Work Together to Improve Regional Security Architecture and Address Common Challenges
– Speech at the 1st Plenary Session of the 7th Xiangshan Forum by H.E. Liu Zhenmin, Vice Foreign Minister of China
October 11, 2016
Your Excellency Mme. Fu Ying,
It’s a great pleasure for me to come back to the Xiangshan Forum. On behalf of the Foreign Ministry of China, allow me to first warmly congratulate on the opening of a new session of this important Forum.
Here, let me share some thoughts with the topic of working together to improve regional security architecture and address common challenges.
Since the end of the Cold War 26 years ago, the trend of multi-polarity, globalization and regional integration has grown ever stronger. The Asia-Pacific has been peaceful and stable in general and is becoming the most dynamic region with the biggest potential.
At the same time, our region faces increasingly complicated security issues, often trans-national, and inter-linked. Traditional hot-spots flare up from time to time, and non-traditional security challenges are posing severe threats to the security of regional countries and regional stability.
In this context, the building of a regional security cooperation architecture in the Asia-Pacific is lagging behind. Currently, there are five types of security mechanisms in this region.
– First, the US-led alliance system and relevant bilateral and multilateral arrangements;
– Second, the ASEAN-centered security dialogue and cooperation frameworks such as the ARF and ADMM+;
– Third, special mechanisms on hotspot issues such as the Six-Party Talks on Korean Peninsular Nuclear Issue and the Quartet on Afghanistan;
– Fourth, regional security cooperation mechanisms including the SCO and CICA;
– Fifth, Track 1.5 or Track 2 security dialogues such as the Shangri-La Dialogue, Xiangshan Forum and the Asia-Pacific Roundtable.
These security mechanisms reflect underlying disconnects in our region: problems left by the cold war, lack of coordination among sub-regions, and differences on security concepts.
Economic cooperation and political and security cooperation, as two wheels driving Asia-Pacific cooperation, should complement each other and move forward in parallel. In the economic sphere, a relatively mature and stable framework has been cultivated to effectively promote regional economic integration.
In the security area, in contrast, the fostering of a security cooperation architecture has lagged behind, making it more difficult to deal with growing security challenges in a timely and effective way. This calls for the building of an Asia-Pacific security architecture consistent with regional conditions and the interests of all parties.
In recent years, relevant parties have made valuable exploration in this regard and proposed some new visions and initiatives.
At the Fourth CICA Summit in 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping provided a Chinese vision, that is, to update our security concept, establish a new regional security and cooperation architecture, and jointly chart a course for security that is by all and for all. This vision reflects the collective wisdom and consensus of regional countries and created new prospect for security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific.