On April 21, 2022, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Security Initiative (GSI) with humanity’s future, security and well-being in mind. It has received support and appreciation from more than 100 countries and international and regional organisations, and has been written into a large number of bilateral and multilateral exchange and cooperation documents between China and other countries and international organisations.
The GSI can be summarized though “six commitments.” First, the GSI advocates respecting and safeguarding the security of every country, enhancing security governance in a holistic and coordinated way, committing to cooperation, and pursing sustainable security through sustainable development.
Second, the GSI advocates noninterference in internal affairs and respect for the development paths and social systems independently chosen by the people of different countries. Efforts should be made for all countries to enjoy equality in terms of rights, rules and opportunities. Third, the GSI rejects the Cold War mentality, unilateralism, bloc politics and confrontation. It calls on all countries to practice true multilateralism and firmly uphold the authority of the U.N. and its status as the main platform for global security governance.
Fourth, the GSI upholds the principle of indivisible security, advocates a balanced, effective, and sustainable security architecture, and opposes the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security. Fifth, the GSI supports all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises, rejects double standards, and opposes the abuse of unilateral sanctions and “long-arm jurisdiction.”
Sixth, the GSI advocates the principle of planning together, building together and benefiting together in global governance, and concerted efforts to address regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity.
In February, China released the GSI Concept Paper, proposing 20 priorities of cooperation under the GSI framework, as well as suggestions for the platforms and mechanisms of cooperation. The 20 priorities of cooperation identified by the Concept Paper involve traditional security areas such as promoting political settlement of international and regional hotspot issues, peacekeeping operations under the U.N. framework, safeguarding the nuclear nonproliferation regime, and conventional arms control.
They also cover nontraditional security areas of climate change, information, biosecurity, outer space, artificial intelligence and public health. In response to the most prominent and pressing security concerns of the international community, the Concept Paper proposes specific action plans, which reflect China’s sense of responsibility for and courage in upholding world peace and global security.
These “six commitments” and the 20 cooperation priorities also reveal three defining features of the GSI. First, the GSI emphasizes common security. Based on the fact that countries have intertwined interests and a stake in each other’s security, the GSI underscores the indivisible security of all countries, that is, the indivisibility between individual security and common security, between traditional and nontraditional security, between security rights and security obligations, and between security and development.
Second, the GSI emphasizes openness and inclusiveness. The GSI is open to countries around the world and maintains that issues which matter to all should be jointly addressed by all. In international security affairs, efforts should be made to seek the biggest common denominator and the widest converging interests.
Third, China has actively participated in and promoted multilateral security cooperation. It has dispatched the most peacekeepers among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, and is the second largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget. Currently, more than 2,200 Chinese peacekeepers are on active duty in eight mission areas.
Going forward, China will work in the four key areas for the GSI to achieve solid, steady and sustained progress. First, China will continue to work with all parties for dialogue and exchanges on global security issues in various forms, to act on the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and to oppose the forming of exclusive blocs along ideological lines and acts of inciting division and confrontation.
Second, China will continue to follow the Concept Paper as a roadmap, and work actively with all parties to explore and advance international security cooperation and address various traditional and nontraditional security challenges. It is important to make good use of international and regional multilateral mechanisms such as the UN and BRICS, and make bigger the pie of mutually beneficial cooperation.
Third, China will keep to the general direction of promoting talks for peace, and encourage countries concerned to enhance mutual security confidence, manage differences and defuse tensions through candid dialogue and communication. On the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, China will continue to work actively for the parties concerned to stop fighting as soon as possible, and prevent a humanitarian disaster.
Fourth, China will continue to firmly support the central role of the U.N. in global security governance, and support international and regional organisations in fully leveraging their roles. It is envisaged that the GSI will serve as a platform that brings about the most extensive security exchange and cooperation among members of the international community, and galvanizes synergies for advancing the reform of the global security governance system.
President Xi has emphasized that China’s development strengthens the world’s force for peace, that China will strive to safeguard world peace and development as it pursues its own development, and will make greater contribution to world peace and development through its own development.