Ensuring peace in Asia

Updated: 2014-04-28 07:20

(China Daily)

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There are two options to safeguard Asia's security: relying on big powers and Cold War alliances to deter threats to regional order, or building an Asian community of common destiny featuring trust and development.

The former one seems to be the first choice, not necessarily the right one, of the United States, whose president is on a four-nation visit to Asia, says a Xinhua commentary.

One of the main aims of Barack Obama's trip is to assure the US' allies and partners in the region that the US stands behind them. However, when it comes to the real threats to Asia's security, especially Japan's turn to the right, the US finds it difficult to articulate a clear policy.

On non-traditional threats to security such as transnational crime, terrorism and the energy crisis, the US has also failed to impart any confidence that its power could, or at least is willing to, protect the interests of Asian people from disasters.

As long as the Cold War security structure remains, the rhetoric of a peaceful Asia will be empty. Strengthening alliances while excluding the common interests of other countries will do nothing except shore up existing tensions.

It is due to the ineffectiveness of this old mentality that China is advocating common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security measures.

There are doubts as to the effectiveness of this still young concept, as historical disputes and interest frictions frequently linger on the largest and most populous continent.

But it has become a consensus in Asia that without economic development, equality, mutual trust and cooperation, neither traditional nor non-traditional security can be guaranteed.

China's two initiatives, to build a Silk Road Economic Belt and a 21st-century Maritime Silk Road, have shown its willingness to explore ways to create concrete common interests and friendship with other Asian countries.

Adhering to the principle of peaceful co-existence, China respects the traditional influence and current interest of the US in the region, and is happy to see the interests of both sides are becoming increasingly interwoven, as it means steadier relations and stronger will to settle security threats together.

History tells us tragedy can occur when the power balance changes in a region, but in a time when all sides should be wise enough to have learned the lessons of the past, history need not repeat itself.

(China Daily 04/28/2014 page10)