China makes 3-point proposal on enhancing defense cooperation in Asia-Pacific

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China on Saturday made a three-point proposal on enhancing defense cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region at the Shangri-La Dialogue being held in Singapore.

Addressing a special session on "New Model of defense cooperation" during the dialogue, Major General Ci Guowei, chief of the Office for International Military Cooperation of China's Ministry of National Defense, said China is fully aware that its peaceful development is closely linked with the future of the Asia-Pacific.

"We advocate active bilateral and multilateral security dialogue and cooperation, and strive to facilitate regional cooperation in both economy and security," Ci said.

"China adopts a holistic approach to security governance that addresses both symptoms and root causes. China's proposals on the Asia-Pacific security architecture are meant to complete and improve the existing mechanisms rather than overturn them and start all over again," he said.

To this end, China proposes three points in enhancing defense cooperation in the region, he said.

First, to promote positive interaction between major countries for defense cooperation. Only when major-country relations remain generally stable can the Asia-Pacific enjoy relative tranquility, Ci said, adding healthy interaction between major countries requires their joint efforts towards the same goal.

Noting that while the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is running at a high level, the state to state and military and military relations between China the United States remain generally stable despite twists and difficulties, Ci said.

China has always adhered to the principles of non conflict, non confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation in China-U.S. relations, he said.

Second, to build an open and inclusive architecture for defense cooperation. Military blocs left over from the cold war were the choices of only a small number of countries and do not represent the preference of the majority of regional and international communities, Ci said.

China advocates that all newly-proposed initiatives should be in favor of greater transparency and inclusiveness with wide participation, and fit in the era of integrated global economy, political pluralism and shared security, he said, adding none should undermine the interests of others or develop into exclusive military blocs, he said.

Third, to enhance practical cooperation in non-traditional security. Compared with traditional security issues, non-traditional security is an area where countries have reached more consensus and carried out more joint engagement, Ci said.

"Therefore, we should proceed from the lower-hanging fruits and continue our cooperation with non-traditional security as the priority for greater mutual trust."

China will proceed in the right direction by continuing to pursue its own security in the bigger context of maintaining security for all in the region and promoting cooperation with innovated security concept so as to contribute to a bright future of the Asia-Pacific region, Ci said.

Defense ministers from Canada, Australia, Japan, among others, also presented their views on enhancing defense cooperation in the region.

Officially known as the Asia Security Summit, the Shangri-La Dialogue has been organized and convened annually by the British think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Singaporean government since 2002. 

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