New Asian security concept will build a world of peace and prosperity

Chen Zhuo
2019-06-16 00:38:07

Editor's note: Li Haidong, professor of the Institute of International Relations, China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU). The article reflects the expert's opinion, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

In recent years, the world has generally enjoyed stability, though with disruptions. The trends of anti-globalization and populism have greatly impacted the regional and global order.

Some major powers, in an attempt to maintain hegemony, unravel the close security ties and interdependence among most countries by consolidating its own alliances.

This old security concept and its practice have split the whole world and will continue to divide it, bringing serious damage to international peace. The world is in dire need of a healthy and constructive approach to security, calling for a new security framework different.

The mobile and dynamic Asia provides a broad stage for people to develop and practice a new security concept and framework. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) have provided specific institutional frameworks for Asian countries to implement the new security concept.

Their development has also vividly demonstrated the regional stability brought about by the new security concept in Asia. In summary, the new Asian security concept includes the following core elements.

hinese President Xi Jinping (2nd L, front) and other leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries and observer states, as well as representatives of regional and international bodies, head for group photos during the 19th meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, June 14, 2019. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

First of all, regional security and national security should be shored up by cooperation and partnership rather than confrontation and alliance. The SCO and CICA mechanisms are not military alliances; they do not target specific major powers, showcase or reinforce their own strength for geopolitical competition among big countries.

On the contrary, both the SCO and CICA are cooperative security systems. They play their own security roles by resolving regional disputes through close cooperation among member states, reflecting the new Asian security concept featuring "partnership and non-alignment."

Secondly, it emphasizes the equality of all members in the security system and insists on inclusiveness based on the principle of security indivisibility of all countries.

The SCO and CICA mechanisms are inclusive, ensuring all member states are truly equal. By contrast, among operational security organizations in Eurasia, the West-dominated ones have seen the most cases of large countries taking the lead while small countries following orders.

The U.S.-led alliances emphasize the homogeneity (or consistency) of the ideology, political system or values of member countries. This is an exclusive security concept based on the principle of security divisibility, which excludes countries with different values from the West, the inevitable result of which is confrontation among countries or conflicts among countries of different systems.

The security indivisibility and inclusiveness embodied by the SCO and CICA are far greater than that of most regional security organizations with operational capabilities. Countries with different civilizations, different stages of development, and different levels of national strength, different ideologies and political systems have joined the SCO and CICA, addressing and resolving a diverse range of security issues among member countries. This is an important feature of the new Asian security concept.

Street scenery in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. /CGTN Photo

Thirdly, the new Asian security concept emphasizes the openness of the security system and the comprehensiveness of security issues it addresses. Both the SCO and CICA adhere to the principle of openness, making them more attractive and influential in the process of security building in Asia.

Such openness enables the SCO and CICA to maintain dynamic interaction with countries outside. The openness of this security framework also ensures that the SCO and CICA can meet different levels of security needs of Asian countries, thus maintaining its long-term vitality and universal attraction.

The new Asian security concept emphasizes the comprehensiveness of security. Different from the military-centered "hard security" concept of Western countries, the new Asian security concept values the importance of comprehensive security.

It not only addresses direct traditional security threats such as terrorism, separatism and extremism, but also deals with non-conventional security issues such as nuclear proliferation, transnational crime, drug trafficking, and the common challenge of climate change.

This new security concept will maximize cooperation and promote mutual reliance among countries on the issue of security.

It's safe to say that putting the new Asian security concept into practice will provide a strong security guarantee for the lasting stability and prosperity in Asia, and ultimately forge a bright prospect for the Asian community of a shared future.

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