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Asian countries must unite for regional security

By Zhong Sheng (People's Daily)

15:49, September 29, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Certain Western media outlets have noted that the U.S.-led alliance system in Asia has not changed much since then. The alliance system was reinforced during the Cold War and has continued to exist after the Cold War due to the rise of China.

Admittedly, certain Asian countries feel somewhat unsafe due to the rapid rise of China and are particularly worried that China's military buildup may break the regional balance of power that the United States has strived to maintain. However, Asia has undergone tremendous changes over the past 60 years. Anyone who fails to see the tremendous changes and continues to view Asia through the Cold War lens would be either completely ignorant or hopelessly biased.

Emerging economies have become the main engine of world growth, and China's peaceful development has greatly promoted regional cooperation. Most countries have benefited from China’s rapid development, and none of them is willing to stop cooperation with China. With Asian countries getting closer and closer to one another, the continent is unlikely to be divided again into two rival groups.

Although Asia is still in the process of developing a sound security cooperation mechanism, the increasingly close cooperation among Asian countries has been paving the way for the mechanism. The Cold War ended in Asia long ago, and any idea of taking advantage of other Asian countries to counter China is just the wishful thinking of those who are unwilling to or dare not face up to China's rise.

China has been making active efforts to resolve its territorial or marine disputes with a few neighboring countries through peaceful means over the past many years. As for the South China Sea issue, China has not only signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea but also developed a set of guidelines for implementing the declaration. China is working hard to resolve disputes through peaceful means and to promote joint development in the South China Sea.

It is not strange for some countries to misunderstand China's peaceful development and even be worried about it. China has developed its ties with the outside world over recent years in the process of continuously eliminating such worries. The "hedging" or protective measures taken by some countries due to the worries have not provoked outrage from China or even caused the country to change its orientation toward peaceful development.

There is still an environment for the development of the Cold War mindsets in Asia. China should be alert to three risks: First, some powers are seeking to cement their military ties with Asia under the cover of dealing with the rise of China and other historical factors concerning China. Second, some Western media agencies have deliberately played up some issues that have been resolved, or they have alienated China from other Asian countries by generalizing the disputes between China and a certain Asian country into the conflicts in the entire region. Third, some countries believe that the United States can help them contain China, so that they can make moves as they wish.

Asia is progressing and will in no way return to the era of the Cold War. China will surely take a major position in the security landscape of Asia, but it has no intention of driving any force out of Asia nor has it entered into alliances with other countries, forcing them to stand on China's side. The security landscape in Asia can only be established through joint consultations and cooperation among various forces in the region.

The optimal choice about the establishment of a new security landscape in Asia is to move ahead. Those countries that wish to secure advantages and interests in Asia by striking first to gain the initiative or playing up China's threats will eventually destroy the peace and security of the entire region.

Moving ahead with Asia requires each party concerned to be constructive, tolerant and innovative to transcend traditions, put forward more proposals to help address issues, and further strengthen the exchange and coordination channels.

In terms of the South China Sea, each party should strive to promote the implementation of the "guidelines" for the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea," try to find methods and ideas to implement the "guidelines" and the "Declaration," put forward the topics easing the situation in the South China Sea and use the wisdom of cooperation to develop a new security landscape in Asia.


Leave your comment2 comments

  1. Name

wende at 2011-09-3071.255.91.*
China needs to counter the sowing of fear by US and its allies by bring out the talking points in all parts of Asia through talk shows and regular sounding off in the media. This should be done relentlessly until the point sinks in.
kim at 2011-09-30209.162.237.*
Asian countries must unite for regional securityYour article is asian countries and you are only talking about the china , no one in asia have good relation with china but all other asian countries have good relation with each other, so write down about how to china have to behave with other instead of how other have to behave with china, think wide

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