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Agreement safeguards Asia-Pacific security

By Wang Huazhong and Li Xiaokun (China Daily)

08:08, June 07, 2012

China and Russia said on Wednesday they will join hands to safeguard security and development in the Asia-Pacific region where challenges and threats emerge.

As the world's economic center shifts to the Asia-Pacific, experts said the collaboration offers a solution to establish a security mechanism that is acceptable to concerned parties in the region.

"Many challenges and threats exist in the Asia-Pacific region. That demands countries of the region face them with coordinated efforts," said the statement by President Hu Jintao and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The statement said China and Russia welcome the enhancement of integrity and multilateral cooperation in the region.

It suggests the process will enhance multi-polarization, democratization and the safeguarding of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

It said the two countries will closely collaborate to support multilateral mechanisms, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the East Asia Summit, among others.

Chen Yurong, a researcher at the China Institute of International Studies, said the top-level statement at such a critical moment shows mutual trust and the resolution of the two sides in addressing regional issues.

"This is a new starting point for the SCO and for Putin just returning to the Kremlin," Chen said.

"It is also a turning point for the two countries — both respecting the other countries' interests and advocating dialogue - to address regional issues without using military intervention."

Wang Lijiu, a researcher at the institute of Russia studies under the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, expects the approach would "fill the semi-vacuum of security mechanisms in the region".

Wang said when old issues such as the Korean Peninsula nuclear crisis and disputes on the South China Sea resurface, some countries use security as an excuse to complicate the Asia-Pacific region.

"Though some forums and meetings held by a few parties operate to maintain regional stability, no one is recognized as an effective security mechanism. I hope China and Russia can leverage their roles in the United Nations to collaborate in building one that is acceptable to concerned parties."

The statement also reiterated the two countries' stance against using violence or sanctions to pursue denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to address the Middle East crisis, instead calling for dialogue.

Moreover, it said China and Russia welcome the SCO granting Afghanistan observer status of the organization to help its development.

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