Mutual trust in IR

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Where there is a lack of mutual trust in international relations, there is always the risk of misunderstandings and miscalculation. Dialogue is the only way to build the necessary trust. Which is why, in his congratulatory message to the ninth Beijing Xiangshan Forum, which opened on Monday, President Xi Jinping reiterated that China is committed to advancing cooperation through dialogue, promoting peace through cooperation, and safeguarding development through peace.
And this is exactly what the Beijing Xiangshan Forum is meant to do – promote dialogue, cooperation and peace.
An international dialogue platform for Asian security and defense issues, this year’s forum attracted 76 official delegations, with 23 defense ministers and six chiefs of staff of different countries among the more than 600 participants discussing topics around the theme “Maintaining International Order and Promoting Peace in the Asia-Pacific”. The fact that there are always misgivings about the rise of China as a world power warrants the necessity of top military officers from different countries engaging in dialogue to compare notes on issues of common concern and to build consensus on the right way to resolve differences.
Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony told participants about China’s stand on some issues, reiterating its resolve to defend the integrity of its territory and its sovereignty, explicitly stating that no force can prevent China’s reunification. He also reaffirmed China’s opposition to long arm jurisdiction and the pressure applied by the United States to gain an upper hand over other countries. Frankness is absolutely necessary to build trust. Which explains why Wei said what he did.
China attaches importance to mutual respect and equality in international relations. It opposes any country riding roughshod over other countries and never forces other countries to take sides nor does it interfere in other countries’ internal affairs; strongly opposing any country trying to impose its own will upon others. China maintains that dialogue is and should always be the first choice in the settlement of differences and even conflicts. It is impossible for all countries and world major powers not to have differences. What it seeks is harmony not uniformity. It is not dangerous to have differences, but it is dangerous when a lack of understanding about those differences leads to miscalculations.
Building trust through dialogue can more effectively promote enduring peace and common security in the Asia-Pacific region. The Beijing Xiangshan Forum is a means to reduce the possibility of miscalculations leading to conflict.