China asks small Asian states not to take sides among majors
China on Wednesday asked small and medium-sized states of the Asia-Pacific region not take sides among big countries, and urged the major countries to shun what it called "Cold War mentality".
"Small and medium-sized countries need not and should not take sides among big countries," it said in a white paper and added that the major countries should reject the Cold War mentality.
Addressing the regional concerns in a white paper, "China's Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation", it said it is prepared to take on greater responsibilities for regional and global security and strives to achieve peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.
Issued by the State Council Information Office on China's policies related to Asia-Pacific security cooperation, the white paper called for respecting others' legitimate interests and concerns, and positive interactions, Xinhua news agency reported.
China said it supports the creation of a set of international and regional rules through discussion with all countries concerned rather than being dictated by any particular country.
In an oblique reference to the US, it said rules of individual countries should not automatically become "international rules", and countries should not be allowed to violate the lawful rights and interests of others under the pretext of rule of law.
"China has contributed to the generally stable relations among major countries in the region by maintaining positive interactions with the US, Russia, India and improving ties with Japan," Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said at a press briefing.
He also said that China will work with the new US administration on Asia-Pacific affairs to preserve peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
Beijing also vowed to increase military exchanges and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
It said China and the Asean grouping continue to maintain communication and dialogue on the South China Sea issue, strengthening pragmatic maritime cooperation and steadily advancing consultations on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.
However, China may "make the necessary response" to provocative action that infringes on its territorial sovereignty, maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea, the white paper said.
It called for "discretion" by the US and South Korea in the deployment of the Thaad missile system, which it said is detrimental to strategic stability, mutual trust and the strategic security interests of China and other countries. - IANS