A significant global security conference commenced in Beijing, China, on Monday, amidst the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict. The 10th Beijing Xiangshan Forum has attracted participants from over 90 nations, with notable attendees such as the United States and Russia, as reported by the Chinese Defense Ministry.
The forum is centered around the theme of “Common Security, Lasting Peace,” which is considered the fundamental concept of China’s Global Security Initiative.
Zhang Youxia, the vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission, gave a keynote address during the forum’s opening. The forum spans over three days. Additionally, a series of side events took place on Sunday, including a symposium centered on the teachings of Sun Tzu as presented in “The Art of War.”
Senior Col. Zhao Xiaozhuo, who serves as the deputy director of the Beijing Xiangshan Forum Secretariat, emphasized that the forum serves as a platform for countries and regions involved in conflicts to engage in meaningful dialogue. He further stated that the forum will include sessions dedicated to addressing security concerns in both European and Middle Eastern regions. He highlighted the significance of security issues such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the Israel-Palestine conflict, noting that these topics have direct relevance to the security of Europe and the Middle East. He pointed out that the forum has representatives from both sides involved in these conflicts participating in the sessions, and the primary aim is to foster rational discussions on these subjects.
General Zhang, declared at the forum that regardless of any attempts to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese military would vehemently oppose such efforts. He reiterated that Taiwan is of utmost importance to China’s core interests. While not explicitly naming any specific nation, he pointed fingers at a particular country for interfering in the Asia-Pacific region and meddling in the internal affairs of other countries. Zhang criticized this unnamed nation for sowing geopolitical tensions and inciting “color revolutions.”
Nevertheless, he suggested that Beijing is open to reestablishing high-level military communication with the Pentagon. Zhang also expressed a commitment to enhancing strategic cooperation and coordination with Russia and a willingness to cultivate military relations with the United States based on mutual respect, peaceful coexistence, and mutually beneficial cooperation.
The Beijing Xiangshan Forum is taking place while China is currently without a defense minister, following the removal of Shangfu Li from the position the previous week. During the forum, General Zhang, who ranks second only to President Xi Jinping in military leadership, is engaging in military diplomacy. He is joined by General He Weidong, who serves as the second vice-chair of the Central Military Commission. Beijing had suspended high-level military discussions after an unexpected visit to Taiwan in August of the previous year by the then-U.S. House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.