China must promote 'grand security concept'

By Wang Yiwei
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 16, 2013
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The sound of ASEAN music [By Jiao Haiyang/]

Addressing the 8th East Asia Summit (EAS) last Thursday in Brunei, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said, "He who has had experience with chopsticks understands that one single chopstick won't do the work of putting food in the mouth. To do this, a pair of chopsticks are needed. And when a bunch of chopsticks are tied together, they won't break easily."

At this year's EAS and the 16th ASEAN plus three (China, Japan and South Korea) leaders meeting, Li called for joint efforts in East Asia to deepen cooperation in non-traditional security fields, such as disaster prevention, network security, transnational crime, and law enforcement.

During South Korean President Park Geun-hye's visit to China in late June, the two countries also vowed to strengthen security and even military cooperation. In previous years, however, this would have been unthinkable, since South Korea and many of ASEAN countries are U.S. allies.

There are indications that security cooperation among East Asian countries could reinforce the region's common destiny. Just as Ms. Park Geun-hye once said, East Asian countries have to break through the current dilemma, which is "relying on the U.S. for security, and China for economic development."

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was founded to promote a new security concept of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, and coordination, and security.

The new concept of security is in important process, as a number of challenges are emerging in international security.

Firstly, internal and international security are hard to separate. Finance and information security can be both domestic and international. The terrorist attacks in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region could not be attributed as only a problem of domestic security.

Secondly, it is hard to separate traditional and non-traditional security. Maritime security incidents can be triggered by traditional security concerns such as territorial disputes over islands or reefs, as well as non-traditional ones like piracy or terrorism.

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