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Dialogue is the way forward in Asia

(China Daily)

08:39, June 03, 2013

Beijing showed its openness and engagement to resolve disputes, as well as its determination to protect its territory, at an annual forum for security issues, observers said.

Qi Jianguo, deputy chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army of China, said that to realize prosperity, stability and development of the Asia-Pacific region, one cannot merely rely on the efforts of a single nation, nor on expansion and plundering, and even less on an obsession with the use of force.

The only way forward is to take cooperation as the overriding principle, and that countries, whether big or small, are all equal and should respect one another, Qi told the 12th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on the weekend.

China upholds an open spirit of not only taking strides toward the world, but also welcoming the world to engage with China, with the purpose of sharing resources and jointly creating a better future, Qi said.

The forum, also called the Asia Security Summit, is organized by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.

"There's no question that this year the PLA delegation has come very prepared to engage in dialogue," said John Chipman, director of the institute and the forum's organizer.

"The intensity of the Chinese engagement and the manner of their engagement is different," Chipman told Reuters.

Wu Shicun, director of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, said the forum is a good platform for other countries to learn more about China.

Dialogue: 'China hopes for peace'

China's dynamic growth in recent years has triggered regional scepticism over its peaceful intentions, Qi said.

However, he also emphasized that China's hope for sustained peace and stability, as well as its stress on dialogue and consultation, by no means denotes unconditional compromise.

"Our resolve and commitment to safeguarding core national interests always stand steadfast," said Qi.

China has territorial issues with other participants of the forum, including the Philippines and Vietnam over the South China Sea, and Japan over the Diaoyu Islands.

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