China Xi for "zero tolerance" against terrorism

Calling on Asian countries to build a new "sustainable" and "durable" security cooperation structure, Chinese President Xi Jinping today pledged "zero tolerance" for terrorism, separatism and extremism in the region.

PTI| Last Updated: May 21, 2014, 15:18 PM IST

Beijing: Calling on Asian countries to build a new "sustainable" and "durable" security cooperation structure, Chinese President Xi Jinping today pledged "zero tolerance" for terrorism, separatism and extremism in the region.

"We should strengthen... International and regional cooperation, and step up the fight against the `three forces`, in order to bring a life of happiness and tranquility to the people of this region," said Xi in a keynote speech at the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) at Shanghai.

Xi stressed the importance of safeguarding the comprehensive security of the region, which means upholding security in both traditional and non-traditional fields.

Asia`s security challenges are extremely complicated, which include both hotspot and sensitive issues and ethnic and religious problems, Xi said, adding that the challenges brought by terrorism, transnational crimes, environmental security, cyber security, energy and resource security and major natural disasters are clearly on the rise.

"We should take into full account the historical background and reality of Asia`s security issues, adopt a multi-pronged and holistic approach, and enhance regional security governance in a coordinated way.

"While tackling the immediate security challenges facing the region, we should also make plans for addressing potential security threats, and avoid a fragmented and palliative approach that only treats the symptoms," he said.

Eleven heads of state and officials from 40 countries, including India, took part in the summit, where China took over the CICA presidency from Turkey.

As the new government is yet to take office, India is represented at the conference by Dinkar Khullar, Secretary (West) of the Ministry of External Affairs.

Referring to a "new Asian security concept", Xi said that for most Asian countries, development means the greatest security and the master key to regional security issues.

For a tree to grow tall, a strong and solid root is required; for a river to reach far, an unimpeded source is necessary, Xi said, citing a Chinese saying.

To build an Asian security mansion that could stand the test of wind storms, Xi said, "we need to focus on development, actively improve people`s lives and narrow down the wealth gap so as to cement the foundation of security".

"We need to advance the process of common development and regional integration, foster sound interactions and synchronised progress of regional economic cooperation and security cooperation, and promote sustainable security through sustainable development," the president added.

He noted the need to focus on both development and security, saying development is the foundation of security and security constitutes the precondition for development.