Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

China calls for new Asian security structure based on group with Russia, Iran that excludes US

Vietnam's Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan, left, is greeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping before the opening ceremony at the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit in Shanghai, China Wednesday, May 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Ralston, Pool)

Enlarge Image

Vietnam's Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan, left, is greeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping before the opening ceremony at the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit in Shanghai, China Wednesday, May 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Mark Ralston, Pool)

SHANGHAI - China's president called Tuesday for the creation of a new Asian structure for security co-operation based on a regional group that includes Russia and Iran and excludes the United States.

President Xi Jinping spoke at a meeting in Shanghai of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building measures in Asia, an obscure group that has taken on significance as Beijing tries to extend its influence and limit the role of the United States, which it sees as a strategic rival.

"We need to innovate our security co-operation (and) establish new regional security co-operation architecture," said Xi, speaking to an audience that included President Vladimir Putin of Russia and leaders of Central Asian countries.

Xi made no mention of Beijing's conflict with Vietnam over the deployment of a Chinese oil rig in a disputed portion of the South China Sea.

CICA, whose 24 member nations also include Korea, Thailand and Turkey, should become a "security dialogue and co-operation platform" and should "establish a defence consultation mechanism," Xi said. He said it should create a "security response centre" for major emergencies.

The proposal marks the latest effort by Beijing to build up groups of Asian or developing governments to offset the influence of the United States and other Western governments in global affairs.

In 2001, it founded the Shanghai Cooperation Organization with Russia and four Central Asia nations to counterbalance rising American influence in the region and to combat Islamic and separatist political movements. Beijing also is a force in the BRICS group of major developing countries with Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa.

Beijing sees common cause with other CICA members such as Russia and Sri Lanka in promoting a political model that pairs autocratic government with a market-oriented economy in defiance of the Western liberal democratic model.

CICA was formed in 1992 at the initiative of Kazakhstan but has been little more than a discussion forum. Other members include U.S. allies such as Israel, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. Japan, seen by Beijing as a strategic rival, is an observer.

The group is unlikely to produce a real security alliance, said Ross Babbage, chairman of Australia's Kokoda Foundation, a security think-tank .

"Alliances are not based on a piece of paper. They're the result of real trust and interaction," he said. "There may be some agreements ahead, but in reality, I don't see an alliance emerging."

However, Babbage said Putin's presence at the meeting was significant for China-Russia relations at a time when both are diplomatically isolated — Russia over Ukraine and China over its territorial disputes and U.S. accusations of cyber spying.

Both Putin and Xi are grappling with economic and political challenges and being assertive abroad can help to build nationalist support at home, Babbage said.

"There's an interesting synergy from shared circumstances, with large parts of the world lining up against them and expressing strong concerns over their behaviour," he said.

China is embroiled in conflicts with Japan over the East China Sea and with Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries over conflicting claims to portions of the South China Sea.

Washington has complained China is being provocative. Beijing says the Obama administration's effort to shift foreign policy emphasis toward Asia and expand its military presence in the region is emboldening Japan and other neighbours and fueling tension.

Xi said Asian nations need to respond collectively to mounting problems including terrorism, transnational crime, cyber security, energy security and natural disasters.

"We should have zero tolerance for terrorism, separatism and extremism and should strengthen international co-operation and step up the fight against the 'three forces'," he said.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Sudden Surge: Flood of 2014
Opportunity Magazine — The Bakken
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media