China Calls for New Security Concept in Asia

Chinese President Hu Jintao is calling for a new Asia security formula that sidesteps disagreements in a region increasingly beset by rival territorial claims. His comments came at a regional gathering on the southern Chinese island of Hainan.

Chinese President Hu Jintao called for better cooperation among Asian nations.

Hu said countries in Asia need to seek common ground, avoid differences and enhance common security. He added that these countries should, in his words, reject the Cold War mentality in favor of what he called a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination.

His comments came Friday at the Boao Forum for Asia, which China bills as an Asian version of the World Economic Forum that is held annually in the Swiss town of Davos.

Leaders from Brazil, Russia and South Africa joined the Chinese president on the stage. One day earlier, they had taken part in a meeting of five large emerging world powers, known as the BRICS countries, which also includes India.

Other leaders who were at the enlarged Boao meeting included the prime ministers of Japan, South Korea, Spain and the Ukraine.

In his speech, Hu said the people of Asia have a shared mission to promote common development. He also sought to appeal to a sense of camaraderie – especially among China’s closest neighbors.

The Chinese leader stressed that Asians belong to one family.

In recent years, China has been involved in maritime territorial disputes over islands in the South and East China seas. The conflicts have prompted a regional backlash that has seen many of the rival claimants draw closer to the United States, which is the region’s dominant naval power.

Stephanie Ho

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