• Thu
  • Dec 25, 2014
  • Updated: 4:14pm

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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This article is now closed to comments

I Gandhi
China should be fully engaged in any international forums. The last thing China should do is to allow the war-mongers like the US and Japan to hijack any international forum with their lies and war-mongering.
Formerly ******
And by acting in such an over-assertive, over-bearing manner, China will confirm that it's over-assertive, overbearing, and overly aggressive. Once again, the CCP of China shows that, given the chance to perform on the international stage, it always shows that it's the party of Mao, which party murdered tens of millions of Chinese.
And with its murderous past, does the CCP of China really think that any country in Asia wants to cozy up to it? It better think twice.
並由代理這種過度自信,霸道的方式,在中國將會確認它是 over-assertive、 專橫跋扈,和過於激進。再次,中國共產黨表明,鑒於在國際舞臺上的表演機會,它始終顯示它是党的毛澤東,方被謀殺的數千萬的中國。
stop talking clichie and nonsense.
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.
Are you trying to tell me South Vietnam regime still exists?
How About
Then must we return to the Geneva Accords which South Vietnam didn't sign? It's easy to wiki some of these 'records' but think what North and the South Vietnamese were thinking and doing : the North kicked put the French that led to the Geneva Conference,... South Vietnam legally and spiritually did not exist.
Paracels were given fair & square to China, by Vietnam.

China has a good story and it's not that hard to sell...
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.
Yes, that's exactly what China needs to do.
Nice try Fallen Gong.



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