World leaders and senior policy makers are in Germany to discuss the most important issues facing global security. The Munich Security Conference first began more than half a century ago, at the height of the Cold War. And as CGTN’s Natalie Carey reports, a number of challenges remain front and center.
Pressing issues this year range from the future of the EU, NATO and the intermediate nuclear forces treaty.
In his opening speech, Wolfgang Ischinger, the conference chairman, called on participants to have more trust in each other by "talking to each other" instead of "talking about each other."
China’s rise was also a hot topic of discussion during a session on building a new multilateral order. While the concerns of perceived Chinese monopoly in emerging technologies were addressed, many agreed that China has an important role in developing a new world order.
WANG HUIYAO CENTER FOR CHINA AND GLOBALIZATION "The rise of China is serving the interest of the region, and I think the model of the AIIB is a good example of how China can work with the rest of the world with 93 members. And the World Bank including United Nations, IMF have signed a memorandum with China on the Belt and Road so I think that could be strengthened again."
Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with both NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the European Union’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini on the sidelines of Friday’s meeting. It follows concerns that Moscow and Washington are withdrawing from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.
JENS STOLTENBERG NATO SECRETARY GENERAL "We call on Russia to take that opportunity and to verifiably destroy its intermediate-range missiles. The clock is ticking. We want Russia to return to compliance, but we are also preparing for a world without the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) Treaty and a world with more Russian missiles in Europe."
Germany’s foreign minister sees China playing an important role in saving the INF treaty.
HEIKO MAAS GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER "In the crisis for the maintenance of the INF Treaty, we need more dialogue between Americans, Europeans and Russians. But we must also involve other actors more strongly in the discussion on arms control, in particular China."
Mogherini also sat down with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as the EU tries to save the Iran nuclear deal.
China’s delegation is headed by Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, who will make a speech on Saturday.
NATALIE CARNEY MUNICH "Yang Jiechi is the most senior representative Beijing has ever sent to this annual security conference, a move many see as representing China’s rising influence and importance in global governance and security. Natalie Carney, CGTN, at the Munich Security Conference."