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China, ASEAN Hold 1st Regional Security Workshop
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More than 30 senior defense officials from China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathered in Beijing yesterday to discuss Asia-Pacific regional security.


"The first-ever workshop between Chinese and ASEAN defense departments aims at probing into the security opportunities and challenges facing China and ASEAN member countries in the Asia-Pacific region," said Jia Xiaoning, deputy director of Foreign Affairs Office of the Chinese Defense Ministry. 


The four-day workshop will cover a wide range of topics, ranging from China and ASEAN influences on Asia-Pacific security, East Asian maritime security cooperation to the respective militaries' role in international humanitarian aid, anti-terror and peace-keeping operations. 


While hailing enhanced cooperation between China and ASEAN armed forces, Jia said: "This workshop will explore in particular the prospects and ways to promote military and security cooperation between China and ASEAN countries." 


"China and ASEAN have more and more common security interests during the process of the regionalization," said Han Feng, deputy director of Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. 


This year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the China-ASEAN Dialogue, and the ongoing security workshop is one in a series of planned commemorative events.


"The development of China and ASEAN is a parallel rather than running against each other, so cooperation will be more important than its being a 'threat'," Han said. 


The ASEAN member states are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.


(Xinhua News Agency July 19, 2006)

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