China’s ‘white paper” and Sri Lanka

A white paper issued last week by China virtually puts Sri Lanka on notice on why Sri Lanka needs China both today and tomorrow.

The white paper on policies related to Asia-Pacific security cooperation also clarified the nation’s stance on issues of regional concern.

China has been a active development partner to Sri Lanka and while that relationship faced some threats after the new government took office, it seems to be back on track once again.

In the white paper, China notes that in January and July 2015 and in May 2016, when Malaysia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka were hit by devastating floods, China immediately provided relief supplies to the three countries.

This sends a message to Sri Lanka that China is ready to do its part for Sri Lanka. But what it does not mention is that Sri Lanka needs to reciprocate.

The white paper, “China’s Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation” was released by the State Council Information Office.

Outlining China’s concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, the white paper explained the Chinese approach to achieving peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
The policy package includes the promotion of common development; the building of partnerships; improvement of existing multilateral frameworks; rule-setting; military exchanges; and proper settlement of differences.

The Asia-Pacific region covers a vast area with numerous countries and 60 percent of the world’s population. It’s economic and trade volumes take up nearly 60 percent and half of the world’s total, respectively. It has an important strategic position in the world. In recent years, the development of the Asia-Pacific region has increasingly caught people’s attention. It has become the most dynamic region with the strongest potential in the world. All parties are attaching greater importance to and investing more in this region. With the profound adjustment of the pattern of international relations, the regional situation of the Asia-Pacific area is also undergoing profound changes.

China says it is committed to promoting peace and stability in this region. It follows the path of peaceful development and the mutually beneficial strategy of opening up, and pursues friendly cooperation with all countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. It has participated in regional cooperation in an all-round way and taken active steps in response to both traditional and non-traditional security challenges, contributing to lasting peace and common prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

Currently, the situation in the Asia-Pacific region is stable on the whole, with a strong momentum for peace and development. The Asia-Pacific region is a stable part of the global landscape.

As an important member of the Asia-Pacific family, China is fully aware that its peaceful development is closely linked with the future of the region. China has all along taken the advancement of regional prosperity and stability as its own responsibility. China says it is ready to pursue security through dialogue and cooperation in the spirit of working together for mutually beneficial results, and safeguard peace and stability jointly with other countries in the region.

“First, we should promote common development and lay a solid economic foundation for peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. To enhance the convergence of economic interests is an important basis for sound state-to-state relations. Common development provides a fundamental safeguard for peace and stability, and holds the key to various security issues. Considerable achievements have been made in economic cooperation. On this basis, we should accelerate the process of economic integration and continue to advance the building of free trade areas and connectivity as well as comprehensive economic and social development. We should implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and narrow the developmental gap in the region, so that all countries and people of all social strata will enjoy the dividends of development, and the interests of countries will be more closely intertwined,” the white paper notes.

China also called for the building of a new model of international relations centered on mutually beneficial cooperation.

China also says it has committed itself to working with the United States to build a new model of major-country relations featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and mutually beneficial cooperation. China is also committed to deepening its comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination with Russia and establishing a closer partnership with India. It is also pushing for the improvement of its relations with Japan.

The white paper says Chinese leaders have repeatedly elaborated on the concept of a community of shared future on many different occasions. China is working to construct a community of shared future for countries along the Lancang-Mekong River and between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as in Asia and the Asia-Pacific area as a whole.

“Third, we should improve the existing regional multilateral mechanisms and strengthen the framework for supporting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. All parties concerned should adhere to multilateralism, oppose unilateralism, further support the development of regional multilateral security mechanisms, push for close coordination between relevant mechanisms, and play a bigger role in enhancing mutual understanding and trust, and expanding exchanges and cooperation in the field of security dialogues,” the white paper said.

China is willing to promote the sustainable, sound and stable advance of bilateral relations, and work with the new US administration to follow the principles of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation, increase cooperation in bilateral, regional and global affairs, manage and control divergences in a constructive way, and further bilateral relations from a new starting point, so as to bring benefits to the two peoples and other peoples around the world.

The white paper notes the Chinese people are working hard to realize the Chinese Dream of the great renewal of the Chinese nation. In this process, China will bring greater opportunities and benefits for development and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. China’s development adds to the momentum for world peace. China will firmly follow the path of peaceful development and the policy of “building friendship and partnership with neighboring countries” to create an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood. China remains committed to the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in conducting neighborhood diplomacy and the goal of maintaining and promoting stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. China stands ready to work with all countries in the region to pursue mutually beneficial cooperation and steadily advance security dialogues and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, and the building of a new model of international relations so as to create a brighter future for this region.


Comments are closed.