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President Xi Jinping spoke at a meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building measures in Asia.
The previously little-known group, founded during the 1990s, has taken on significance as Beijing tries to extend its influence abroad.
Speaking to an audience in Shanghai that included presidents of Russia and Iran, Xi said, “we need to innovate our security co-operation (and) establish new regional security co-operation architecture.”
Xi made no mention of China’s ongoing conflict with Vietnam over Beijing’s deployment of an oil rig in disputed seas.