Beijing: Calling for a regional crisis mechanism in the backdrop of escalating maritime stand-offs with its neighbours, China on Friday said disputes management procedures should be strengthened to prevent disputes from escalating.
"We call for further strengthening of dispute management procedures to improve our ability to cope with crises," Defence Minister Gen Chang Wanquan said.
"The parties concerned should establish accessible and efficient dispute management and control mechanisms, refine their capacity to deal with crises, and prevent disputes from escalating," he told Xiangshan security forum attended by defence officials and think-tanks from a number of countries.
The forum, akin to Singapore's Shangri-La Defence Dialogue, is organised annually by Chinese military to step up interaction among the defence officials and establishments of different countries.
India had a low-key presence with the defence diplomats stationed in the Embassy here in attendance while top defence officials from a number of countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives besides ASEAN and Middle Eastern countries were attending the event.
Chang said "disputes should be resolved through negotiations with full respect to historical facts and international law," and even suggested the establishment of a "defence hotline" with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), whose members Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei exercised over bitter South China Sea dispute with China.
Beijing too is having a raging dispute with Japan over the disputed islands in the East China Sea which has caused major upheaval in the relations between the two countries.
China is also seriously exercised over the US' Asia Pivot push siding with Japan and ASEAN countries to press for resolution of the disputes.
China and India have also set up a host of mechanisms to resolve the boundary dispute, specially the problems relating to aggressive patrolling by both sides along the Line of Actual Control, (LAC) and tensions arising out of the recurring incursions.
During his address Chang referred to efforts by India and China to defuse tensions at the border.
"China and India have jointly implemented their Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) to maintain border peace and stability," he said.
Till date, China has established defence and security consultation and dialogue mechanisms with 26 countries."
In recent years, China has held more than 80 joint military exercises and training sessions focusing on areas such as anti-terrorism and disaster relief with more than 50 countries, he said.
"The remarkable growth of China's comprehensive national power, and the continued progress in national defence modernisation has become a focus of international attention in recent years," he said adding a "deep reflection on history" and the need to adapt to a changing security environment are behind the Chinese government's determination to accelerate its military modernisation.
On goals ahead, he said : "At present the Chinese military has yet to become fully mechanised and its application of information technology is still at an early stage. It lags far behind those advanced military forces elsewhere in the world," he said.
He also called for international cooperation to combat "terrorism, extremism and separatism".