II. China’s Security Vision for the Asia-Pacific Region
Visions guide actions, and to solve new problems new visions are required. Old security concepts based on the Cold War mentality, zero-sum game, and stress on force are outdated given the dynamic development of regional integration. In the new circumstances, all countries should keep up with the times, strengthen solidarity and cooperation with openness and inclusiveness, make security vision innovations, work to improve regional security systems and explore a new path for Asian security.
1. Concept of Common, Comprehensive, Cooperative and Sustainable Security
Common security means respecting and ensuring the security of each and every country involved. We cannot just have the security of one or some countries while leaving the rest insecure, still less should we seek “absolute security” of oneself at the expense of the security of others. We should respect and accommodate the legitimate security concerns of all parties. To beef up a military alliance targeted at a third party is not conducive to maintaining common security.
Comprehensive security means upholding security in both traditional and non-traditional fields. We should take into full account the historical background and reality concerning regional security, adopt a multi-pronged and holistic approach, and enhance regional security governance in a coordinated way. While tackling the immediate security challenges facing the region, we should also make plans for addressing potential security threats.
Cooperative security means promoting the security of both individual countries and the region as a whole through dialogue and cooperation. The countries involved should engage in sincere and in-depth dialogue and communication to increase strategic mutual trust, reduce mutual misgivings, seek common ground while resolving differences and live in harmony with one another. We should bear in mind the common challenges and actively foster the awareness of meeting security challenges through cooperation. And we should expand the scope of and explore new ways for cooperation, and promote peace and security through cooperation.
Sustainable security means that the countries involved need to focus on both development and security to realize durable security. All the parties should focus on development, actively improve people’s lives and narrow the wealth gap so as to cement the foundation of security. We should advance common development and regional integration, and push for sound interactions and the synchronized progress of regional economic and security cooperation in order to promote sustainable security through sustainable development.
This security concept is in tune with globalization and the historical trend of the times featuring peace, development, and mutually beneficial cooperation. Rooted in regional integration, it has gathered the wisdom and consensus of the countries in the region, reflects the urgent need of all parties to cope with security challenges through cooperation, and opened broad prospects for regional security cooperation.
2. Improving the Regional Security Framework
The key to maintaining the long-term stability of the Asia-Pacific region is to build a security framework which is oriented to the future, accords with regional realities and meets all parties’ needs.
First, the future regional security framework should be multi-layered, comprehensive and diversified. Countries in the Asia-Pacific region differ in their historical traditions, political systems, levels of development and security concerns. In this region, there are ASEAN-led security cooperation mechanisms and platforms such as the SCO and CICA, as well as military alliances formed in history. Given such a diversity, a consistent security framework in this region is not foreseeable in the near future, and it will be normal to see multiple mechanisms advancing together in the evolution of a regional security framework. All the countries involved should play their respective roles in safeguarding regional peace and stability. China promotes the building of a security framework in the Asia-Pacific region, which does not mean starting all over again, but improving and upgrading the existing mechanisms.
Second, building the future security framework should be adopted as a common cause by all the countries in the region. As multi-polarity is becoming a global trend, regional security affairs should be decided by all the countries in the region through equal participation. The development of a regional security framework involves the common interests of all the countries in the region, and requires the active participation and contribution of all parties. The Asia-Pacific area is a region where major powers come into frequent contact and where their interests are concentrated. The major powers should jointly promote a regional security framework, so as to effectively deal with the increasingly complex security challenges in the region. Relevant bilateral military alliances should be made more transparent and avoid confrontation, so as to play a constructive role in the sphere of regional peace and stability.