SINGAPORE -- The idea of "proactive peace" Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe preaches should be a cause for concern because its essence is not peace but "proactiveness," says a senior Chinese diplomat.
The so-called "proactive" approach is aimed at changing the path of peaceful development set for Japan after World War II, Fu Ying, a former vice foreign minister, said here on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, a regional security forum.
Japan's moves in recent years are worrying because the country inflicted tremendous harm on its neighbors in modern history, and it has not truly come to terms with its past, the soft-spoken diplomat noted.
Even worse, the current leaders of Japan have been trying their best to deny and beautify Japan's history of invasion, added Fu, who now chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC).
In his keynote speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue on Friday, Abe used various innuendoes to paint China as a threat. He also called on his compatriots to revise Japan's pacifist constitution, saying the Self-Defense Forces should play a larger role in regional security.
"He has been trying to lift the lid on Japan's right of collective self-defense, and he is drumming up a campaign for Japan to be more proactively involved in international security affairs. Given all that, we cannot help questioning the motive, aim and consequence of his moves," Fu said.
She expressed concern that Japanese leaders, with various pretexts, may lead Japan on "a wrong path as their predecessors in modern history did."
"Our world is increasingly globalized and the countries are increasingly interdependent. What we need is peace and stability, and development and steady improvement of people's living standards," she said.
"We are opposed to raising voices on differences and disputes or creating confrontation. ... We must stay vigilant and not let what happened tragically in history repeat itself," added the diplomatic veteran.
Fu said that she came to the three-day Shangri-La Dialogue, which opened Friday, to listen to other countries' views on security issues while trying to explain China's policies and stances.
"Asia is a region of growth and vitality. It has had peace and stability after the Cold War. At the same time, however, it is also a region of diversity with multiple interwoven challenges. To maintain peace and stability and sustain our cooperation and growth momentum, we have to keep our channels of communication open, and keep on efforts to build confidence and reduce distrust," she said.
Fu said countries in the region should further push forward their economic integration in order to achieve common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, the goal of a security approach put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping at a recent security summit in Shanghai.
"We should pursue sustainable security through the pursuit of sustainable development," she said.
She also said that in the 21st century, the goal must be common security that takes account of the interests and concerns of all countries.
"It must be inclusive. We cannot limit our pursuit to the security interests of a small number of nations or the absolute security of the members of an alliance," Fu said. "We should increase our constructive interaction among major countries and discard the Cold War mind-set."
She urged countries in the region to stick to the path of multilateralism and build an inclusive regional security cooperation framework.
It is good for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to be at the center of regional cooperation and for all the countries to work together "in the ASEAN way," which works by building on consensus while properly handling differences and disputes, she added.