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The First Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 altered China's past and has left the nation in reflection ever since
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UPDATED: August 23, 2014 NO.22 MAY 29, 2014
Securing a New Concept
China presents a fresh vision of regional security at Asian cooperation summit
By Yu Lintao

ASIAN ORATORY: Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the CICA Summit in Shanghai on May 21 (PANG XINGLEI)

Yang told Beijing Review that the United States' rebalancing strategy in the Asia-Pacific has further complicated the situation in the region, sending wrong signals to countries like Japan and the Philippines that have led to antagonism. These countries tend to neglect diplomatic efforts as they believe they can rely on their alliance with the superpower to bolster their territorial and maritime claims.

"The complicated traditional territorial disputes and non-traditional security problems in Asia have made security issues a core concern of all regional parties," said Yang.

According to Yang, the security concept was first raised by China in 1995 during meetings with Southeast Asian countries.

In addition, Yang said, many security issues of Asia actually have not been decided by Asians since the collapse of the bipolar system at the end of last century. For instance, the Iraq wars, the situation in Afghanistan, the Iran and Korean Peninsula nuclear issues are all dominated by powers outside the region.

The new security concept, which proposes that Asian security problems eventually be solved by Asians, conforms to the common interests of Asia and reflects the demand of Asian people for international political democracy, said Yang.

Li Xin, Director of the Center for Russian and Central Asian Studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), noted that China believes the worsening regional security situation is affecting its development. Thus, China needs to contribute its own efforts to cultivate a peaceful and stable environment for development.

 Cooperation over alliance

In his keynote speech at the CICA Summit, President Xi proposed making the CICA a security dialogue and cooperation platform that covers the whole of Asia.

Xi said, "No country should seek absolute security of itself at the expense of others... We cannot just have security for one or a few countries while leaving the rest insecure. A military alliance which is targeted at a third party is not conducive to common regional security."

Although the Cold War ended more than 20 years ago, the Cold War mentality has not diminished along with it. The traditional security concept emphasizes confrontation and alliances such as NATO and Washington's relationships with Japan, Australia and the Philippines. These traditional alliance systems are all characterized by Cold War thinking and exclusiveness.

Qu Xing, President of the CIIS, said in sharp contrast to the decades-old security scheme based on the Cold War mentality, the new concept addresses Asia's unique challenges shaped by its historical grievances, current tensions and potential risks.

"The new security concept proposed by Xi is keeping pace with the times," said Yang. "One cannot deal with the security problems in the 21st century with the outdated thinking of the Cold War and zero-sum games."

Yang also noted that as the new security concept stresses cooperation, it does not exclude other countries outside the region, including the United States. Asia welcomes the United States, which is an observer of the CICA, to play a positive role in Asian security issues.

In interviews with Chinese media, Azimova Sarvaroy, Deputy Director of the National Information Agency of Tajikistan, said he agrees with Xi's judgment that peace, development and mutually beneficial cooperation are the main trends in the region. Jointly building a shared and win-win road for Asian security is necessary, he added.

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