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Thursday, 28 April 2016

CICA: Cooperation on anti-terrorism measures tops conference agenda

Foreign ministers from 26 countries have gathered in Beijing for the fifth Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) where they are expected to issue a statement that represents a consensus on a host of issues and blueprints on the conference's future development.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Wednesday met with the foreign ministers of Turkey, Palestine and Pakistan.

The meeting is aimed at deepening cooperation between states through dialogue and promoting sustainable security. This year's focus will be centered around cooperation on anti-terrorism measures within Asia.

CICA is so far the only multilateral security mechanism that covers almost all of Asia. It is distinguished from other security mechanisms that are commonly dominated by super powers.

What does CICA do?

Chinese President Xi Jinping is a strong advocate of the forum. During the 2014 summit, Xi proposed what he called the “New Asia Security Concept,” which seeks to establish “common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in Asia.”

The new concept set principles and targets for the member states to conduct security cooperation and urge them to collectively safeguard peace in the region.

“Peace and development of Asia is closely connected with the future of mankind, and Asia's stability and revival is a blessing to peace and development of the world,” Xi said at the fourth CICA Summit in Shanghai in 2014.

Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) poses for a group photo with world leaders and representatives attending the fourth summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai, May 21, 2014. (XINHUA/MA ZHANCHENG)

China's strong support for CICA comes with reasons, as the country is seeking a peaceful rise but at the same time facing security threats and disputes in its neighborhood.The ongoing regional security issues include the increasing nuclear activities in the Korean Peninsula, South China Sea disputes, and the deployment of THAAD, an advanced US missile defense system in the Republic of Korea.The CICA Summit gives China an opportunity to promote regional exchanges to address both security demands and economic ties. While it is pushing its “Belt and Road” Initiative to promote cooperation in trade and economy, China is also cooperating on fight against a growing threat from extremism, terrorism, and separatism in the region. During the two-day meeting that starts today, delegates will hold close door meetings and multilateral meetings. President Xi is scheduled to deliver a keynote speech on Thursday, the concluding day for the conference.

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