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Chicago Sun-Times, Commentary China Offers Working Model of New Security Concept January 11, 2003 By Tang Jiaxuan
2003-11-03 00:00

The traditional security concept stressed military muscle to overwhelm one's adversary. The end of the Cold War made it possible for dialogue to replace confrontation and peace to supersede war, as longing for
peace, development, cooperation and a more stable environment has become the mainstream. The new international situation calls for a new security concept.

In the early 1980s, Chinese leaders pointed out that peace and development constituted two overriding themes of the world and began to call for a new security concept. In 1999, Chinese President Jiang Zemin laid
out the core of this new security concept as mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination.
Mutual trust means that all countries should transcend their ideologies and social systems and refrain from mutual suspicion and animosity.

They should, on a regular basis, hold dialogues and briefings on their security and defense policies and on the major actions they are about to take. Mutual benefit means that all countries treat each other's security interests with respect and endeavor to achieve common security by creating conditions for others' security while pursuing one's own security interests. Equality means that all countries should respect one
another, treat one another as equals and refrain from interfering in other countries' internal affairs. Coordination means that countries should settle their disputes through peace negotiations and go in for broad and in-depth cooperation on security issues of mutual interest, with a view to preventing war or conflict.

The 9/11 incident underlined the rising challenges from nontraditional security threats. International security cooperation centered on the fight against terrorism in the wake of 9/11 has been quite fruitful. At
the same time, development has become a key element in the discussion of international security, yet it has not been properly taken care of.

Economic globalization has opened new windows for international economic and technological interactions, but the gap between the North and South counties is widened. Should a proper solution to the development issue remain elusive, international strategic stability will be seriously affected, and terrorism will be given fertile grounds to spread.

Since the end of the Cold War, China's foreign policy has taken the new security concept as the basis. China has resolved its land boundary issue with most of its neighbors through negotiation. China values the role of the United Nations in maintaining world peace and promoting common development, and takes an active part in UN peacekeeping operations.

China regards highly the role of regional security dialogue and cooperation in maintaining regional peace and promoting intra-regional cooperation. Founded jointly by China and some of its neighbors, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has heralded a model of security cooperation that is non-aligned, non-confrontational and not directed against other countries or regions. China has actively participated in the Association of South East Asian Nations Regional Forum and Asia-Europe Meeting and regional economic cooperation of various kinds, viewing the mutually beneficial economic cooperation as an important avenue to achieve security. In November 2001, China and the ASEAN launched the process of establishing China-ASEAN Free Trade Area within 10 years.

Like many other countries, China is a victim of terrorism and has dedicated itself to fighting terrorism and removing its root causes. After 9/11, China supported every anti-terrorism resolution by the United
Nations and has participated actively against terrorism in the political, economic, diplomatic, law enforcement and intelligence fields. In the 21st century characterized by globalization, nations depend on one another for security and should seek security through mutual trust and cooperation through mutual benefit. China is ready to work with the United States and other countries in the discussion of the new security concept and make its contribution to world peace and development. Tang Jiaxuan is minister of foreign affairs of the People's Republic of China.

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