In the first decade of the 21st century, the international community forged ahead in a new phase of opening up and cooperation, and at the same time faced crises and changes. Sharing opportunities for development and dealing with challenges with joint efforts have become the consensus of all countries in the world. Pulling together in the time of trouble, seeking mutual benefit and engaging in win-win cooperation are the only ways for humankind to achieve common development and prosperity.
China has now stood at a new historical point, and its future and destiny has never been more closely connected with those of the international community. In the face of shared opportunities and common challenges, China maintains its commitment to the new security concepts of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination. By connecting the fundamental interests of the Chinese people with the common interests of other peoples around the globe, connecting China's development with that of the world, and connecting China's security with world peace, China strives to build, through its peaceful development, a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.
Looking into the second decade of the 21st century, China will continue to take advantage of this important period of strategic opportunities for national development, apply the scientific outlook on development in depth, persevere on the path of peaceful development, pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and a national defense policy that is defensive in nature, map out both economic development and national defense in a unified manner and, in the process of building a society that is moderately affluent on a general basis, realize the unified goal of building a prosperous country and a strong military.
I. The Security Situation
The international situation is currently undergoing profound and complex changes. The progress toward economic globalization and a multi-polar world is irreversible, as is the advance toward informationization of society. The current trend toward peace, development and cooperation is irresistible. But, international strategic competition and contradictions are intensifying, global challenges are becoming more prominent, and security threats are becoming increasingly integrated, complex and volatile.
On the whole, the world remains peaceful and stable. The international community has reaped the first fruits in joint efforts to respond to the global financial crisis. All countries have stepped up to adjust their strategies and models for economic development, and no effort has been spared in attempting to foster new economic growth points. Scientific and technological innovations are breeding new breakthroughs. And economic globalization has achieved further progress. The international balance of power is changing, most notably through the economic strength and growing international status and influence of emerging powers and developing countries. Prospects for world multi-polarization are becoming clearer. The prevailing trend is towards reform in international systems. Steady progress is being made in the establishment of mechanisms for management of the global economy and finance. G20 is playing a more outstanding role. The international spotlight has turned to the reform of the UN and other international political and security systems. Profound realignments have taken place in international relations; economic interdependence among various countries has been enhanced; shared challenges have been increasing; and communication, coordination and cooperation have become mainstream in relationships among the world's major powers. As factors conducive to maintaining peace and containing conflict continue to grow, mankind can look forward to a future that on the whole is bright.
The international security situation has become more complex. International strategic competition centering on international order, comprehensive national strength and geopolitics has intensified. Contradictions continue to surface between developed and developing countries and between traditional and emerging powers, while local conflicts and regional flashpoints are a recurrent theme. In a number of countries, outbreaks of unrest are frequently triggered off by political, economic, ethnic, or religious disputes. In general, world peace remains elusive. Deep-seated contradictions and structural problems behind the international financial crisis have not been resolved. World economic recovery remains fragile and imbalanced. Security threats posed by such global challenges as terrorism, economic insecurity, climate change, nuclear proliferation, insecurity of information, natural disasters, public health concerns, and transnational crime are on the rise. Traditional security concerns blend with non-traditional ones and domestic concerns interact with international security ones, making it hard for traditional security approaches and mechanisms to respond effectively to the various security issues and challenges in the world.
International military competition remains fierce. Major powers are stepping up the realignment of their security and military strategies, accelerating military reform, and vigorously developing new and more sophisticated military technologies. Some powers have worked out strategies for outer space, cyber space and the polar regions, developed means for prompt global strikes, accelerated development of missile defense systems, enhanced cyber operations capabilities to occupy new strategic commanding heights. Some developing countries maintain the push towards strengthening their armed forces, and press on with military modernization. Progress has been made in international arms control, but prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction remains complex, there is still much to do to maintain and strengthen the international non-proliferation mechanism.
The Asia-Pacific security situation is generally stable. Asia has taken the lead in economic recovery, and its growth as a whole has been sustained. With an enhanced sense of shared interests and destiny, Asian countries have seized the opportunities presented by economic globalization and regional economic integration, and maintained a commitment to promoting economic development and regional stability. They have persisted in multilateralism and open regionalism, actively developed bilateral and multilateral cooperation with countries inside and outside the region, and endeavored to build economic and security cooperation mechanisms with regional features. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is playing a growing role in promoting regional stability and development. The integration of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is moving ahead. There is growing cooperation in such mechanisms as China-ASEAN, ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK)) and China-Japan-ROK. The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) continues to make progress.
Nevertheless, Asia-Pacific security is becoming more intricate and volatile. Regional pressure points drag on and without solution in sight. There is intermittent tension on the Korean Peninsula. The security situation in Afghanistan remains serious. Political turbulence persists in some countries. Ethnic and religious discords are evident. Disputes over territorial and maritime rights and interests flare up occasionally. And terrorist, separatist and extremist activities run amok. Profound changes are taking shape in the Asia-Pacific strategic landscape. Relevant major powers are increasing their strategic investment. The United States is reinforcing its regional military alliances, and increasing its involvement in regional security affairs.
China is still in the period of important strategic opportunities for its development, and the overall security environment for it remains favorable. It has coped effectively with the impact of the international financial crisis, and sustained a steady and relatively rapid economic growth. China has vigorously maintained national security and social stability, and its comprehensive national strength has stepped up to a new stage. It has strengthened coordination and cooperation with major traditional powers and emerging countries, reinforced good-neighborly friendship and practical cooperation with neighboring countries, and extended mutually benefiting cooperation with other developing countries. China has played a unique role in collective action with other countries to meet global challenges. The Chinese Government has formulated and implemented principles and policies for advancing peaceful development of cross-Straits relations in the new situation, promoted and maintained peace and stability in the area. Significant and positive progress has been achieved in cross-Straits relations. On the basis of opposing "Taiwan independence" and adhering to the "1992 Consensus," the two sides have enhanced political mutual trust, conducted consultations and dialogues, and reached a series of agreements for realizing direct and bilateral exchanges of mail, transport and trade, as well as promoting economic and financial cooperation across the Straits. The peaceful development of cross-Straits relations accords with the interests and aspirations of compatriots on both sides of the Straits, and is widely applauded by the international community.
China is meanwhile confronted by more diverse and complex security challenges. China has vast territories and territorial seas. It is in a critical phase of the building of a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way. Therefore, it faces heavy demands in safeguarding national security. The "Taiwan independence" separatist force and its activities are still the biggest obstacle and threat to the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations. Further progress in cross-Straits relations is still confronted by some complicated factors. Separatist forces working for "East Turkistan independence" and "Tibet independence" have inflicted serious damage on national security and social stability. Pressure builds up in preserving China's territorial integrity and maritime rights and interests. Non-traditional security concerns, such as existing terrorism threats, energy, resources, finance, information and natural disasters, are on the rise. Suspicion about China, interference and countering moves against China from the outside are on the increase. The United States, in the defiance of the three Sino-U.S. joint communiqués, continues to sell weapons to Taiwan, severely impeding Sino-U.S. relations and impairing the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations.
In the face of the complex security environment, China will hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation, adhere to the concepts of overall security, cooperative security and common security, advocate its new security concept based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation, safeguard political, economic, military, social and information security in an all-round way, and endeavor to foster, together with other countries, an international security environment of peace, stability, equality, mutual trust, cooperation and win-win.