2008-05-07 21:33:20 Xinhua English
SINGAPORE, May 8 (Xinhua) -- All governments and defense establishments in the Asian region should join hands to meet the challenges and promote common security through enhanced mutual understanding and mutually beneficial cooperation, a senior Chinese military official said here on Thursday.
Speaking at the security policy conference of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum (ARF), Chen Xiaogong, Assistant Chief of General Staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, noted that differences among countries in security concepts have brought further complication for regional security dialogue and cooperation. Against this backdrop of ongoing global transformation, prosperity and stability in the Asia-Pacific region bear upon not only the interests of countries in this region, but also world peace and development.
The Major General said that as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a member of ARF, China has always been an active participant and an ardent advocator for regional security cooperation.
He said China has been energetically involved in the settlement of hotspot issues such as the nuclear issues on the Korean peninsula and the nuclear issue of Iran.
China has opened military hotlines with the Russian Defense Ministry and the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as held regular defense and security consultations and dialogues with many countries in this region, he added.
Addressing senior officials from 27 members of ARF who are here attending the closed-door meetings to prepare for a gathering of foreign ministers in July, Chen said that faced with complex and changing regional and international situation, all defense establishments and militaries share the common tasks of maintaining peace and stability, and creating a favorable environment for regional prosperity and development.
"In accordance with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the Chinese military is ready to enhance friendly exchanges with our foreign counterparts, expand mutually beneficial cooperation, and make unremitting efforts to achieve harmony in the Asia-Pacific region," he said.
To this end, Chen made several proposals including "Firstly, to form a cooperation concept featuring equality, mutual benefit, openness and practicality" and "Secondly, to bring into due play the role of ARF Security Policy Conference."
He also proposed to deepen cooperation in the field of coping with non-traditional security threats, saying, "All countries should strengthen practical exchanges and cooperation in fields like disaster relief, anti-terrorism, peacekeeping, and fighting transnational crimes."
According to the Major General, the Chinese side proposes to host the Seminar on Law in International Disaster Relief in Beijing in 2009 to discuss legal support of the participation of military force in international disaster relief efforts.
In addition, China will continue to host seminars and other programs for exchanges under the 10+1 (ASEAN and China) and 10+3 (ASEAN and China, Japan and South Korea) frameworks.
He also suggested to improve regional security mechanism.
"Following the principle of agreement through consultation, and achievement through gradual process, and on a voluntary basis," he said "all countries in this region should deepen and perfect existing regional security mechanisms, explore joint early-warning and crisis management mechanisms in fields like disaster relief, anti-terrorism, and non-proliferation, support the parallel development of existing regional and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms and work arduously to establish a security cooperation pattern in which we will be able to draw on each other's experience and grow from strength to strength."
The ASEAN Regional Forum involves ASEAN member countries, namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as 17 other countries and organizations like China, Japan, South Korea, the United States and the European Union.