• Thu
  • Oct 23, 2014
  • Updated: 6:41pm
NewsChina
SECURITY

Senior diplomats to defend China’s assertive role in Asia at region’s top security forum

After years of passive participation, a team of diplomats intends to stand China's ground

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 May, 2014, 4:28am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 May, 2014, 7:41pm
 

China plans to send a team of top diplomats to Asia's premier security forum, the Shangri-La Dialogue, in an attempt to fend off increasing criticism of its assertive role in the region, Chinese scholars and the event's organiser said.

This would be the first time Beijing has sent foreign ministry officials to the security-focused event, which opens tomorrow. A foreign policy adviser to the Chinese government said the move was in response to China's deteriorating relationships with the United States and its regional neighbours. Former deputy foreign minister Fu Ying will lead the diplomats, said William Choong, a Shangri-La Dialogue senior fellow for Asia-Pacific security. "There is a broader participation from China this year," Choong said.

The size and seniority of the diplomatic corps has not been made public. The foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

Fu, known for her sharp tongue and robust defence skills, has left the foreign ministry and now chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of China's National People's Congress. She attended the Shangri-La Dialogue last year.

On the defence side, Deputy Chief of General Staff Wang Guanzhong would lead a delegation of 11 from the People's Liberation Army, Choong said.

Several participants of last year's forum said China had changed its approach from being observers to more active engagement by asking robust questions and defending its own position.

Fu and other professional diplomats this year could help the Chinese delegation put forward "more professional" arguments in defending China's position, said Shi Yinhong, a professor of international relations at Renmin University.

"China faces a more intense and complex environment," Shi said, referring to increasing tensions with the US, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines.

"China hopes to send a stronger and more eloquent delegation. The diplomats will be more professional in defending China's foreign policy."

One likely source of heated debate will be Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's keynote speech at the forum. US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel will also deliver remarks, according to the US defence department.

China has squared off with its neighbours over disputed waters. Its relationship with Washington also hit a rough patch after President Barack Obama's recent visit to Asia and a decision by US prosecutors to charge five Chinese military officers over cyberespionage.

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justice_first
Is this the clash of the century? US vs China. I wonder what the Russian delegation will say.
Jonathan Smith
US involvement in Asia is not positive for the peoples in Asia. an example is the military coup which overthrew Sukarno in Indonesia that was organised with US support that resulted in the massacre of millions of Indonesians. After that the spoils of the Indonesia economy was divided by the US, Britain and Australia. Similar situations for Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Burma etc. This neo-colonialism by the US and her allies continues to this day.
Sifu_628
This is not a debate about political idealism or nationalities but a discussion of a trade-off between China's incessant appetite for energy and resources and its respect for its neighbors' interests. Historically, Chinese have not followed a stakeholder concept and are much more focused on their own needs, desires and wants. Given its dominating economic and military superiority over other Asian nations, there's cause for concerns. Without the dominating US naval and air presence in East Asia, China would be acting much more aggressively against opposing nations in the disputed area. With the US overseeing East Asia and the Pacific theater, there're dialogues, debates and restrain from all parties. It's a far cry from civility but reflects a semblance of respect for rules.
nicolas
COMMUNIST CHINA NEVER TALK OF DIPLOMACY. BECAUSE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT ARE SIMPLY A BUNCH OF ILLITERATE PERSON, STUPID , PERVERT AND TOTALLY FILTHY RUBBISH PEOPLE. THEY'RE SO GREEDY AND EVIL. THEY WILL NEVER MADE FRIENDS AROUND THE WORLD AND WILL ONLY CREATE MORE ENEMIES BECAUSE OF THEIR COERSIVE AND AGGRESSIVE ACTION TOWARD THEIR SMALLER NEIGHBORS IN ASIA. SHAME ON YOU COMMUNIST CHINA..
wiseman
stop talking clichie and nonsense.
limpanlinus@gmail.com
China dont want diplomacy they want obidience from other States around Asia.
Mikado
The only way to engage with the US and Japan is to carry a big stick (plus some nuclear weapons). Otherwise you will end up like the poor Muslim peoples forever being abused by their on rulers with help from the US and her allies.
Carparklee
Vietnam acknowledged Chinese sovereignty over both the Paracels and the Spratlys in 1956, 1958 and 1965. 1958, the then prime minister of Vietnam even wrote agreement to China's declaration on those islands. All remained the same until UN led a studies into SCS in 1969 revealing the abundance oil and gas reserves there. Vietnamese military once took the island but was fought out by China in 1974.
wumao
North Vietnam may have done this to get Chinese support while it was fighting the South BUT South Vietnam never acknowledged Chinese sovereignty over the Paracels.
Carparklee
Are you trying to tell me South Vietnam regime still exists?

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