I. The Security Environment

Peace and development remain the principal themes in today's world, and the overall international security environment remains stable. But, uncertainties and destabilizing factors are on the increase, and new challenges and threats are continuously emerging.

World peace and security face more opportunities than challenges. The world is at a critical stage, moving toward multi-polarity. Progress is expected in addressing the serious imbalances in the international strategic alignment. The major international forces compete with and hold each other in check. But, they also maintain coordination and practical cooperation in their mutual relationships, and draw on each other's strengths. Some major developing countries and regional groupings have grown in power, and the developing world as a whole is becoming stronger. Economic globalization accelerates and science and technology make rapid progress; there are profound changes in the international division of labor, global and regional economic cooperation is being vigorously promoted, leading to increasing interdependence among countries. More dialogues are being conducted on traditional security issues, and cooperation in non-traditional security is developing in depth. To address development and security issues through coordination, cooperation and multilateral mechanism is the preferred approach of the international community. The United Nations' status and role in world affairs are being upheld and strengthened. World wars or all-out confrontation between major countries are avoidable for the foreseeable future.

The international community is increasingly facing comprehensive, diverse and complex security threats. The world is not yet peaceful. Political, economic and security problems and geographical, ethnic and religious contradictions are interconnected and complex. Hegemonism and power politics remain key factors undermining international security. Non-traditional security threats present greater danger, and local turmoil caused by war is on and off, and some hotspots cannot be removed in a short time. The impact of economic globalization is spreading into the political, security and social fields. Global economic development is uneven, and the gap between the North and the South is widening. Security issues related to energy, resources, finance, information and international shipping routes are mounting. International terrorist forces remain active, shocking terrorist acts keep occurring. Natural disasters, serious communicable diseases, environmental degradation, international crime and other transnational problems are becoming more damaging in nature.

A revolution in military affairs is developing in depth worldwide. Military competition based on informationization is intensifying. There has not been major change in the imbalances in relative military strength. Some developed countries have increased their input into the military and speeded up R&D of high-tech weaponry to gain military superiority. Many developing countries are also upgrading their armaments and modernizing their military forces. The situation regarding the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remains grave and complex. The international non-proliferation regime faces major challenges. The practice of a small number of countries that have intensified their military alliances and resorted to force or threats of force in international affairs has shown new developments, which hinder efforts to improve international security.

The overall security environment in the Asia-Pacific region remains stable. The regional economy maintains an unprecedented strong momentum of growth, and a framework of open and mutually beneficial cooperation based on equality and in diversified forms is taking shape in the region. Multilateral security dialogue and cooperation are being enhanced. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has entered a new stage of substantive growth, contributing to the establishment of a new mode of state-to-state relations. ASEAN has made steady progress in community-building and in talks on establishing free trade areas with other countries. East Asian cooperation, which is conducted mainly through the ASEAN plus China, Japan and the ROK (10+3) channel, has expanded in scope and its institutional building is improving constantly, continuing to play a major role in promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. The East Asia Summit has provided a new platform for East Asian cooperation. Moreover, significant progress has been made in South Asian regional cooperation. There is improvement in the relations between India and Pakistan.

There are growing complexities in the Asia-Pacific security environment. There is a new adjustment going on in the strategic alignment and relations among major countries in the region, and new changes have occurred in the hotspots in the region. The United States is accelerating its realignment of military deployment to enhance its military capability in the Asia-Pacific region. The United States and Japan are strengthening their military alliance in pursuit of operational integration. Japan seeks to revise its constitution and exercise collective self-defense. Its military posture is becoming more external-oriented. The DPRK has launched missile tests and conducted a nuclear test. Thus, the situation on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia has become more complex and challenging. Iraq and Afghanistan continue to face turbulence. The Middle East has become more volatile. A settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue is not yet in sight. Territorial disputes, conflicting claims over maritime rights and interests, and ethnic and religious discords undermine trust and cooperation among states. The threat of terrorism, separatism and extremism remains serious. In addition, some countries face growing internal problems caused by social and economic transition.

China's overall security environment remains sound. China is committed to building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way and a socialist harmonious society, and it enjoys steady economic growth, political stability, ethnic harmony and social progress. Its overall national strength has considerably increased, as has its international standing and influence. China's practical cooperation with major countries continues to grow, its friendly relations with its neighboring countries have developed steadily, and it is forging strong ties with other developing countries. This has given rise to a new relationship of mutual benefit and win-win between China and other countries. The Chinese government has taken a number of significant measures to improve relations across the Taiwan Straits, thus promoting cross-Straits relations toward peace and stability.

However, China's security still faces challenges that must not be neglected. The growing interconnections between domestic and international factors and interconnected traditional and non-traditional factors have made maintaining national security a more challenging task. The struggle to oppose and contain the separatist forces for "Taiwan independence" and their activities remains a hard one. By pursuing a radical policy for "Taiwan independence," the Taiwan authorities aim at creating "de jure Taiwan independence" through "constitutional reform, " thus still posing a grave threat to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as to peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits and in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole. The United States has reiterated many times that it will adhere to the "one China" policy and honor the three joint communiqés between China and the United States. But, it continues to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan, and has strengthened its military ties with Taiwan. A small number of countries have stirred up a racket about a "China threat," and intensified their preventive strategy against China and strove to hold its progress in check. Complex and sensitive historical and current issues in China's surrounding areas still affect its security environment.

China persists in continuing its peaceful development road. Balancing developments in both domestic and international situations, it is well prepared to respond to complexities in the international security environment. Guided by a security strategy of promoting both development and security, China strives to build a socialist harmonious society at home and a harmonious world to ensure both its overall national security and enduring peace in the world. It endeavors to enhance both development and security, both internal security and external security and both traditional security and non-traditional security; works to uphold its sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity and promote national development; and strives to sustain the important period of strategic opportunity for national development. China is committed to fostering a cooperative relationship of mutual benefit and win-win with other countries and working with them to promote common security.