SINGAPORE: China on Wednesday (Jan 11) issued its first white paper on issues related to Asia-Pacific security cooperation.
In the six-point proposal, reproduced in full by Xinhua, Beijing stated that "small- and medium-sized countries need not and should not take sides among big countries".
"All countries should make joint efforts to pursue a new path of dialogue instead of confrontation and pursue partnerships rather than alliances, and build an Asia-Pacific partnership featuring mutual trust, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation," the white paper read.
It added that China would step up its role in regional and global security to take on greater responsibilities. "China is ready to pursue security through dialogue and cooperation in the spirit of working together for mutually beneficial results, and safeguard peace and stability jointly with other countries in the region."
China remains committed to "upholding peace and stability in the South China Sea" and will continue to maintain dialogue on the issue with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), it said.
However, Beijing also warned that it could be forced to issue "necessary responses to the provocative actions which infringe on China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea".
It added that no effort "to internationalise and judicialise" the South China Sea issue "will be of avail".
The paper concluded that China's development would add to "the momentum for world peace".
In a news conference to explain the white paper, Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said it proposes to strengthen cooperation by promoting common development, perfecting existing regional multilateral mechanisms, promoting rule setting, intensifying military exchanges and cooperation, and properly resolving divergences and disputes.
"We hope that all countries in the region will work along with China to uphold win-win cooperation and make joint efforts in achieving long-lasting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region," he said.