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Ambassador Liu Zhenmin Speaks on East Asia Cooperation at Geneva Centre for Security Policy
2012/10/24

Ambassador Liu Zhenmin spoke on the challenges and opportunities of East Asia cooperation to a group of diplomats and defense officials from 24 countries at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) on October 24. He also presented China's views on the Diaoyu Dao issue.

Ambassador Liu first gave an overview of the history and current state of East Asia Cooperation, describing cooperation in the region as a luxury during the Cold War and the end of the Cold War as a watershed. He referred the Asian financial crisis of 1997 as a catalyst which put East Asia cooperation on fast track. He gave examples of achievements in economic and trade, security cooperation as well as institutional building, citing the ASEAN, '10+3', '10+X' and ASEAN Regional Cooperation.

Ambassador Liu then highlighted China's role in East Asia cooperation, saying that China is one of the earliest advocates for East Asia cooperation and an active player, contributor and beneficiary of the process, in economic, trade and security cooperation as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

Ambassador Liu identified five major challenges faced in East Asia cooperation, including great regional divergence, complex grievances, institutional deficiency, coordination among mechanisms and interaction with the United States. He emphasized that East Asian countries must never return to the Cold War or zero-sum mentality, and should adopt a philosophy of common security and shared development, respect and treat each other as equals, continuously enhance mutual political trust, pursue common development through mutually-beneficial and win-win cooperation, and embrace openness and inclusiveness. 'Of course, countries outside the region are expected to play a positive role in East Asia cooperation, rather the opposite', he added.

   

On the issue of Diaoyu Dao, Ambassador Liu described it as an issue between China and Japan left over from history. He reiterated the Chinese position that Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands have been an inherent Chinese territory in historical, geographic and legal terms. He cited historical facts and international documents to prove that the recent actions by the Japanese side have seriously encroached upon China's sovereignty, represent an outright denial of the outcomes of the victory of the world anti-fascist war and pose a grave challenge to the post-war international order and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. He also said that moves of the Japanese government to mislead the international public opinion can in no way change the historical fact that Japan 'stole' the Diaoyu Dao islands from China. Stressing the Chinese Government's firm resolve to safeguard China's sovereignty, he urged the Japanese side to immediately stop all activities that violate China's territorial sovereignty, take concrete actions to correct its mistakes, and return to the track of negotiation with China for resolving the dispute and promoting joint development.

   

On the interaction between China and US in East Asia and the Pacific, Ambassador Liu said that China-US cooperation and flourishing of the Asia Pacific go hand in hand and that despite divergences the two countries have become collaborating partners on a wide range of issues. 'We believe that China-US relations are mature enough...And as long as both countries work together, keep their heads cool in dealing with disputes, they will be able to find a positive model of interaction in the Asia Pacific, characterized by peaceful co-existence, benign competition, and win-win cooperation,' he said.

The Geneva Centre for Security Policy is a renowned Swiss institute of research and training on international security issues. Participants of the centre's flagship training course, the International Training Course in Security Policy (ITC), attended the event.

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