as Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun said in Singapore, the values that prevail in Asia are harmony and peace. People in the region have always supported each other through thick and thin. They do not want hegemonism and power politics to undermine the interests of regional countries. They do not want geopolitical conflicts or wars, whether hot or cold, to disrupt the region's peace and stability. Nor do they want any country or any force to create conflict and chaos in their common home.

China, on its part, is willing to work with all parties, including the US, to protect the legitimate security interests of all countries in the region. As Dong said, countries should work together to continue to make the Asia-Pacific an anchor for global development and stability.

The respective speeches of the Chinese and US defense chiefs at the security forum brought into stark relief the different approaches of the two countries. While Beijing calls for inclusive cooperation, Washington seeks to create an exclusive club forged in a Cold War mold. The former is the foundation for global peace and stability, while the latter is the harbinger of conflicts.

The US should stop pouring its anti-China poison into the wine bottle of friendship, and cease peddling its value diplomacy in an attempt to drive wedges among countries. These US prescriptions to revitalize its hegemony will only worsen the global security situation by sabotaging global solidarity and enlarging trust deficits.

Instead of buying the snake oil the US was peddling at the forum to safeguard their security, countries in the region should give full play to the regional security architecture and advance open and pragmatic defense cooperation so that they can continue to make the Asia-Pacific an anchor for global development and stability.

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