Vol. 15 (2021): 56–80 | Download PDF
China has long opposed the intervention of external powers in its territorial and maritime row with neighbors, notably in the South China Sea. Such “meddling” was only seen as complicating the situation, fueling mistrust, and raising tensions between neighbors and preventing them from resolving the dispute by themselves. In the fourth summit of the 2014 Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), President Xi Jinping, advocated for a “common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in Asia.” This is one of the most high-level and formal articulations of Chinese visions for regional security and has since provided anchor for succeeding official pronouncements. But this vision was likened to an exclusionary “Asia for Asians” which imperial Japan promoted during the Second World War II under the banner of a “Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.” China’s rise and its entry into the provision of security goods, challenging the longstanding position of the United States, also raised concerns about the ultimate motives behind Beijing’s security pitch. By emphasizing Asia-centric security arrangements, is China actually pushing US out of a domain it has dominated for more than 70 years? Given anxieties about China’s rise and its unresolved territorial and maritime disputes with neighbors, how will China’s security initiative be received by Southeast Asia?
New Security Concept, New Asian Security Concept, Shanghai Cooperation, Organization, Southeast Asian security