China's Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation
China's Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation
The State Council Information Office of the People's Republic of China
First Edition 2017
The Asia-Pacific region covers a vast area with numerous countries and 60 percent of the world's population. Its economic and trade volumes take up nearly 60 percent and half of the world's total, respectively. It has an important strategic position in the world. In recent years, the development of the Asia-Pacific region has increasingly caught people's attention. It has become the most dynamic region with the strongest potential in the world. All parties are attaching greater importance to and investing more in this region. With the profound adjustment of the pattern of international relations, the regional situation of the Asia-Pacific area is also undergoing profound changes.
China is committed to promoting peace and stability in this region. It follows the path of peaceful development and the mutually beneficial strategy of opening up, and pursues friendly cooperation with all countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. It has participated in regional cooperation in an all-round way and taken active steps in response to both traditional and non-traditional security challenges, contributing to lasting peace and common prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
I. China's Policies and Positions on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation
Currently, the situation in the Asia-Pacific region is stable on the whole, with a strong momentum for peace and development. The Asia-Pacific region is a stable part of the global landscape. To promote peace and seek stability and development is the strategic goal and common aspiration of most countries in the region. Political mutual trust among countries has been strengthened, and major countries have frequently interacted and cooperated with one another. To address differences and disputes through negotiation and consultation is the major policy of countries in the region. Regional hotspot issues and disputes are basically under control.The region has secured steady and relatively fast growth, continuing to lead the world in this respect. Regional integration has gathered pace, with booming sub-regional cooperation. Free trade arrangements in various forms have made steady progress, and a new phase has emerged for dynamic connectivity building. However, the Asia-Pacific region still faces multiple destabilizing and uncertain factors. The nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is complex and sensitive; the reconciliation process in Afghanistan remains slow; and disputes over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests continue to unfold. Some countries are increasing their military deployment in the region, certain country seeks to shake off military constraints, and some countries are undergoing complex political and social transformations. Non-traditional security threats such as terrorism, natural disasters and transnational crimes have become more prominent. Asia's economy still faces significant downward pressure as a result of its structural problems as well as external economic and financial risks.
As an important member of the Asia-Pacific family, China is fully aware that its peaceful development is closely linked with the future of the region. China has all along taken the advancement of regional prosperity and stability as its own responsibility. China is ready to pursue security through dialogue and cooperation in the spirit of working together for mutually beneficial results, and safeguard peace and stability jointly with other countries in the region.
First, we should promote common development and lay a solid economic foundation for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. To enhance the convergence of economic interests is an important basis for sound state-to-state relations. Common development provides a fundamental safeguard for peace and stability, and holds the key to various security issues. Considerable achievements have been made in economic cooperation. On this basis, we should accelerate the process of economic integration and continue to advance the building of free trade areas and connectivity as well as comprehensive economic and social development. We should implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and narrow the developmental gap in the region, so that all countries and people of all social strata will enjoy the dividends of development, and the interests of countries will be more closely intertwined.
Focusing on common development, China has put forward and actively promoted the Belt and Road Initiative and initiated the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund. We welcome continued participation by all countries for mutually beneficial outcomes.
Second, we should promote the building of partnerships and strengthen the political foundation for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Asia-Pacific countries have unique diversities. Countries may become partners when they have the same values and ideals, but they can also be partners if they seek common ground while reserving differences. The key is to remain committed to treating each other as equals and carrying out mutually beneficial cooperation. How major countries in the Asia-Pacific region get along with each other is critical for maintaining regional peace and development. Major countries should treat the strategic intentions of others in an objective and rational manner, reject the Cold War mentality, respect others' legitimate interests and concerns, strengthen positive interactions and respond to challenges with concerted efforts. Small and medium-sized countries need not and should not take sides among big countries. All countries should make joint efforts to pursue a new path of dialogue instead of confrontation and pursue partnerships rather than alliances, and build an Asia-Pacific partnership featuring mutual trust, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation.
China calls for the building of a new model of international relations centered on mutually beneficial cooperation. China is committed to building partnerships in different forms with all countries and regional organizations. China has committed itself to working with the United States to build a new model of major-country relations featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and mutually beneficial cooperation. China is committed to deepening its comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination with Russia and establishing a closer partnership with India. It is also pushing for the improvement of its relations with Japan. Chinese leaders have repeatedly elaborated on the concept of a community of shared future on many different occasions. China is working to construct a community of shared future for countries along the Lancang-Mekong River and between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as in Asia and the Asia-Pacific area as a whole.
Third, we should improve the existing regional multilateral mechanisms and strengthen the framework for supporting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. All parties concerned should adhere to multilateralism, oppose unilateralism, further support the development of regional multilateral security mechanisms, push for close coordination between relevant mechanisms, and play a bigger role in enhancing mutual understanding and trust, and expanding exchanges and cooperation in the field of security dialogues.
Committed to pushing forward the building of regional security mechanisms, China initiated with relevant countries the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Six-Party Talks, Xiangshan Forum, China-ASEAN Ministerial Dialogue on Law Enforcement and Security Cooperation, and Center for Comprehensive Law Enforcement and Security Cooperation in the Lancang-Mekong Sub-Region. China has actively supported the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in its capacity and institution building, and participated in the ASEAN-led multilateral security dialogues and cooperation mechanisms. Within various regional mechanisms, China has made a large number of cooperation proposals in the field of non-traditional security, which have strongly promoted relevant exchanges and cooperation. China will shoulder greater responsibilities for regional and global security, and provide more public security services to the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.
Fourth, we should promote the rule-setting and improve the institutional safeguards for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. To live together in peace, countries should follow the spirit of the rule of law, the international norms based on the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and the widely recognized rules of fairness and justice. International and regional rules should be discussed, formulated and observed by all countries concerned, rather than being dictated by any particular country. Rules of individual countries should not automatically become "international rules," still less should individual countries be allowed to violate the lawful rights and interests of others under the pretext of "rule of law."
China has firmly upheld and actively contributed to international law, and regional rules and norms. To practice the rule of law in international relations, China, together with India and Myanmar, initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in 1954. China has acceded to almost all inter-governmental international organizations and more than 400 international multilateral treaties so far. China is committed to upholding regional maritime security and order, and enhancing the building of institutions and rules. In 2014 China presided over the adoption of the updated Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea at the Western Pacific Naval Symposium held in China. China and ASEAN countries will continue to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and strive for the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct (COC) on the basis of consensus in the framework of the DOC. In addition, China has taken an active part in consultations on setting rules in new areas such as cyberspace and outer space, so as to contribute to the formulation of widely accepted fair and equitable international rules.
Fifth, we should intensify military exchanges and cooperation to offer more guarantees for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. China faces diverse and complex security threats and challenges, as well as the arduous task of safeguarding national unity and territorial integrity. Building strong national defence and armed forces that are commensurate with China's international standing and 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 provide security and strategic support for the country's development and also make positive contributions to the maintenance of world peace and regional stability.
China's armed forces have called for, facilitated, and participated in international security cooperation. China has followed the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, conducted all-round military exchanges with other countries, and developed non-aligned and non-confrontational military cooperation not targetting any third party. It has worked to promote the establishment of just and effective collective security mechanisms and military confidence-building mechanisms. On the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and mutually beneficial cooperation, China has increased interactions and cooperation with the armed forces of other countries, and intensified cooperation on confidence-building measures in border areas. China has promoted dialogue and cooperation on maritime security, participated in United Nations peacekeeping missions, international counter-terrorism cooperation, escort missions and disaster-relief operations, and conducted relevant joint exercises and training with other countries.
Sixth, we should properly resolve differences and disputes, and maintain a sound environment of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Most of the hotspot and sensitive issues in this region have been left over from history. To handle them, the countries in the region should follow the tradition of mutual respect, seeking common ground while reserving differences, and peaceful coexistence, and work to solve disputes properly and peacefully through direct negotiation and consultation. We should not allow old problems to hamper regional development and cooperation, and undermine mutual trust. For disputes over territories and maritime rights and interests, the sovereign states directly involved should respect historical facts and seek a peaceful solution through negotiation and consultation in accordance with the fundamental principles and legal procedures defined by universally recognized international law and modern maritime law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). Pending a satisfactory solution to disputes, the parties concerned should engage in dialogue to promote cooperation, manage each situation appropriately and prevent conflicts from escalating, so as to jointly safeguard peace and stability in the region.
China is committed to upholding peace and stability in the South China Sea, and working for peaceful solutions to the disputes over territories and maritime rights and interests with the countries directly involved through friendly negotiation and consultation. This commitment remains unchanged. China has actively pushed for peaceful solutions to hotspot issues such as the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and the Afghanistan issue, and played its due role as a responsible major country.
II. China's Security Vision for the Asia-Pacific Region
Visions guide actions, and to solve new problems new visions are required. Old security concepts based on the Cold War mentality, zero-sum game, and stress on force are outdated given the dynamic development of regional integration. In the new circumstances, all countries should keep up with the times, strengthen solidarity and cooperation with openness and inclusiveness, make security vision innovations, work to improve regional security systems and explore a new path for Asian security.
1. Concept of Common, Comprehensive, Cooperative and Sustainable Security
At the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) held in May 2014, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and a path of security featuring wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits in the Asia-Pacific region.
Common security means respecting and ensuring the security of each and every country involved. We cannot just have the security of one or some countries while leaving the rest insecure, still less should we seek "absolute security" of oneself at the expense of the security of others. We should respect and accommodate the legitimate security concerns of all parties. To beef up a military alliance targeted at a third party is not conducive to maintaining common security.
Comprehensive security means upholding security in both traditional and non-traditional fields. We should take into full account the historical background and reality concerning regional security, adopt a multi-pronged and holistic approach, and enhance regional security governance in a coordinated way. While tackling the immediate security challenges facing the region, we should also make plans for addressing potential security threats.
Cooperative security means promoting the security of both individual countries and the region as a whole through dialogue and cooperation. The countries involved should engage in sincere and in-depth dialogue and communication to increase strategic mutual trust, reduce mutual misgivings, seek common ground while resolving differences and live in harmony with one another. We should bear in mind the common challenges and actively foster the awareness of meeting security challenges through cooperation. And we should expand the scope of and explore new ways for cooperation, and promote peace and security through cooperation.
Sustainable security means that the countries involved need to focus on both development and security to realize durable security. All the parties should focus on development, actively improve people's lives and narrow the wealth gap so as to cement the foundation of security. We should advance common development and regional integration, and push for sound interactions and the synchronized progress of regional economic and security cooperation in order to promote sustainable security through sustainable development.
This security concept is in tune with globalization and the historical trend of the times featuring peace, development, and mutually beneficial cooperation. Rooted in regional integration, it has gathered the wisdom and consensus of the countries in the region, reflects the urgent need of all parties to cope with security challenges through cooperation, and opened broad prospects for regional security cooperation.
2. Improving the Regional Security Framework
The key to maintaining the long-term stability of the Asia-Pacific region is to build a security framework which is oriented to the future, accords with regional realities and meets all parties' needs.
First, the future regional security framework should be multi-layered, comprehensive and diversified. Countries in the Asia-Pacific region differ in their historical traditions, political systems, levels of development and security concerns. In this region there are ASEAN-led security cooperation mechanisms and platforms such as the SCO and CICA, as well as military alliances formed in history. Given such a diversity, a consistent security framework in this region is not foreseeable in the near future, and it will be normal to see multiple mechanisms advancing together in the evolution of a regional security framework. All the countries involved should play their respective roles in safeguarding regional peace and stability. China promotes the building of a security framework in the Asia-Pacific region, which does not mean starting all over again, but improving and upgrading the existing mechanisms.
Second, building the future security framework should be adopted as a common cause by all the countries in the region. As multi-polarity is becoming a global trend, regional security affairs should be decided by all the countries in the region through equal participation. The development of a regional security framework involves the common interests of all the countries in the region, and requires the active participation and contribution of all parties. The Asia-Pacific area is a region where major powers come into frequent contact and where their interests are concentrated. The major powers should jointly promote a regional security framework, so as to effectively deal with the increasingly complex security challenges in the region. Relevant bilateral military alliances should be made more transparent and avoid confrontation, so as to play a constructive role in the sphere of regional peace and stability.
Third, the future regional security framework should be based on consensus. It will be a long and gradual process to put in place such a framework, which cannot be completed overnight. All parties should continue to strengthen dialogue and cooperation, and steadily advance the development of a regional security framework on the basis of building consensus. At the current stage, the parties should continue to focus on non-traditional security cooperation, and start from the easier tasks before moving on to more difficult ones, so as to build trust and lay a solid foundation for the framework.
Fourth, the development of a regional security framework should be advanced in parallel with the development of a regional economic framework. Security and development are closely linked and mutually complementary. Equal consideration should be given to both a security framework and an economic framework - the main components of the entire regional structure - to ensure their parallel development. On the one hand, the improvement of the security framework will help ensure a peaceful and stable environment for economic development; on the other, faster regional economic integration will provide solid economic and social support for the development of the security framework.
III. China's Relations with Other Major Asia-Pacific Countries
1. China-US Relations
Since 2015 the overall relationship between China and the United States has remained stable and even made new progress. The two countries have maintained close contacts at the leadership and other levels. President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to the US at the invitation of President Barack Obama in September 2015, and met him again during the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in November of the same year. In late March 2016 the two presidents had a successful meeting during the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. In September they met again during the G20 Hangzhou Summit, and committed themselves to building a new model of a major-country relationship. Premier Li Keqiang met President Obama when attending high-level meetings of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly. In June the same year the Eighth Round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the Seventh China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchanges, and the Second China-US High-Level Joint Dialogue on Cybercrime and Related Issues were held in Beijing, and achieved fruitful results. In addition, the two countries have made steady progress in practical cooperation in various fields, and maintained close communication and coordination on major regional and global issues like climate change, the Korean and Iranian nuclear issues, Syria, and Afghanistan.
The two countries have maintained communication and coordination in the field of Asia-Pacific affairs through bilateral exchanges and relevant mechanisms at all levels, and agreed to build a bilateral relationship of positive interaction and inclusive cooperation in the region. The two countries have stayed in a state of communication and cooperation on regional and global affairs, including climate change, counter-terrorism, marine environmental protection, combating wild life smuggling, and disaster prevention and reduction within multilateral frameworks such as APEC, East Asia Summit (EAS), and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Moreover, the two sides have smoothly carried out trilateral personnel and agriculture training cooperation projects in Afghanistan and Timor-Leste.
China-US military relations have generally maintained a momentum of steady progress. Since 2015 the two militaries have continued to improve their two mutual-confidence-building mechanisms: the Mutual Notification of Major Military Activities and the Rules of Behavior for the Safety of Air and Maritime Encounters. In 2015 they held their Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster-Relief Field Exercise and Disaster Management Exchanges in China and the US, respectively, and participated in Khaan Quest 2015 multinational peacekeeping military exercise and Exercise Kowari, a China-US-Australia trilateral military exercise. In January 2016 a working meeting of officials from the two ministries of defence was held in Beijing, and in May a video conference was held between the Chinese Chief of the Department of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Central Military Commission and the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. From late June to early August 2016, Chinese Navy Fleet 153 participated in RIMPAC 2016, a joint military exercise in Hawaii. In July and August the same year, the US Chief of Naval Operations and Chief of Staff of the Army each made a visit to China.
China is willing to promote the sustainable, sound and stable advance of bilateral relations, and work with the new US administration to follow the principles of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation, increase cooperation in bilateral, regional and global affairs, manage and control divergences in a constructive way, and further bilateral relations from a new starting point, so as to bring benefits to the two peoples and other peoples around the world.
2. China-Russia Relations
China and Russia are each other's biggest neighbor, and strategic partner of cooperation and priority in diplomacy. Over the years, China-Russia relations have gained healthy, stable and fast development, and made new achievements through joint efforts. In 2001 the two countries signed the Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, which established the idea of a lasting friendship in legal form. In 2011 the bilateral relationship was upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination based on equality, mutual trust, mutual support, common prosperity and lasting friendship. In 2014 the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination entered a new stage.
This partnership has presented a more positive momentum of development at a high level. President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have met frequently. During the latter's visit to China in June 2016 the two sides signed three joint statements: the Joint Statement by the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation, Joint Statement by the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Strengthening Global Strategic Stability, and Joint Statement by the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Cooperation in Information Cyberspace Development. In September that year the two heads of state met for the third time, during the G20 Hangzhou Summit, and agreed to increase their firm mutual support on issues concerning each other's core interests, energetically promote the idea of a lasting friendship established in the Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, actively promote their development strategies and their efforts to promote the Belt and Road Initiative and Eurasian Economic Union, hold a Year of Media Exchange, and maintain close coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs, so as to inject strong vigor into bilateral relations.
China and Russia have maintained good cooperation in Asia-Pacific affairs. The two sides continue to strengthen their cooperation within regional multilateral frameworks, safeguard the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and universally recognized norms governing international relations, uphold the achievements of World War II and international justice, advance the process of a political solution to regional hotspot issues, and contribute more positive energy to regional peace, stability, development and prosperity.
China-Russia military relations have made further progress. In 2015 the two militaries jointly commemorated the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War, and sent high-ranking officers and teams to each other's commemoration activities and military parades. The two militaries successfully held joint maritime drills twice in a year for the first time. China participated in all events of the international military skill competition hosted by Russia, and the first Chinese Military Culture Week was held in Russia. In 2016 the two militaries maintained positive interaction. The First Joint Computer-Enabled Anti-Missile Defence Exercise was held. China participated in the international military games in Russia and Kazakhstan. In September China and Russia conducted the Maritime Joint Exercise 2016. The two militaries have also maintained close coordination within the defence and security cooperation framework of the SCO.
3. China-India Relations
Since 2015 the China-India strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity has been further deepened. The two countries have set the goal of forging a closer development partnership, made new progress in exchanges and cooperation in various areas and stayed in close communication and coordination on regional and international issues.
The two countries have held frequent exchanges of high-level visits, and enhanced political mutual trust. President Xi Jinping met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Seventh BRICS Summit in Ufa in July 2015, the 16th SCO Summit in Tashkent in June 2016, the G20 Hangzhou Summit in September 2016, and the Eighth BRICS Summit in October 2016. In November 2015 Premier Li Keqiang met Indian Prime Minister Modi during the leaders' meetings for East Asia cooperation in Malaysia. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee visited China in May 2016, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited China in May 2015. Practical cooperation between the two countries has made solid progress in various areas. The two countries have maintained communication and coordination on international affairs and enhanced collaboration in the UN, BRICS, G20, China-India-Russia and other mechanisms. They have cooperated on climate change, the WTO Doha Round of negotiations, energy and food security, reform of international financial and monetary institutions, and global governance. Such cooperation has helped safeguard the common interests of China, India and other developing countries.
The relations between the Chinese and Indian militaries remain healthy and stable in general, with increasingly close communication and exchanges, and pragmatic cooperation in greater breadth and depth. Eight rounds of defence and security consultation and six joint military anti-terrorism training exercises have been held so far. Sound cooperation in personnel training, professional exchanges and other fields is being carried out. The two sides have also conducted border defence cooperation, which plays a positive role in maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border areas between China and India. Military leaders of the two sides visited each other in 2015 and 2016, and reached an important consensus on strengthening pragmatic cooperation between the two militaries and working together to maintain peace and stability in the border areas.
4. China-Japan Relations
Since 2015 China-Japan relations have maintained the momentum of improvement which started at the end of 2014. Upon invitation, President Xi Jinping met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the margins of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and the Asian-African Summit. He attended and gave an important speech at the China-Japan Friendship Exchange Meeting. Premier Li Keqiang met Prime Minister Abe during the China-Japan-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting in 2015 and during the Asia-Europe Meeting in 2016. During the G20 Hangzhou Summit in September 2016 President Xi Jinping had another meeting with Prime Minister Abe. The two sides resumed contacts at government, parliament and party levels in an orderly way. Three rounds of high-level political dialogue were held and exchanges and cooperation in various areas were steadily pushed forward. However, complex and sensitive factors still remain in bilateral relations. In response to Japan's negative moves concerning historical and maritime territory issues, China urges Japan to abide by the four political documents and the four-point principled agreement on bilateral relations, properly manage and control disputes and conflicts, and avoid creating obstacles to the improvement of bilateral relations.
Since the end of 2014 defence exchanges between the two countries have gradually resumed and developed. In November 2015 the Chinese and Japanese defence ministers met during the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting. The defence chiefs of the two countries have met several times on other multilateral occasions. In 2016 the defence ministries of the two countries conducted working-level exchanges. Since 2015, defence ministries of the two countries have held two expert panel consultations on the establishment of air and maritime contact mechanisms, with consensus reached on most matters.
5. China has continued developing friendly and cooperative relations with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, with enhanced political mutual trust, strengthened economic and trade relations, closer people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and enlarged defence cooperation, so as to jointly promote peace, stability, development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.
IV. China's Positions and Views on Regional Hotspot Issues
1. Nuclear Issue on the Korean Peninsula
China's position on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is consistent and clear-cut. China is committed to the denuclearization of the peninsula, its peace and stability, and settlement of the issue through dialogue and consultation. Over the years, China has made tremendous efforts to facilitate the process of denuclearization of the peninsula, safeguard the overall peace and stability there, and realize an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks. In January and September this year the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) conducted two nuclear tests and launched missiles of various types, violating UN Security Council resolutions and running counter to the wishes of the international community. China has made clear its opposition to such actions and supported the relevant Security Council resolutions to prevent the DPRK's further pursuit of nuclear weapons. 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. At the same time, other parties concerned should not give up the efforts to resume talks or their responsibilities to safeguard peace and stability on the peninsula.
2. Anti-Ballistic Missile Issue
The anti-ballistic missile issue concerns global strategic stability and mutual trust among major countries. China always holds the view that the anti-ballistic missile issue should be treated with discretion. Forming Cold War style military alliances and building global and regional anti-ballistic missile systems will be detrimental to strategic stability and mutual trust, as well as to the development of an inclusive global and regional security framework. Countries should respect other countries' security concerns while pursuing their own security interests, and follow the principle of maintaining global strategic stability without compromising the security of any country so as to jointly create a peaceful and stable international security environment featuring equality, mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation.
Despite clear opposition from relevant countries including China, the US and the Republic of Korea (ROK) announced the decision to start and accelerate the deployment of the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system in the ROK. Such an act would seriously damage the regional strategic balance and the strategic security interests of China and other countries in the region, and run counter to the efforts for maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. China firmly opposes the US and ROK deployment of the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system in the ROK, and strongly urges the US and the ROK to stop this process.
3. Afghanistan Issue
China supports peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan, and hopes to see an Afghanistan that is united, stable, prosperous and at peace with its neighboring countries. Since 2015 China has increased assistance to Afghanistan in support of that government's capacity building. In the wake of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in northern Afghanistan in October 2015 China provided assistance for disaster-relief efforts. China believes that only an inclusive reconciliation process that is "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned" can provide the ultimate solution to the Afghanistan issue. China will continue to play a constructive role in advancing the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
4. Counter-Terrorism Cooperation
At present, the counter-terrorism situation in the Asia-Pacific region is undergoing complex and profound changes. The region faces severe security and stability challenges posed by violent and extremist ideologies spreading at an ever-faster pace, more active terrorist and extremist forces, rising threats from cyber terrorism, and frequent violent terrorist activities, in particular the infiltration of international terrorist organizations and the inflow of foreign terrorist fighters.
Terrorism is a common scourge of the international community and humanity as a whole. The Chinese government opposes terrorism in all forms and calls on the international community to cooperate in fighting terrorism on the basis of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and other universally recognized norms governing international relations. China believes that dialogue among different civilizations should be enhanced and a holistic approach taken to eliminate the breeding grounds of terrorism by addressing both its symptoms and root causes by political, economic and diplomatic means. At the same time, there should be no double standard in fighting terrorism, which should not be associated with any particular country, ethnicity or religion.
5. Maritime Cooperation
The overall maritime situation remains stable in the region. It is all parties' common interest and consensus to maintain maritime peace, security and freedom of navigation and overflight. However, non-traditional maritime security threats are on the rise. The ecological environment in many marine areas has been damaged. Marine natural disasters occur frequently, and leaks of oil or hazardous chemicals happen from time to time. In addition, there are often cases of piracy, smuggling and drug trafficking. Misunderstandings and lack of mutual trust among some countries about traditional security issues also pose risks to maritime security.
China has called for even-handed, practical and mutually beneficial maritime security cooperation. It adheres to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the fundamental principles and legal system defined by universally recognized international laws and modern maritime laws, including the UNCLOS and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, in dealing with regional maritime issues, and is committed to coping with traditional and non-traditional maritime security threats through cooperation. Maintaining maritime peace and security is the shared responsibility of all countries in the region, and serves the common interests of all parties. China is dedicated to strengthening cooperation and jointly tackling challenges with all relevant parties so as to maintain maritime peace and stability.
China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. China has always been committed to resolving disputes peacefully through negotiation and consultation, managing disputes by setting rules and establishing mechanisms, realizing mutually beneficial outcomes through cooperation for mutual benefit, and upholding peace and stability as well as freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea. China and the ASEAN countries stay in close communication and dialogue on the South China Sea issue. When fully and effectively implementing the DOC, the two sides have strengthened pragmatic maritime cooperation, steadily advanced the consultations on COC and made positive progress. China resolutely opposes certain countries' provocations of regional disputes for their selfish interests. China is forced to make necessary responses to the provocative actions which infringe on China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea. No effort to internationalize and judicialize the South China Sea issue will be of any avail for its resolution; it will only make it harder to resolve the issue, and endanger regional peace and stability.
Issues concerning the Diaoyu Islands and maritime demarcation in the East China Sea exist between China and Japan. The Diaoyu Islands are an integral part of China's territory. China's sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands has a sufficient historical and legal basis. China and Japan have maintained dialogues on issues related to the East China Sea and held several rounds of high-level consultations. They have had communication and reached consensus on crisis management and control in the air and waters of the East China Sea, maritime law enforcement, oil and gas exploration, scientific research, fisheries and other issues. China is willing to properly manage the situation and resolve related issues through continued dialogue and consultation.
China and the ROK have extensive and in-depth exchanges of views on maritime demarcation, and launched relevant negotiations in December 2015.
V. China's Participation in Major Multilateral Mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific Region
1. China-ASEAN Cooperation
China regards ASEAN as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy, and firmly supports ASEAN's integration and community building as well as its centrality in regional cooperation. Following the principles of mutual respect,equality,good-neighborliness and mutually beneficial cooperation, China and ASEAN have further strengthened strategic dialogue, enhanced political mutual trust, and deepened practical cooperation in economy and trade, connectivity, finance, security, maritime affairs, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges, making continuous progress in their relations. During his visit to Southeast Asia in 2013 President Xi Jinping announced that China wants to build a closer China-ASEAN community of shared future.
In 2015 the China-ASEAN Defence Ministers' Informal Meeting was held in China for the first time. The two sides also held the Telecommunication Ministers' Meeting, AEM-MOFCOM Consultations, Transport Ministers' Meeting, and Prosecutors-Generals' Conference. In November of the same year, the two sides signed the Protocol to Amend the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Certain Agreements Thereunder Between China and ASEAN, which marked the conclusion of the negotiations on an upgraded China-ASEAN Free Trade Area.
The year 2016 sees the 25th anniversary of the China-ASEAN Dialogue and the Year of China-ASEAN Educational Exchanges. On September 7 the 19th China-ASEAN Summit to Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue was held in Vientiane, Laos. Premier Li Keqiang attended and reviewed with ASEAN leaders the progress in bilateral relations, summarized experiences, and outlined the direction for future development. The two sides have also held meetings of their ministers of foreign affairs, economy and trade, quality management and inspection. A series of commemoration events have been hosted, including the Reception in Commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations, Ninth China-ASEAN Education Cooperation Week, Second China-ASEAN Governors/Mayors Dialogue, International Conference to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations and China-ASEAN Week.
2. ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Cooperation
ASEAN Plus Three (APT) cooperation is the main vehicle for East Asia cooperation. China has called upon all parties to increase their input in implementing the Report of the East Asia Vision Group II and ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan 2013-2017, actively advanced the Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralization (CMIM) process, and supported the greater readiness and effectiveness of the CMIM and the capacity building of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office after its upgrading to an international organization, so as to contribute to East Asia's economic and financial stability. China has also pushed forward the negotiations on trade in goods and services, and the model of access to investment markets under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and encouraged other parties to issue the Joint Statement on RCEP Negotiations.
On September 7, 2016 the 19th ASEAN Plus Three Summit was held in Vientiane, Laos, during which Premier Li Keqiang made six proposals on enhancing APT cooperation: to reinforce financial security cooperation, to expand trade and investment cooperation, to promote agricultural and poverty reduction cooperation, to increase the level of connectivity, to create new models for industrial cooperation, and to expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges.
Since 2015 China has vigorously promoted practical cooperation within the APT framework, and held a series of events, including the Seventh East Asia Business Forum, Training Program on Understanding China, Ninth and Tenth Workshops on Cooperation for Cultural Human Resource Development, East Asia High-Level Investment Forum, Sixth Roundtable Meeting on Food Security, Second East Asia Modern Agricultural Workshop, exchange activities for young scientists, "Return to China" Project Cultural Event Series, Fourth International Workshop on ASEAN Plus Three Connectivity Partnership, Third and Fourth ASEAN Plus Three Village Leaders Exchange Programs, and 14th Asian Arts Festival.
3. China-Japan-ROK Cooperation
As major countries in East Asia, China, Japan and the ROK are the main drivers of East Asia economic integration. Stronger trilateral cooperation will be conducive not only to the development of the three countries, but also to regional stability and prosperity.
In 2015 China-Japan and ROK-Japan relations improved to some extent, ushering in a new phase of greater practical cooperation among the three countries in various fields. The Sixth China-Japan-ROK Summit was held on November 1 in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, where leaders of the three countries had an in-depth exchange of views on trilateral cooperation and international and regional issues of common interest, reiterated the importance they placed on trilateral cooperation, and agreed to properly handle relevant issues in the spirit of "facing history squarely and working together for the future," enhancing cooperation in political, economic, trade, fiscal, financial and cultural fields as well as on sustainable development. The meeting issued the Joint Declaration for Peace and Cooperation in Northeast Asia and other joint statements in agricultural, educational, and economic and trade sectors, which further enriched the trilateral cooperation and charted a course for future cooperation.
Since 2015 a number of meetings, forums and events among China, Japan and the ROK have been held, including the Ministerial Meetings on Foreign Affairs, Tourism, Water Resource, Environment, Finance, Economic and Trade, Agriculture, Culture, Health and Disaster Management, Central Bank Governors' Meeting, Meeting of Heads of Personnel Authorities, Trilateral Police Affairs Consultation and Counter-Terrorism Consultation, Director Generals' Meeting on Forestry Cooperation, Meeting of the Committee for Promoting Exchanges and Cooperation Among Universities, Northeast Asia Trilateral Forum, Tabletop Exercise on Disaster Management, Workshop on Marine Sciences and International Forum for Trilateral Cooperation, and several rounds of negotiations for a Free Trade Area.
4. East Asia Summit (EAS)
The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a leaders-led strategic forum. Remarkable progress has been made in EAS cooperation since 2015. Called for by China, the Fifth EAS Foreign Ministers' Meeting decided to extend the deadline of implementing the Plan of Action to Implement the Phnom Penh Declaration on the EAS Development Initiative to 2017.
At the 11th EAS held in Vientiane, Laos, on September 8, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang pointed out that cooperation in economic development and cooperation in political security were the two engines propelling the EAS, which should coordinate and synchronize with each other. On economic development, all parties should render strong support to regional connectivity, step up construction of free trade areas, and strengthen cooperation in social undertakings and people's livelihood. On political security, China advocates the new security concept featuring common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and supports all parties to strengthen cooperation on non-traditional security, discuss the building of a regional security framework, and properly settle hotspot and sensitive issues.
China actively promotes cooperation in various areas of the EAS. Since 2015 China has hosted the Second EAS New Energy Forum, Second EAS Clean Energy Forum, EAS Wildlife Protection Symposium, EAS Track II Seminar on Maritime Cooperation for Security in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Fifth EAS Workshop on Regional Security Framework, and the Fourth and Fifth EAS Earthquake Search and Rescue Exercises.
5. ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)
The ARF has become an influential and inclusive platform for official multilateral security dialogue and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. All parties have been making confidence-building measures as their core mission, promoting preventive diplomacy based on consensus, and steadily enhancing cooperation in non-traditional security fields.
On July 26, 2016 the 23rd ARF Ministerial Meeting was held in Vientiane, Laos. The Chinese side pointed out that the forum should focus on confidence-building measures throughout the whole process, and explore a preventive diplomacy mode compatible with the regional situation step by step on the basis of consensus. All sides should further strengthen dialogue and cooperation, enhance understanding and mutual trust among regional countries, work together to cope with non-traditional security threats and other challenges, and enable the forum to make greater contributions to regional peace and security.
China has actively led practical cooperation within the framework of the ARF. Since 2015 it has hosted the Workshop on Cyber Security Capacity Building, Third ARF Workshop on Space Security, ARF Seminar on Maritime Risk Management and Cooperation, ARF Workshop on Marine Oil Spill Emergency Response and Management and Disposal Cooperation, ARF Workshop on Strengthening Management of Cross-Border Movement of Criminals, ARF Workshop on Green Shipping, and ARF Workshop on Urban Emergency Rescue.
6. ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (ADMM-Plus)
The ADMM-Plus is the highest-level and largest defence and security dialogue and cooperation mechanism in the Asia-Pacific region. It has played a vital role in enhancing mutual trust and promoting pragmatic cooperation among the defence ministries and armed forces of all parties.
On November 4, 2015, at the Third ADMM-Plus held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Chinese side pointed out that all parties should push for the building of an open, inclusive, transparent and even-handed regional security cooperation framework, keep deepening pragmatic defence cooperation, properly handle disputes, manage and control risks, and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.
In 2016 the Chinese military has participated in the ADMM-Plus peacekeeping and demining joint exercise in India and the maritime security and counter-terrorism exercises in Brunei and Singapore. From 2017 to 2020 China and Thailand will co-chair the ADMM-Plus Experts' Working Group on Counter-terrorism.
7. Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC)
The establishment of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) framework was an important initiative put forward by Premier Li Keqiang at the 17th China-ASEAN Summit in November 2014. This initiative aims to enhance good-neighborliness and friendship among the six countries along the Lancang-Mekong River through pragmatic cooperation, promote sub-regional economic and social development, and forge a community of shared future for solidarity, mutual assistance, even-handed consultation, shared benefits and mutually beneficial cooperation in the sub-region. The LMC framework has China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam as its members.
The LMC has registered encouraging progress. One leaders' meeting, one foreign ministers' meeting and three senior officials' meetings have been held by November 2016. In November 2015 the First LMC Foreign Ministers' Meeting was held in Jinghong, in China's Yunnan Province, at which the foreign ministers of the six countries announced the start of the LMC process, reached broad consensus on the direction of future cooperation and the structure of the LMC, and put forward proposals for a number of cooperation projects.
On March 23, 2016 the First LMC Leaders' Meeting was held in Sanya, in China's Hainan Province, officially launching the LMC framework. Leaders of the six countries reviewed past progress, shared their vision for the future of the LMC, and agreed to coordinate their strategies for development, make overall planning of their cooperation resources, share the benefits of development, and build a community of shared future among the Lancang-Mekong countries. The meeting confirmed the "3+5" mechanism of cooperation: the three cooperation pillars of political and security issues, economic and sustainable development, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges; and the five key priority areas of connectivity, production capacity, cross-border economic cooperation, water resources, and agriculture and poverty reduction. The meeting issued the Sanya Declaration of the First Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders' Meeting and the Joint Statement on Production Capacity Cooperation Among the Lancang-Mekong Countries, and adopted a joint list of early-harvest programs in areas such as connectivity, water resources, public health and poverty reduction.
8. Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
Since 2015 the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has maintained sound and steady development. Progress has been made in political, security, economic and cultural cooperation, leading to the firmer international standing and greater influence of the SCO.
President Xi Jinping attended the 15th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of State of the SCO member states on July 9-10, 2015 in Ufa, Russia, where they signed the Ufa Declaration of the Heads of State of SCO Member States and the SCO Member States Agreement on Border Defence Cooperation, and approved important documents including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's Development Strategy until 2025 and the SCO Member States 2016-2018 Cooperation Program on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism.
Premier Li Keqiang chaired the 14th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) of the SCO member states held in China on December 14-15, 2015. The leaders at the meeting laid out plans for cooperation in various fields for the next stage, issued the Statement of the Heads of Govemment (Prime Ministers) of SCO Member States on Regional Economic Cooperation, adopted the resolution on Preparation for Creating the SCO Development Bank and the SCO Development Foundation (Specialized Account), and witnessed the signing of the Program of Interaction Between the Customs Agencies of the SCO member states for 2016-2021 and the Memorandum of Understanding between the Secretariat of the SCO and the Secretariat of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
On June 23-24, 2016 the 16th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of State of the SCO member states was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. President Xi Jinping attended the meeting. The heads of the member states signed the Tashkent Declaration on the 15th Anniversary of the SCO, approved the Action Plan for 2016-2020 on Implementation of the SCO Development Strategy Towards 2025, and adopted the Memorandums of the Obligations on the Entry of the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the SCO.
Since 2015 meetings of heads of various departments including security council secretaries, foreign ministers, defence ministers, economic and trade ministers, culture ministers and heads of emergency response agencies have been held. These meetings deepened and expanded cooperation in various fields, and increased the SCO's international influence. China has promoted and participated in SCO cooperation across the board. China's bilateral relations with other SCO member states, observer states and dialogue partners have continued to grow.
9. Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA)
On April 27-28, 2016 the Fifth Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the CICA member states was held in Beijing. President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony and delivered an important speech. The meeting issued the Declaration on Promoting Peace, Security, Stability and Sustainable Development in Asia Through Dialogue and adopted the 2016-2018 Cooperation Initiative of the CICA Member States for Drug Control and the 2016-2018 CICA Initiative for the Implementation of Confidence-Building Measures for the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises.
China has actively implemented the confidence-building measures of CICA in all fields and made innovative efforts in the cooperation platform of CICA. Since 2015 China has hosted the founding conference of the CICA Youth Council, founding assembly of CICA Business Council, First CICA Non-Governmental Forum and Third Think Tank Roundtable, which have helped to implement the confidence-building measures in cultural and economic fields, and promoted dialogue and exchange among young people, NGOs and think tanks.
VI. China's Participation in Regional Non-Traditional Security Cooperation
1. Disaster Relief
Since 2015 the Chinese government has been actively involved in and promoted exchanges and cooperation on disaster relief in the Asia-Pacific region. China hosted the Eighth SCO Meeting of Heads of Emergency Prevention and Relief Agencies and the Third China-Japan-ROK Tabletop Exercise on Disaster Management, co-hosted with Malaysia the Fourth ARF Disaster Relief Exercise, and participated in the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, Asian Ministerial Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, International Drill of the Emergency Prevention and Relief Agencies of the SCO Member States, the Ninth APEC Senior Disaster Management Officials' Forum and International Search and Rescue Advisory Group Asia-Pacific Regional Earthquake Response Exercise.
In January and July 2015 and in May 2016, when Malaysia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka were hit by devastating floods, China immediately provided relief supplies to the three countries. In the wake of severe earthquakes in Nepal in April 2015 China sent rescue and medical teams and transportation detachments to the country and provided mobile field hospitals in support of disaster-relief efforts.
The Chinese government will continue to work with relevant parties to improve mutual visits of officials, information sharing, personnel training, technological exchanges, simulation exercises, scientific research cooperation, material reserves and emergency aid, to enhance practical bilateral and multilateral cooperation in disaster relief, and improve disaster mitigation and relief capacity in the Asia-Pacific area.
2. Counter-Terrorism Cooperation
Since 2015 China has cooperated with a number of neighboring countries in combating terrorism-related human smuggling, and arrested a number of terrorist suspects and human smugglers active in the region. These efforts dealt a heavy blow to the illegal human smuggling networks of the "Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement" (ETIM) and other terrorist organizations, and effectively countered and prevented the infiltration efforts of the ETIM and other terrorist organizations.
China has held bilateral anti-terrorism consultations with the US, Russia, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, the ROK and Indonesia, hosted the 13th ARF Inter-Sessional Meeting on Counter-terrorism and Transnational Crimes, and promoted cooperation on combating Internet-spread violent and terrorist audios/videos and cross-border terrorist activities. In addition, by taking an active part in the APEC Counter-terrorism Working Group, the Global Counter-terrorism Forum and the ASEAN plus China Meeting on Transnational Crime at ministerial level, China has strengthened exchanges in anti-terrorism cooperation.
China, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan have established a coordination mechanism on counter-terrorism cooperation among the military forces of the four countries, aimed at conducting coordination on situation analysis, verification of clues, sharing of intelligence, capacity building, joint training and personnel training, and providing mutual assistance.
3. Cooperation in Combating Transnational Crimes
The Chinese government places high importance on combating trans-national crimes, and is committed to fully and earnestly implementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). China has concluded 123 judicial assistance and extradition treaties with 70 countries, and actively promoted the establishment of bilateral judicial and law-enforcement cooperation mechanisms with the US and Canada. These efforts have provided a solid legal basis and effective platform for China's cooperation with relevant countries in combating transnational crime in all forms.
China is actively involved in international cooperation in combating transnational organized crimes and maintains sound cooperation with the UN and other international and regional organizations. It has facilitated law-enforcement and security cooperation along the Mekong River and conducted multiple joint actions with Southeast Asian countries in combating transnational crimes, and effectively fought against human trafficking, telecom fraud, economic crimes and drug-related crimes that are prevalent in the region. In October 2015 China hosted the China-ASEAN Ministerial Dialogue on Law Enforcement and Security Cooperation with the theme "Security for Prosperity" and the Ministerial Meeting on Law Enforcement and Security Cooperation along the Mekong River. In the Second Safe Mekong Joint Operation by China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, over 10,000 suspects were arrested, more than 9,000 drug-related cases were solved, and a large quantity of narcotics was seized.
China stands ready to enhance judicial and law-enforcement cooperation with relevant countries in a joint effort to fight transnational crimes, and calls on all countries to enhance their political will for international cooperation, overcome differences in legal systems, promote cooperation within the framework of the UNTOC, including cooperation on extradition, provide wide judicial assistance, and cooperate in the recovery and disposal of criminal proceeds. China also encourages countries concerned to negotiate and conclude bilateral extradition and judicial assistance treaties for more concrete outcomes in cooperation to combat trans-national crimes.
4. Cyber Security
Currently, cyber security is acquiring greater importance. Asia-Pacific countries are placing high importance on cyber security, increasing input and actively conducting dialogue and regional cooperation on this issue. China is a staunch supporter of and an active participant in international efforts to ensure cyber security. It believes that cyberspace should be used to promote economic and social development, maintain international peace and stability, and improve the well-being of mankind. Countries should strengthen dialogue and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and build a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace and a multilateral, democratic and transparent international Internet regime. It is imperative that a universally accepted international code of conduct is formulated within the UN framework.
Since 2015 China has continued to promote cyber security within the UN framework, and been deeply involved in the process. China and other SCO member states have jointly submitted an updated version of the International Code of Conduct for Information Security to the UN General Assembly. China has contributed to the endeavors to formulate international rules governing cyberspace by taking an active part in and facilitating the efforts of the UN's Group of Governmental Experts on Cyber Security to produce its final report, which affirms that the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, including sovereign equality, non-interference in others' internal affairs, and non-use of force, also apply to cyberspace. China has also played a constructive role in the UN Internet Governance Forum and the High-Level Meeting on the Overall Review of the Implementation of the Outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society.
China has continuously strengthened bilateral dialogues and practical cooperation on cyber security with countries in the region. China and Russia have signed the Information Security Cooperation Agreement and held a new round of consultation on cyber security. China-Japan-ROK, China-ROK and China-EU dialogues on cyber security have been held. China and the US held the High-Level Joint Dialogue on Cybercrime and Related Issues.
China attaches great importance to and takes an active part in regional mechanisms under the ARF, BRICS and SCO in order to promote balanced and inclusive development of network security cooperation in the region. China is actively involved in the BRICS Expert Working Group on Cyber-Security and the SCO Expert Group on International Information Security, and has worked on the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization to establish a Working Group on International Legal Issues Concerning Cyber Space. China also hosted the Second World Internet Conference.
5. Cooperation on Maritime Security
The year 2015 was the year of China-ASEAN maritime cooperation. Maritime cooperation is a key part of building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. China and the ASEAN countries conducted a series of exchanges and cooperative events on maritime security, scientific research and environmental protection. China and Thailand conducted a scientific expedition in the Andaman Sea, and held the Fourth Joint Committee Meeting on Marine Cooperation. China and Malaysia signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of the China-Malaysia Joint Oceanographic Research Center. The construction of the China-Indonesia Center for the Oceans and Climate, and the Joint Oceanic Observation Station proceeded in an orderly way. The Third China-Southeast Asian Countries Marine Research and Environmental Protection Cooperation Forum was also held.
China has actively participated in and advanced dialogues and cooperation on maritime security. Since 2015 China has hosted the Asia-Pacific Heads of Maritime Administrations Conference, the multi-task exercise "Cooperation for Law Enforcement 2015" of the North Pacific Coast Guard Agencies Forum, International Training Course for Lighthouse Management Personnel in the Asia-Pacific Area and the Asia-Pacific Mass Rescue Operation Training Course and Tabletop Exercise. China has continued its cooperation with Australia and Malaysia in the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370, and provided 20 million Australian dollars for follow-up search-and-rescue efforts in this regard.
China has vigorously supported the capacity building and development of the Information Sharing Center (ISC) under the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery, and accredited maritime police officers to the ISC. In June 2016, as requested by Vietnam, China dispatched vessels and airplanes to assist in searching for and rescuing Vietnamese airplanes which had crashed, along with their crew members. From December 2008 to January 2016 Chinese fleets sent to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters as escorts conducted 909 missions, escorting 6,112 Chinese and foreign civilian vessels.
6. Cooperation in Non-Proliferation and Disarmament
China supports and takes an active part in international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation efforts, and stands for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. China has earnestly implemented the outcomes of all the review conferences of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), and played a constructive role in the Ninth NPT review conference and the P5 Conference on Implementing the NPT. China stands ready to work with all parties through unremitting efforts to achieve the three NPT goals of "nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, and peaceful use of nuclear power."
China holds that establishing a Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone is of great significance for promoting regional and global peace and stability. China supports the efforts of ASEAN countries to establish a Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone, and stands for the early signing and going into effect of the protocol to the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone. China has solved all the remaining issues concerning the protocol with ASEAN, and looks forward to the signing of the protocol at an early date. China will continue to participate constructively in consultation between ASEAN and the five nuclear countries, and facilitate consultation between ASEAN and the other four nuclear countries to resolve their differences so that the protocol can be signed and come into effect at an early date.
China stands for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of all weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, opposes the development, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons by any one, and supports the purposes and goals of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, and the work of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). China is earnest in fulfilling its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention in its entirety, and attaches great importance to and supports international exchanges and cooperation under the convention.
In 2015 China held the 13th Regional Meeting of National Authorities of Asian State Parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction, hosted the Advanced Protection and Assistance Course with the OPCW, and held the Training Course on National Points of Contacts of States in the Asia-Pacific Region together with the UN Security Council 1540 Committee. China also participated in the Asian Senior-Level Talks on Non-Proliferation, ARF Inter-Sessional Workshop on Non-Proliferation, and other related events.
The Chinese people are working hard to realize the Chinese Dream of the great renewal of the Chinese nation. In this process, China will bring greater opportunities and benefits for development and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. China's development adds to the momentum for world peace. China will firmly follow the path of peaceful development and the policy of "building friendship and partnership with neighboring countries" to create an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood. China remains committed to the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in conducting neighborhood diplomacy and the goal of maintaining and promoting stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. China stands ready to work with all countries in the region to pursue mutually beneficial cooperation and steadily advance security dialogues and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, and the building of a new model of international relations so as to create a brighter future for this region.