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Xi Jinping calls for creation of new security structure in Asia

SHANGHAI--China's president called Wednesday for the creation of a new Asian structure for security cooperation based on a regional group that includes Russia and Iran and excludes the United States.

President Xi Jinping spoke at a meeting in Shanghai of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building measures in Asia, a little-known group that has taken on significance as Beijing tries to extend its influence and limit that of the United States, which it sees as a strategic rival.

“We need to innovate our security cooperation (and) establish a new regional security cooperation architecture,” said Xi, speaking to an audience that included Russian President Vladimir Putin and leaders of Central Asian countries.

Xi made no mention of Beijing's conflict with Vietnam over the deployment of a Chinese oil rig in a disputed portion of the South China Sea.

CICA, whose 24 member nations also include South Korea, Thailand and Turkey, should become a “security dialogue and cooperation platform” and should “establish a defense consultation mechanism,” Xi said. He said it should create a “security response center” for major emergencies.

The proposal is the latest effort by Beijing to build up groups of Asian and developing governments to offset the influence of the United States and other Western nations in global affairs.

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