Opinion / Editorials

Security harmonization

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-05-20 07:47

Two days are too short for consensuses to be reached on the multitude of security concerns facing the countries of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia.

Still, the fourth summit of the CICA carries high hopes that headway will be made in facilitating the political and security transitions in Afghanistan, in the negotiations over the Iran nuclear issue, and in the talks between Israel and Palestine.

The CICA is a product of common security needs, and with dozens of heads of states and international organizations participating, the Shanghai summit is a fitting venue to discuss their shared security concerns, which have increased over the years.

To what extent the summit can achieve the host country's set goals - to facilitate communication and trust, rally consensus and wisdom, and discuss resolutions to the imperative problems facing Asia now - may determine whether the CICA can grow into a regional security mechanism comparable to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe or the African Union.

However, it is unrealistic to place too much expectation on the shoulders of the young CICA. The philosophical nature of the anticipated Shanghai Declaration, which is supposed to express a shared interest in enhancing trust and collaboration and to deliver a roadmap for the next 10 years, shows the CICA is not ready for a troubleshooter's role.

But the CICA is worth generous inputs, because Asia needs an inclusive and effective security caretaker. Asia is the only area in the world that does not have an operational security mechanism created by countries in the region for countries in the region. Cultural and historical differences as well as current disputes make it extremely difficult for Asian countries to agree on security topics.

The new Asian security outlook Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to elaborate on in Shanghai represents the latest Chinese initiative to make peace in the neighborhood.

Xi has just made the well-quoted statements that there is no gene of aggression and hegemony in Chinese blood, and that the Chinese do not accept the logic that a strong country is inevitably hegemonic. Under what he called "an international outlook that harmonizes all countries", he called on all countries to "strive for peace, preserve peace, and enjoy peace together".

The CICA offers an opportunity for Asia to prove it is capable of taking care of local security on its own.

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