China on Wednesday issued a white paper on policies related to Asia-Pacific security cooperation, which also clarified the nation’s stance on issues of regional concern.
The white paper, “China’s Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation” was released by the State Council Information Office.
China is prepared to take on greater responsibilities for regional and global security, and provide more public security services to the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large, it said.
Outlining China’s concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, the white paper explained the Chinese approach to achieving peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
The policy package includes the promotion of common development; the building of partnerships; improvement of existing multilateral frameworks; rule-setting; military exchanges; and proper settlement of differences.
“China is a staunch force in Asia-Pacific security, and its policies are particularly relevant as Asia-Pacific is the only enviable, tranquil place in the world if you take into account of Brexit, refugees, populism, terrorist attacks, Syria and uncertain U.S. domestic politics,” said Liu Qing with China Institute of International Studies.
Noting the role that major countries in the region play in maintaining peace and development, the white paper urged them to reject the Cold War mentality, respect others’ legitimate interests and concerns and to pursue positive interactions.
“Small- and medium-sized countries need not and should not take sides among big countries,” the white paper said.
China said it supports the creation of international and regional rules set through discussion with all countries concerned rather than being dictated by any particular country.
Rules of individual countries should not automatically become “international rules,” and countries should not be allowed to violate the lawful rights and interests of others under the pretext of rule of law, according to the white paper.
“China has contributed to the generally stable relations among major countries in the region by maintaining positive interactions with the United States, Russia, India and improving ties with Japan,” Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said at a briefing on the white paper.
China will work with the new U.S. administration on Asia-Pacific affairs to preserve peace, stability and prosperity in the region, Liu said.
The white paper said China will increase military exchanges and cooperation, which would support peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. China will build a strong national defence force that is commensurate with China’s international standing.
“Its security and development interests is a strategic task in China’s modernization drive, and provides a strong guarantee for its peaceful development. China’s armed forces support the country’s development and contribute to the maintenance of world peace and regional stability,” the white paper said.
The military is at the center of security and China’s participation in escort missions, the U.S.-led RIMPAC naval exercises, military drills with Russia and ASEAN members have strengthened political trust with other countries, said Liu Qing.
On issues of regional concern, China has actively pushed for peaceful solutions as a responsible major country.
China remains committed to resolving disputes peacefully through negotiation and consultation and upholding peace and stability as well as freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea, the white paper said.
It said China and ASEAN continue to maintain communication and dialogue on the South China Sea issue, strengthening pragmatic maritime cooperation and steadily advancing consultations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.
China, it was added, may “make the necessary response” to provocative action that infringes on its territorial sovereignty, maritime rights and interests, or behavior that undermines peace and stability in the South China Sea.
China will continue to work with the international community and strive for denuclearization and long-term peace and stability of the peninsula and of Northeast Asia as a whole.
China calls for “discretion” by the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) in the deployment of the THAAD missile system in the ROK, which is detrimental to strategic stability, mutual trust and the strategic security interests of China and other countries.
“China strongly urges the U.S. and the ROK to stop this process,” the white paper said.