China / Politics

China's Xi proposes security concept for Asia

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-05-21 21:16

SHANGHAI - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security strategy for Asia.

Delivering the keynote speech at the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai on Wednesday morning, Xi made the proposal.

Asia has come to a crucial stage in security cooperation. With 67 percent of the world's population and one third of the global economy, the region needs to build on the past achievements and strive for new progress, he said.

"We need to innovate in our security concept, establish a new regional security cooperation architecture, and jointly build a shared, win-win road for Asian security," Xi said.

No Cold-War mentality

One cannot live in the 21st century with the outdated thinking of Cold War and zero-sum games, Xi said: "No country should seek absolute security of itself at the expense of others... We cannot just have security for one or a few countries while leaving the rest insecure.

"A military alliance which is targeted at a third party is not conducive to common regional security."

He called for equal security for every Asian country, saying that each has an equal right to participate in regional security affairs and equal responsibility to uphold security.

"No country should attempt to dominate or infringe upon the rights and interests of other countries," he said.

Xi went on to say that diversity and differences should be turned into energy and a driving force for security cooperation.

"We should abide by the basic norms governing international relations, such as respecting sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity; non-interference in internal affairs; respect social systems and chosen development paths," he said.

Interwoven threats

Xi stressed the importance of security in both traditional and non-traditional fields. He pledged "zero tolerance" for terrorism, separatism and extremism.

Asia's security challenges are extremely complicated, including hotspots, sensitive issues, ethnic and religious problems, he noted. "We should take into account the historical background and reality of Asia's security issues, adopt a multi-pronged and holistic approach, and enhance regional security governance in a coordinated way," he said.

"While tackling immediate security challenges, we should plan for the future, and avoid a fragmented, palliative approach that only treats the symptoms," the President added.

Security problems in Asia should be solved by Asians themselves through cooperation. He urged countries in the region to insist on resolving disputes through peaceful means and oppose the arbitrary use of force or threats. Provocation and escalation of tensions for selfish interests should also be opposed, he added.

He called on Asia to work for sustainable and durable security, focused on both development and security. Development is the foundation of security and security a precondition for development. For most Asian countries, development means the greatest security and is the master key to regional security issues, he said.

To build an Asian security mansion that can stand the test of wind storms, Xi said, "we need to focus on development, actively improve people's lives, narrow the wealth gap and cement the foundation of security.

"We need to advance the process of common development and regional integration, foster sound interactions and synchronized progress of regional economic cooperation and security cooperation, and promote sustainable security through sustainable development," the President added.

Stronger CICA

Calling the CICA the largest and most representative regional security forum with the largest number of participants, Xi proposed making the CICA into a security dialogue and cooperation platform covering the whole of Asia.

He called for efforts to enhance the capacity and institutional building of the CICA, improvements to the functions of the secretariat, and establishment of a mechanism within the conference for defense consultations among member states.

Xi expected closer regional exchanges and cooperation in anti-terrorism, business, tourism, environmental protection, culture and people-to-people exchanges.

The President proposed an exchange network for CICA through non-governmental forums and other means, to increase the conference's influence and promote regional security governance.

He also suggested widening the inclusiveness and openness of the CICA, better cooperation with other organizations in the region, and expanding dialogue and communication with other regions.

"China will fulfill the responsibilities of CICA chairman and work with other sides to improve the status and role of CICA, to take Asian security cooperation to a higher level," Xi said.

The Shanghai summit drew dignitaries from 47 countries or international organizations. China took over the CICA presidency from Turkey for 2014 to 2016 at the summit.

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