The following remarks by Xi Jinping, the President of China, were delivered to the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, Shanghai, May 21, 2014.
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The summit today has brought together leaders and representatives from 47 countries and international organizations, including CICA member states, observers and invited guests of the Shanghai summit. Under the theme "Enhancing Dialogue, Trust and Coordination for a New Asia of Peace, Stability and Cooperation", we will discuss the important subject of security cooperation, explore policies for long-term peace and stability, and jointly promote development and prosperity. As such, this summit is of great importance to security in Asia and the world at large and will have far-reaching impacts.
Asia today is home to 67% of the world's population and accounts for one third of the global economy. It is a place where diverse civilizations and nations meet and interact. Peace and development of Asia is closely connected with the future of mankind, and Asia's stability and revival is a blessing to peace and development of the world.
Asia today, though facing more risks and challenges, is still the most dynamic and promising region in the world. Peace, development and win-win cooperation are the main trend in the region, and countries in the region generally prefer policies that address differences and disputes through consultation and negotiation. Asia enjoys a rising status in the international strategic landscape and plays an increasingly important role in promoting a multi-polar world and democracy in international relations. Such a sound situation in the region has not come easily and ought to be doubly cherished.
Asia today is witnessing vibrant cooperation in the economic field. Cooperation in the security field is making progress despite difficulties, and various cooperation mechanisms are more dynamic. Asia has come to a crucial stage in security cooperation where we need to build on the past achievements and strive for new progress.
As a Chinese saying goes, "A wise man changes as time and circumstances change." We need to keep pace with the changing circumstances and evolving times. One cannot live in the 21st century with the outdated thinking from the age of Cold War and zero-sum game. We believe that it is necessary to advocate common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in Asia. We need to innovate our security concept, establish a new regional security cooperation architecture, and jointly build a road for security of Asia that is shared by and win-win to all.
Common security means respecting and ensuring the security of each and every country. Asia is a region of great diversity. Countries differ in size, wealth and strength. They vary in historical and cultural traditions as well as social systems, and have different security interests and aspirations. However, we all live in the same Asian family. With our interests and security so closely intertwined, we will swim or sink together and we are increasingly becoming a community of common destiny.
Security must be universal. We cannot just have the security of one or some countries while leaving the rest insecure, still less should one seek the so-called absolute security of itself at the expense of the security of others. Otherwise, just as a Kazakh proverb aptly puts it, "One who tries to blow out other's oil lamp will get his beard on fire."
Security must be equal. Every country has the equal right to participate in the security affairs of the region as well as the responsibility of upholding regional security. No country should attempt to dominate regional security affairs or infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of other countries.
Security must be inclusive. We should turn Asia's diversity and the differences among Asian countries into the energy and driving force for regional security cooperation. We should abide by the basic norms governing international relations such as respecting sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs, respect the social systems and development paths chosen by countries on their own, and fully respect and accommodate the legitimate security concerns of all parties. To beef up and entrench a military alliance targeted at a third party is not conducive to maintaining common security.
Comprehensive security means upholding security in both traditional and non-traditional fields. Asia's security challenges are extremely complicated, which include both hotspot and sensitive issues and ethnic and religious problems. The challenges brought by terrorism, transnational crimes, environmental security, cyber security, energy and resource security and major natural disasters are clearly on the rise. Traditional and non-traditional security threats are interwoven. Security is a growing issue in both scope and implication.
We should take into full 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. While tackling the immediate security challenges facing the region, we should also make plans for addressing potential security threats, and avoid a fragmented and palliative approach that only treats the symptoms.
We should have zero tolerance for terrorism, separatism and extremism, strengthen international and regional cooperation, and step up the fight against the three forces, in order to bring a life of happiness and tranquility to the people of this region.
Cooperative security means promoting the security of both individual countries and the region as a whole through dialogue and cooperation. As the proverb goes, "Strength does not come from the muscle of the arms, but from the unison of the heart." We should engage in sincere and in-depth dialogue and communication to increase strategic mutual trust, reduce mutual misgivings, seek common ground while resolving differences and live in harmony with each other. We should bear in mind the common security interests of all countries, and start with low-sensitivity areas to build the awareness of meeting security challenges through cooperation. We should expand the scope and means of cooperation and promote peace and security through cooperation. We should stay committed to resolving disputes through peaceful means, stand against the arbitrary use or threat of force, oppose the provocation and escalation of tensions for selfish interests, and reject the practice of shifting trouble to neighbors and seeking selfish gains at the expense of others.
In the final analysis, it is for the people of Asia to run the affairs of Asia, solve the problems of Asia and uphold the security of Asia. The people of Asia have the capability and wisdom to achieve peace and stability in the region through enhanced cooperation.
Asia is open to the world. While enhancing their own cooperation with each other, countries in Asia must also firmly commit themselves to cooperation with countries in other parts of the world, other regions and international organizations. We welcome all parties to play a positive and constructive role in promoting Asia's security and cooperation and work together to achieve win-win outcomes for all.
Sustainable security means that we need to focus on both development and security so that security would be durable. As a Chinese saying goes, for a tree to grow tall, a strong and solid root is required; for a river to reach far, an unimpeded source is necessary. Development is the foundation of security, and security the precondition for development. The tree of peace does not grow on barren land while the fruit of development is not produced amidst flames of war. For most Asian countries, development means the greatest security and the master key to regional security issues.
To build an Asian security mansion that could stand the test of wind storms, we need to focus on development, actively improve people's lives and narrow down the wealth gap so as to 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.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
CICA is the largest and most representative regional security forum with the largest number of participants. Over the past two decades and more, CICA has taken it its responsibility to strengthen mutual trust and coordination and promote Asia's security and stability. It has followed the principle of consensus building and made important contribution to increasing understanding, seeking common ground and deepening cooperation.
Today, the Asian people more than ever want peace and stability, and they more than ever need to work together to tackle challenges to security.
China proposes that we make CICA a security dialogue and cooperation platform that covers the whole of Asia and, on that basis, explore the establishment of a regional security cooperation architecture. China believes that it is advisable to increase the frequency of CICA foreign ministers' meetings and even possibly summits in light of changing situation, so as to strengthen the political guidance of CICA and chart a blueprint for its development.
China proposes that we enhance the capacity and institutional building of CICA, support improving the functions of CICA secretariat, establish a defense consultation mechanism of member states and a task force for supervising the implementation of confidence building measures in various areas within the CICA framework, and deepen exchanges and cooperation in counter-terrorism, business, tourism, environmental protection, culture and people-to-people exchanges.
China proposes that we put in place a nongovernmental exchange network for various parties of CICA through holding CICA nongovernmental forums and other means, so as to lay a solid social foundation for spreading the CICA concept of security, increasing CICA's influence and promoting regional security governance.
China proposes that we strengthen the inclusiveness and openness of CICA. We need to step up coordination and cooperation with other cooperation organizations of this region and expand dialogue and communication with other regions and relevant international organizations at the same time to jointly uphold regional peace and stability.
China will fulfill the responsibilities as CICA chairman and work with other sides to further improve the status and role of CICA so that together we could take security cooperation of Asia to a higher level.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China is a staunch force for upholding peace in the region and the world, and for promoting common development. The Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence that China initiated together with India and Myanmar have become a basic norm governing state-to-state relations. China stays committed to seeking peaceful settlement of disputes with other countries over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. China has completely resolved, through friendly consultation, issues of land boundary with 12 out of its 14 neighboring countries. Being an active participant in regional security cooperation, China initiated, jointly with other relevant countries, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. China advocates a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination. China supports the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and the League of Arab States (LAS) in playing a positive role in regional affairs. China and Russia jointly proposed an Asia-Pacific peace and security initiative, which has played an important role in strengthening and maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. China works to push forward the Six-Party Talks and supports peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan, making unremitting efforts in solving international and regional hotspot issues through dialogue and negotiation. China joined forces with countries in the region and the wider international community to tackle the Asian financial crisis and the international financial crisis, making its due contribution to promoting regional and global economic growth.
China is firmly committed to the path of peaceful development and the win-win strategy of opening-up. It seeks to develop friendly relations and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. China's peaceful development begins here in Asia, finds its support in Asia, and delivers tangible benefits to Asia.
"Neighbors wish each other well, just like family members do to each other." China always pursues friendship and partnership with its neighbors, and seeks to bring amity, security and common prosperity to its neighborhood. It practices the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness and works hard to make its development bring more benefits to countries in Asia. China will work with other countries to speed up the development of an economic belt along the Silk Road and a 21st Century maritime silk road, and hopes that the Asian infrastructure investment bank could be launched at an early date. China will get more deeply involved in the regional cooperation process, and play its due part to ensure that development and security in Asia facilitate each other and are mutually reinforcing.
As the saying goes, "Readiness to converge with others makes a mountain high and a river mighty." As China is a strong champion of the Asia security concept, it also works to put such a security concept into practice. China will take solid steps to strengthen security dialogue and cooperation with other parties, and jointly explore the formulation of a code of conduct for regional security and an Asian security partnership program, making Asian countries good partners that trust one another and cooperate on an equal footing. China is ready to put in place mechanisms for regular exchange and cooperation with countries in the region to jointly combat the three forces of terrorism, separatism, and extremism. China is ready to discuss with regional countries the creation of an Asian forum for security cooperation in law enforcement and an Asian security emergency response center to deepen security cooperation in law enforcement and better respond to major security emergencies by coordinating national efforts in the region. China calls for promoting exchanges and mutual learning among different civilizations and religions through various means, such as holding a conference for dialogues among Asian civilizations, so that they will be able to draw on each other's strength and achieve common progress.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Chinese people, in their pursuit of the Chinese dream of great national renewal, stand ready to support and help other peoples in Asia to realize their own great dreams. Let us work together for realizing the Asian dream of lasting peace and common development, and make greater contribution to advancing the noble cause of peace and development of mankind.
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New Asian Security Concept for New Progress in Security Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, May 21, 2014.
Thanks to Matt Swartzfager.