President Xi Jingping Calls for New Security Architecture in Asia
May 21, 2014 • 6:54PM

Opening the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Chinese President Xi Jinping called for the creation of a new security architecture in Asia. Rejecting the notion of the Cold War model where countries create security alliances in opposition to an envisioned foe, Xi said the new conditions in the world require a new thinking on the matter. Xi stated:

"A military alliance which is targeted at a third party is not conducive to common regional security."

With a clear aim at the U.S. which is beefing up its "traditional alliances," Xi went on:

"No country should seek absolute security of itself at the expense of others.... We cannot just have security for one or a few countries while leaving the rest insecure."

Quoting an old Kazakh saying, he warned:

"One who tries to blow out another's lamp will set his beard on fire."

Xi stressed the importance of security in both traditional and non-traditional fields. He pledged "zero tolerance" for terrorism, separatism, and extremism:

"We should take into account the historical background and reality of Asia's security issues, adopt a multi-pronged and holistic approach, and enhance regional security governance in a coordinated way."

To build an Asian security mansion that can stand the test of wind storms, Xi said:

"...we need to focus on development, actively improve people's lives, narrow the wealth gap and cement the foundation of security."

He noted that his proposal for the two Silk Roads was an attempt to promote the development of the region. Xi also said that China would use the next two years when it chairs the CICA to make it into a security dialogue and cooperation platform covering the whole of Asia. He called for efforts to enhance the capacity and institutional building of the CICA, improvements to the functions of the secretariat, and establishment of a mechanism within the conference for defense consultations among member states.

"China will fulfill the responsibilities of CICA chairman and work with other sides to improve the status and role of CICA to take Asian security cooperation to a higher level."

CICA is comprised of 27 nations, and the Shanghai summit drew dignitaries from 47 countries or international organizations. China took over the chairmanship of the organization from Turkey. While it has not until this point had a very high profile, that will now change.