China hosts major Asia security conference

China hosts major Asia security conference

CHINA - China will host a major regional summit in Shanghai on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of an effort to facilitate Asia-wide security discussions.

The country is not alone in its aspirations for more effective regional security. The largest number of leaders in the 22-year history of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, or CICA, will attend the summit.

While Asia has become the world's most economically dynamic region and is closely watched in the world's power landscape, security cooperation has been a weakness. The region faces a slew of traditional and non-traditional security threats, ranging from terrorism to economic instability.

Though it has some subregional organisations that are grouped according to the cultural background and development level of member countries, Asia lacks a platform for dialogue that covers the region as a whole, according to He Jingjun, an observer with the Chahar Institute a Beijing-based think tank.

What's more, some Asian countries are imbued with the traditional mindset of "hitchhiking" on security issues, relying heavily on external forces such as the United States in the face of the region's shared challenges, He said.

Given the lack of an Asia-wide security mechanism, it is hoped CICA can fill the void.

Whether Asia can form a multilateral security system covering most countries may determine the direction of Asia's future development, the Diplomat Magazine said in an article on its website.

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