MH60S

Thursday, July 20, 2006

China holds security conference

As Taiwan holds a Coastline Security Conference, China holds a regional security conference, as reported here:
More than 30 senior defense officers of China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Tuesday gathered in Beijing to discuss Asia-Pacific regional security.

"The first-ever workshop between Chinese and ASEAN defense departments aims at probing into the security opportunities and challenges facing China and ASEAN countries in Asia-Pacific region," said Jia Xiaoning, deputy director of Foreign Affairs Office of Chinese Defense Ministry.

The four-day workshop will cover a wide range of topics, ranging from China and ASEAN influences on Asia-Pacific security, east Asian maritime security cooperation to militaries' role in international humanitarian aid, anti-terror and peace-keeping operations.

While hailing enhanced cooperation between the armed forces in China and ASEAN countries, Jia said that "this workshop will particularly explore the prospects and ways to promote military and security cooperation between China and ASEAN countries."

"China and ASEAN have more and more common security interests during the process of the regionalization," said Han Feng, deputy director of Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

As this year marks the fifteenth anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue, a series of commemorative events have been planned and launched, including the ongoing security workshop.

Development of China and ASEAN is a parallel rather than running against each other, so cooperation will be more important than "threat", Han said.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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