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Full text: China's Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation

Editor: zhangrui 丨Xinhua

01-11-2017 17:39 BJT

BEIJING, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- China's State Council Information Office on Wednesday issued a white paper on China's policies on Asia-Pacific security cooperation.
Following is the full text:

China's Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation

The State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China January 2017

First Edition 2017


Preface 1

I. China's Policies and Positions on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation 2

II. China's Security Vision for the Asia-Pacific Region 8

III. China's Relations with Other Major Asia-Pacific Countries 12

IV. China's Positions and Views on Regional Hotspot Issues 18

V. China's Participation in Major Multilateral Mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific Region 23

VI. China's Participation in Regional Non-Traditional Security Cooperation 32

Conclusion 39


The Asia-Pacific region covers a vast area with numerous countries and 60 percent of the world's population. Its economic and trade volumes take up nearly 60 percent and half of the world's total, respectively. It has an important strategic position in the world. In recent years, the development of the Asia-Pacific region has increasingly caught people's attention. It has become the most dynamic region with the strongest potential in the world. All parties are attaching greater importance to and investing more in this region. With the profound adjustment of the pattern of international relations, the regional situation of the Asia-Pacific area is also undergoing profound changes.

China is committed to promoting peace and stability in this region. It follows the path of peaceful development and the mutually beneficial strategy of opening up, and pursues friendly cooperation with all countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. It has participated in regional cooperation in an all-round way and taken active steps in response to both traditional and non-traditional security challenges, contributing to lasting peace and common prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

I. China's Policies and Positions on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation

Currently, the situation in the Asia-Pacific region is stable on the whole, with a strong momentum for peace and development. The Asia-Pacific region is a stable part of the global landscape. To promote peace and seek stability and development is the strategic goal and common aspiration of most countries in the region. Political mutual trust among countries has been strengthened, and major countries have frequently interacted and cooperated with one another. To address differences and disputes through negotiation and consultation is the major policy of countries in the region. Regional hotspot issues and disputes are basically under control.The region has secured steady and relatively fast growth, continuing to lead the world in this respect. Regional integration has gathered pace, with booming sub-regional cooperation. Free trade arrangements in various forms have made steady progress, and a new phase has emerged for dynamic connectivity building. However, the Asia-Pacific region still faces multiple destabilizing and uncertain factors. The nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is complex and sensitive; the reconciliation process in Afghanistan remains slow; and disputes over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests continue to unfold. Some countries are increasing their military deployment in the region, certain country seeks to shake off military constraints, and some countries are undergoing complex political and social transformations. Non-traditional security threats such as terrorism, natural disasters and transnational crimes have become more prominent. Asia's economy still faces significant downward pressure as a result of its structural problems as well as external economic and financial risks.

As an important member of the Asia-Pacific family, China is fully aware that its peaceful development is closely linked with the future of the region. China has all along taken the advancement of regional prosperity and stability as its own responsibility. China is ready to pursue security through dialogue and cooperation in the spirit of working together for mutually beneficial results, and safeguard peace and stability jointly with other countries in the region.

First, we should promote common development and lay a solid economic foundation for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. To enhance the convergence of economic interests is an important basis for sound state-to-state relations. Common development provides a fundamental safeguard for peace and stability, and holds the key to various security issues. Considerable achievements have been made in economic cooperation. On this basis, we should accelerate the process of economic integration and continue to advance the building of free trade areas and connectivity as well as comprehensive economic and social development. We should implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and narrow the developmental gap in the region, so that all countries and people of all social strata will enjoy the dividends of development, and the interests of countries will be more closely intertwined.

Focusing on common development, China has put forward and actively promoted the Belt and Road Initiative and initiated the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund. We welcome continued participation by all countries for mutually beneficial outcomes.

Second, we should promote the building of partnerships and strengthen the political foundation for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Asia-Pacific countries have unique diversities. Countries may become partners when they have the same values and ideals, but they can also be partners if they seek common ground while reserving differences. The key is to remain committed to treating each other as equals and carrying out mutually beneficial cooperation. How major countries in the Asia-Pacific region get along with each other is critical for maintaining regional peace and development. Major countries should treat the strategic intentions of others in an objective and rational manner, reject the Cold War mentality, respect others' legitimate interests and concerns, strengthen positive interactions and respond to challenges with concerted efforts. Small and medium-sized countries need not and should not take sides among big countries. All countries should make joint efforts to pursue a new path of dialogue instead of confrontation and pursue partnerships rather than alliances, and build an Asia-Pacific partnership featuring mutual trust, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation.

China calls for the building of a new model of international relations centered on mutually beneficial cooperation. China is committed to building partnerships in different forms with all countries and regional organizations. China has committed itself 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. China is committed to deepening its comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination with Russia and establishing a closer partnership with India. It is also pushing for the improvement of its relations with Japan. Chinese leaders have repeatedly elaborated on the concept of a community of shared future on many different occasions. China is working to construct a community of shared future for countries along the Lancang-Mekong River and between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as in Asia and the Asia-Pacific area as a whole.

Third, we should improve the existing regional multilateral mechanisms and strengthen the framework for supporting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. All parties concerned should adhere to multilateralism, oppose unilateralism, further support the development of regional multilateral security mechanisms, push for close coordination between relevant mechanisms, and play a bigger role in enhancing mutual understanding and trust, and expanding exchanges and cooperation in the field of security dialogues.

Committed to pushing forward the building of regional security mechanisms, China initiated with relevant countries the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Six-Party Talks, Xiangshan Forum, China-ASEAN Ministerial Dialogue on Law Enforcement and Security Cooperation, and Center for Comprehensive Law Enforcement and Security Cooperation in the Lancang-Mekong Sub-Region. China has actively supported the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in its capacity and institution building, and participated in the ASEAN-led multilateral security dialogues and cooperation mechanisms. Within various regional mechanisms, China has made a large number of cooperation proposals in the field of non-traditional security, which have strongly promoted relevant exchanges and cooperation. China will shoulder greater responsibilities for regional and global security, and provide more public security services to the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.

Fourth, we should promote the rule-setting and improve the institutional safeguards for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. To live together in peace, countries should follow the spirit of the rule of law, the international norms based on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and the widely recognized rules of fairness and justice. International and regional rules should be discussed, formulated and observed by all countries concerned, rather than being dictated by any particular country. Rules of individual countries should not automatically become "international rules," still less should individual countries be allowed to violate the lawful rights and interests of others under the pretext of "rule of law."

China has firmly upheld and actively contributed to international law, and regional rules and norms. To practice the rule of law in international relations, China, together with India and Myanmar, initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in 1954. China has acceded to almost all inter-governmental international organizations and more than 400 international multilateral treaties so far. China is committed to upholding regional maritime security and order, and enhancing the building of institutions and rules. In 2014 China presided over the adoption of the updated Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea at the Western Pacific Naval Symposium held in China. China and ASEAN countries will continue to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and strive for the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct (COC) on the basis of consensus in the framework of the DOC. In addition, China has taken an active part in consultations on setting rules in new areas such as cyberspace and outer space, so as to contribute to the formulation of widely accepted fair and equitable international rules.

Fifth, we should intensify military exchanges and cooperation to offer more guarantees for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. China faces diverse and complex security threats and challenges, as well as the arduous task of safeguarding national unity and territorial integrity. Building strong national defence and armed forces that are commensurate with China's international standing and its security and development interests is a strategic task in China's modernization drive, and provides a strong guarantee for its peaceful development. China's armed forces provide security and strategic support for the country's development and also make positive contributions to the maintenance of world peace and regional stability.

China's armed forces have called for, facilitated, and participated in international security cooperation. China has followed the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, conducted all-round military exchanges with other countries, and developed non-aligned and non-confrontational military cooperation not targetting any third party. It has worked to promote the establishment of just and effective collective security mechanisms and military confidence-building mechanisms. On the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and mutually beneficial cooperation, China has increased interactions and cooperation with the armed forces of other countries, and intensified cooperation on confidence-building measures in border areas. China has promoted dialogue and cooperation on maritime security, participated in United Nations peacekeeping missions, international counter-terrorism cooperation, escort missions and disaster-relief operations, and conducted relevant joint exercises and training with other countries.

Sixth, we should properly resolve differences and disputes, and maintain a sound environment of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Most of the hotspot and sensitive issues in this region have been left over from history. To handle them, the countries in the region should follow the tradition of mutual respect, seeking common ground while reserving differences, and peaceful coexistence, and work to solve disputes properly and peacefully through direct negotiation and consultation. We should not allow old problems to hamper regional development and cooperation, and undermine mutual trust. For disputes over territories and maritime rights and interests, the sovereign states directly involved should respect historical facts and seek a peaceful solution through negotiation and consultation in accordance with the fundamental principles and legal procedures defined by universally recognized international law and modern maritime law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Pending a satisfactory solution to disputes, the parties concerned should engage in dialogue to promote cooperation, manage each situation appropriately and prevent conflicts from escalating, so as to jointly safeguard peace and stability in the region.

China is committed to upholding peace and stability in the South China Sea, and working for peaceful solutions to the disputes over territories and maritime rights and interests with the countries directly involved through friendly negotiation and consultation. This commitment remains unchanged. China has actively pushed for peaceful solutions to hotspot issues such as the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and the Afghanistan issue, and played its due role as a responsible major country.

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