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Jiang Zemin - New Security Concept

The new concept of security was adopted by president of China, Jiang Zemin. It was officially unveiled by the People's Republic of China (PRC) in March 1997 at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum. According to the new concept of security, the old security concept based on military alliances and build-up of armaments will not help to ensure global security and thus a new concept of security, which is also the current security strategy of China, is needed. Speaking in Disarmament Conference in Geneva, Jiang indicated that the new concept was the only way to fundamentally promote a healthy development of the disarmament process and provide the guarantee for international peace and security.

Many China watchers first came upon the "New Concept of Security" in the context of the July 1998 defense white paper, China's National Defense. The concept was featured in the important first section entitled "The International Security Situation." This, however, was not the first time the concept was put forth. Indeed, the defense white paper merely capped off more than a year and a half of clarion calls throughout the Asia-Pacific region by high-level Chinese foreign policy and defense officials for such a new alternative concept. The new concept includes notions of China as a responsible great power, Chinas peaceful rise and a harmonious world. Based on this notion Chinese Politicians and strategists also began to speak of Chinas as a fuzeren de daguo (responsible great power).

China, in a position paper distributed in august 2002, proposed a new security concept with mutual trust, mutual benefit, quality and coordination at its core. The document was released by the Chinese delegation attending the annual talks between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members and over a dozen of other states. In China's view, the core of such new security concept should include mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination.

  • Mutual trust means that all countries should transcend differences in ideology and social system, discard the mentality of Cold War and power politics and refrain from mutual suspicion and hostility. They should maintain frequent dialogue and mutual briefings on each other's security and defense policies and major operations.
  • Mutual benefit means that all countries should meet the objective needs of social development in the era of globalization, respect each other's security interests and create conditions for others' security while ensuring their own security interests with a view to achieving common security.
  • Equality means that all countries, big or small, are equal members of the international community and should respect each other, treat each other as equals, refrain from interfering in other countries' internal affairs and promote the democratization of the international relations.
  • Coordination means that all countries should seek peaceful settlement of their disputes through negotiation and carry out wide-ranging and deep-going cooperation on security issues of mutual concern so as to remove any potential dangers and prevent the outbreak of wars and conflicts.

China maintains that cooperation under the new security concept should be flexible and diversified in form and model. It could be a multi-lateral security mechanism of relatively strong binding force or a forum-like multi-lateral security dialogue.

China on September 07, 2007 called on countries in the Asia Pacific to build a "new concept of security" so as to conduct cooperation and dialogue based on mutual trust and equality. "Under current international situation, we think that all countries should build a new concept of security, in a move to build a harmonious and stable Asia Pacific on the basis of mutual trust among countries," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu.

Although the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) has been in existence for more than 20 years, its fourth summit held in Shanghai in May 2014 attracted extraordinary attention worldwide with the unprecedented participation of leaders and officials from 46 countries and international organizations.

At the summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping expounded a new concept of security in Asia, proposing to advocate common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. Xi stated that "security problems in Asia should be solved by Asians themselves who are able to achieve regional peace and stability through cooperation."



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