SCIO briefing on 'China's Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation'

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Liu Zhenmin, vice foreign minister

Hu Kaihong, director-general of the Press Bureau, State Council Information Office

Jan. 11, 2017

Chairperson Hu Kaihong:

Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Welcome to the press conference. The State Council information Office has published a whitepaper on China's Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation. Now, we will brief you on its main content and China's policies in this regard. Today, we have with us Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I'm Hu Kaihong, spokesperson of the State Council Information Office.

First, please allow me to make a general introduction of the whitepaper.

With about 16,000 Chinese words, the whitepaper comprises three parts -- preface, main content and conclusion. The main content is: I. China's Policies and Positions on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation; II. China's Security Vision for the Asia-Pacific Region; III. China's Relations with Other Major Asia-Pacific Countries; IV. China's Positions and Views on Regional Hotspot Issues; V. China's Participation in Major Multilateral Mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific Region; VI. China's Participation in Regional Non-Traditional Security Cooperation.

This is China's first whitepaper on Asia-Pacific security cooperation policies. It's available in Chinese, English, French, Russian, German, Spanish, Japanese and Arabic. The Chinese and English versions have been published by the People's Publishing House and Foreign Languages Press respectively. Now, I'll give the floor to Mr. Liu.

Liu Zhenmin:

I'm glad to see this press conference has attracted so many people. This shows your great interest in Asia-Pacific security cooperation. I'd like to brief you on the background and the main content of the white paper.

At present, the world is undergoing complex and profound changes in the political and economic fields. We have entered an era featuring turmoil and changes, with a backlash against globalization and setbacks for the process of regional integration. However, the Asia-Pacific region has maintained an upward momentum and established a stronger presence in the world, thanks to cooperation between all countries in the region.

China has actively participated in and supported regional peace and security. We have chosen to issue the white paper at the beginning of the year because we want to make our policies known to all and demonstrate our strong will for intensifying regional security cooperation and maintaining regional stability and prosperity. We hope we can receive a positive response from you. We also hope we can work with the other countries in the region to make steady progress in regional security cooperation and make a bigger contribution to regional peace and stability.

Liu Zhenmin:

I would like to use six subject terms to explain China's policies on Asia-Pacific security cooperation, so everybody can have a better understanding of them.

The first subject term is "mutually-beneficial cooperation." To maintain sound and steady regional development and respond to all kinds of challenges, China has put forward six positions to strengthen the Asia-Pacific security dialogue and cooperation: promoting common development, promoting the building of partnerships, improving the existing regional multilateral mechanisms, promoting rule-setting, intensifying military exchanges and cooperation, and properly resolving differences and disputes. These positions are a summary of experience for long-term exchanges between China and other countries, and the crystallization of the accumulated wisdom of countries in the region. We hope the entire region can work together to uphold the vision of mutually- beneficial cooperation, and make joint efforts to realize the long-term stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

The second term is "opening-up and innovation." As part of the super structure, the security vision and security framework must keep pace with the times with constant innovation, so as to meet actual needs and solve practical problems. China has put forward the concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and is promoting construction of a security framework oriented to the future, in accord with regional realities and meeting everyone's needs. This concept is an inheritance and innovation of the vision for regional security cooperation, injecting new vitality into the Asia-Pacific security framework. We are willing to work together with all parties to advocate and practice this new security vision, and walk hand-in-hand down a path of security featuring wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.

The third term is "positive interaction." China is working hard to promote sound interaction with other major countries in the region, and is making due contributions to ensuring the relationship between major Asia-Pacific countries remains stable on the whole. China is committed to working with the United States to build a new model of major-country relations featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation, and build a bilateral relationship of positive interaction and inclusive cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. China is committed to deepening its comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination with Russia and establishing a closer partnership with India. China is committed to pushing for the improvement of its relations with Japan in the spirit of "facing history squarely and working together for the future." Meanwhile, we are adhering to a policy of building friendship and partnerships with neighboring countries, and continuing to deepen mutually-beneficial cooperation with them.

The fourth term is "dialogue and consultation." The course of regional development and experience after World War II tells us that, only dialogue and cooperation can be the "golden key" to solving regional hotspot issues. China sticks to properly resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation, and jointly safeguarding regional peace and stability. For the cross-border security challenges facing us all, we should strengthen dialogue and cooperation and work on seeking solutions to prevent relevant problems from deteriorating into crises. China will continue to play its due role as a responsible major country in solving regional hotspot issues.

The fifth term is "regional mechanisms." China has called for and has sought to facilitate regional multilateral mechanisms, and is the founding member of many such mechanisms. We firmly support the central position of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in East Asia regional cooperation, and actively participate in and vigorously promote the dialogue and cooperation in relevant mechanisms. China is also committed to expanding regional security mechanisms and improving the regional cooperation framework. Together with relevant countries, we have initiated the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Six-Party Talks on the North Korea nuclear issue, the Xiangshan Forum, and the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) framework to promote the "dual driving," namely combining economic development and political security cooperation. In the future, China will continue to support and promote regional cooperation mechanisms like this to achieve greater development.

The sixth term is "pragmatic cooperation."  In recent years, non-traditional security challenges in the Asia-Pacific region have become increasingly prominent. China actively participates in and promotes exchanges and cooperation to cope with these challenges, and continuously provides public security services. China has conducted a large number of cooperation projects in disaster-relief, counter-terrorism, combating transnational crime, cyber security and maritime security, and thus has enhanced mutual understanding and trust within the region, improved all countries' cooperative abilities in coping with challenges, and made important contributions to safeguarding regional peace and stability.

Finally, in summary: As an important member of the Asia-Pacific family, China always undertakes its responsibility to promote the Asia-Pacific prosperity, stability and security. We are willing to work together with other countries to steadily push forward security dialogue and cooperation, positively respond to both traditional and non-traditional security challenges, jointly maintain the good situation of regional peace and stability, and promote the building of common prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

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