Mutual trust highlighted at security forum

(China Daily) 08:52, October 31, 2023

China's armed forces are willing to join hands with all parties to continuously deepen mutual trust on security issues through improved architecture, enhanced governance and greater cooperation, a senior Chinese military official said on Monday.

In a keynote speech at the 10th Beijing Xiangshan Forum, General Zhang Youxia, vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission, said that faced with a world of changes and disorder, all countries should adhere to the principles of win-win cooperation and pursue common development in harmony.

He called on all countries to resolve disputes through dialogue and consultation, and noted that no country should impose its own will on others, put its own benefits above those of others, ensure its own security at the cost of others, or deliberately provoke other countries on major sensitive issues.

Addressing the forum, which is being attended by over 1,800 participants, including members of 99 official delegations, defense ministers of 19 countries and chiefs of defense forces of 14 nations, Zhang said that the world today is overshadowed by war and humanitarian disasters created by certain countries, which has promoted bloc politics and unilateralism.

While people of conscience worldwide hope for peaceful development and win-win cooperation, certain countries always adhere to a zero-sum mentality and the law of the jungle where the weak are prey to the strong, he warned.

"We must be highly vigilant about acts of intensifying conflicts, fueling confrontation and making strategic misjudgments," he added.

Zhang emphasized that in the face of global challenges, no one can be immune. He called on countries to jointly respond to multiple crises, including energy and food crises and instability in the global industrial chain, which have been intensified by wars and conflicts.

As the world undergoes transformation and turmoil, the Global Security Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping provides the correct direction for common security and lasting peace, Zhang said.

At the opening ceremony of the 2022 Boao Forum for Asia Annual Meeting, President Xi proposed the initiative, highlighting the importance of upholding a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, and adhering to noninterference in internal affairs.

Highlighting mutual respect and win-win cooperation, Zhang said the initiative has offered the Chinese solution to achieve long-term global peace and order.

He underlined that mutual respect is the basic prerequisite for common security because of our shared destiny.

He outlined several key aspects that need to be mutually respected: sovereignty and territorial integrity, core interests and major concerns, development paths and social systems chosen by the people of each country, and the reasonable security concerns of each country.

Speaking on the Taiwan question, Zhang reiterated that it is at the very core of China's core interests, adding that the one-China principle is a universal consensus among the international community.

Any attempt to sever Taiwan from China, no matter by whom or in what form, will be resolutely rejected and deterred by the Chinese armed forces, he said.

The senior military official emphasized that China has always been a cornerstone of maintaining world peace and an important driving force for stable economic growth, citing data that China has conducted military exchanges with over 150 countries and is an important trading partner of more than 140 countries and regions.

China will continue to fulfill its responsibilities as a major country, actively engage in security governance efforts in fields including peacekeeping, arms control, counterterrorism and climate change, strengthen communication on security issues in emerging fields, actively participate in the formulation of global security rules, and play a constructive role in maintaining world peace, he said.

At a plenary session themed Major Countries' Responsibility and Global Security Cooperation, Muhammad Herindra, deputy defense minister of Indonesia, said no country can handle challenges like cybersecurity and global climate change alone, as those challenges affect us all.

Warning that unilateralism now poses a threat to global peace, he urged all nations to strive to return to the path of strengthening national independence and territorial integrity.

Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, Nigeria's defense minister, stressed that in an increasingly turbulent global environment, support from major powers for international law is more important than ever before.

He said that adhering to and promoting international law can create a framework to prevent conflicts, protect human rights and maintain global stability.

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Liang Jun)


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