China wants Peace and Stability in Asia but on its Terms, says White Paper
China has issued a White Paper explaining its approach to achieving peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and clarifying its stand on issues of regional concern.
The white paper, "China's Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation," was released by the State Council Information Office on Jan. 11.
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The document reveals 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 also outlines China's concept of "common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security."
China's policy package that guides it actions include "the promotion of common development; the building of partnerships; improvement of existing multilateral frameworks; rule-setting; military exchanges and proper settlement of differences."
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.
"Small- and medium-sized countries need not and should not take sides among big countries," said the white paper.
In a dig at the United States, China said 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.
It urges major countries in the region (Japan, South Korea and India) "to reject the Cold War mentality" and play a role in maintaining peace and development. It also said these major countries to respect others' (read China's) "legitimate interests and concerns and to pursue positive interactions" (an apparent reference to China's unlawful claim to own the South China Sea).
China also said it will work with the new U.S. administration of Donald Trump on Asia-Pacific affairs to preserve peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
The white paper said China will increase military exchanges and cooperation with "friendly" countries to support peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
In a warning directed at the United States, China said "it will build a strong national defense 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," said the white paper.
The paper also said military strength will guarantee China achieves its international aims, chief among which is Chinese hegemony over Asia. The military is at the center of security, the paper said.
The paper also said 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.
China again called on South Korea and the U.S. to stop the deployment of THAAD in May.
"China strongly urges the U.S. and the ROK to stop this process."