Beijing: China on Tuesday made a strong pitch for a "new architecture" of Asia-Pacific security cooperation along with India, Myanmar and others as it targeted the US on the Iraq imbroglio, saying any attempt to oust the legitimate regime of a country through illegal means should be opposed.
Quoting Rabindranath Tagore at the 60th anniversary of Panchsheel, the five principles of peaceful coexistence, in the presence of Vice President Hamid Ansari and Myanmar President Thein Sein, Chinese President Xi Jinping said it is "unacceptable to have security just for one country or some countries while leaving the rest insecure."
Though Xi made no direct mention of the US or Iraq, his remarks came close on the heels of Chinese leaders citing Iraq as the living example of how the new interventionist policies by the West in name of curbing terrorism has sowed chaos.
"We should work for a new architecture of Asia-Pacific security cooperation that is open, transparent and equality- based, and bring all countries together in a common endeavor to maintain peace and security in both our region and the world," Xi said, adding that China will never seek hegemony no matter how strong it becomes.
Ansari, who is on a five-day visit to China, said India, China and Myanmar are bound by age-old linkages and geography.
"We need a new paradigm for global action. Our destinies are intertwined. Our quest is, should be, for a framework in which opportunities and challenges for the betterment of our societies co-exist," he said addressing a commemorative meeting of the 60th anniversary of the Panchsheel.
"In this endeavour, Panchsheel can act as a catalyst to help us better coordinate our efforts, enhance mutual understanding, share developmental experiences and tackle trans-national threats more effectively," he said.
Ansari said India and China have to narrow down differences and build on convergences by exploiting the potential of Panchsheel, propounded by the two countries along with Myanmar in 1954.
"On the way forward, we have to build on our convergences and narrow down our differences. Panchsheel can help us exploit this potential for cooperation and come up with fresh, innovative initiatives to improve the lives of our people," Ansari said.
Myanmar President Sein said the countries have to work hand in hand and tell the world to recognise these principles.
China and India are economic power houses of the region and they will have to lead.
"We are confident that the five principles will play a greater role in inter-state relations. The relations between the three countries can be consolidated," Sein said.
In his address, Ansari said besides being ancient civilizations and neighbours, India and China are also strategic partners.
"The imperatives of the 21st century propel us towards a better understanding of each other`s objectives and more purposeful cooperation for mutual benefit. Greater interaction between the people of our two countries, in all fields, is a necessary condition for stronger overall bilateral relations," he said.
Panchsheel provides the framework within which a just and equitable global order can be achieved to the satisfaction and benefit of all, he said.
Panchsheel was enunciated by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru along with his then Chinese counterpart Zhou Enlai.
Myanmar subsequently endorsed it.
In a hard hitting speech at the function organised at the Great Hall of People, Xi said sovereignty is the most important feature of any independent state as well as the embodiment and safeguard of its national interests.
He said that countries should respect each other`s core interests and key concerns.
At the function also attended by 700 select comprising of diplomats and officials, Xi said: "these are fundamental rules which should not be cast aside or undermined at any time." Quoting Rabindranath Tagore poem, Xi said, "if you think that friendship can be won through war spring will fade away before your eyes."
On Panchsheel, Xi said it has great significance and should be carry forward.
Lacing his speech with the slogans of Panchsheel Zindabad and Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai, the slogans with which the then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was greeted when he visited India in 1954, Xi said the five principles formed major initiative in the history of international relations.
Xi called on countries to step up cooperation at the global and regional level and jointly counter non-traditional security threats which are on the increase, fight against terrorism of all forms and remove the breeding ground of terrorism.
Disputes and differences between countries should be resolved through dialogue, consultation and peaceful means, Xi said, adding that countries should increase mutual trust, and settle disputes and promote security through dialogue.
"Willful threat or use of force should be rejected," said Xi.
"Flexing military muscles only reveals the lack of moral ground or vision rather than reflecting one`s strength."