Security stressed at CICA Summit

By Zhang Ming'ai
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, May 23, 2014
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The fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) was held in Shanghai on May 20-21.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) speaks during the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), in Shanghai, east China, May 21, 2014. [Xinhua]

In a keynote speech delivered at the summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security strategy for Asia.

"We need to innovate our security concept, establish a new regional security cooperation architecture, and jointly build a shared, win-win path for Asian security," Xi said.

One cannot live in the 21st century with outdated thinking from the Cold War and a zero-sum game, Xi said, adding that "No country should seek absolute security for itself at the expense of others... We cannot just have security for one or a few countries while leaving the rest insecure."

Xi said Asia should oppose building a military alliance targeted at a third party, and any attempt to dominate regional security affairs or infringe upon the legitimate rights and interests of other countries.

He pledged "zero tolerance" for terrorism, separatism and extremism. "We should strengthen ... international and regional cooperation, and step up the fight against the 'three forces,' in order to create happy and tranquil lives for the people of this region," he said.

Xi said security problems in Asia should be solved by Asians themselves through cooperation. He urged countries in the region to resolve disputes through peaceful means and oppose the arbitrary use of force or threats. Provocation and escalation of tensions for selfish interests should also be opposed, he added.

China is a staunch force for upholding peace in the region and the world, and for promoting common development, he said.

He vowed China's firm commitment to the path of peaceful development and the win-win strategy of opening up, and expressed China's willingness to develop friendly ties and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence.

He said China remains committed to seeking peaceful settlement of disputes with other countries over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and has completely resolved, through friendly consultation, land boundary issues with 12 of its 14 neighboring countries.

"China's peaceful development begins here in Asia, finds its support in Asia, and delivers tangible benefits to Asia," he stressed.

Xi also proposed turning the CICA into a security dialogue and cooperation platform covering the whole of Asia, calling for efforts to enhance the capacity and institutional building of the CICA, improvements to the functions of the secretariat, and the establishment of a mechanism within the conference for defense consultations among member states.

China will fulfill the mandate of the CICA chair from 2014 to 2016 and work with other members to implement the consensus enshrined in the declaration and increase mutual trust and dialogue, said Xi at a joint press conference during the summit.

China took over the CICA presidency from Turkey at the summit. CICA was established in 1992 as a forum for dialogue and consultations and for the promotion of confidence building measures among its members on security and development in Asia.

In the declaration issued after the CICA summit, member states agreed to seek common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustained security and expressed their support for the orderly and peaceful conclusion of the ongoing developments in hotspot regions including the Middle East and North Africa.

Huang Renwei, deputy dean of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said the summit reached a wide and concrete consensus, and did not consist of empty talks.

Proposed solutions to the region's most pressing issues are highly feasible, and, if implemented well, could turn the forum into an architecture at a higher level, he said.

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