Chinese peacekeepers deliver donated medicines to a community in south Lebanon on May 9 (XINHUA)
On April 21, President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Security Initiative (GSI) at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022. Meanwhile, he addressed major questions of our times, namely: What security concept does the world need? How can countries achieve common security?
The GSI, in practicing the concept of a community with a shared future for humanity in the security area, is China's latest contribution to the international community to help close the peace deficit. It is another global public good provided by China that is open to worldwide participation and that benefits all.
According to the GSI, the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security should be the guiding principle for maintaining world peace, and respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be a basic prerequisite. Moreover, abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter is the fundamental requirement, taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously is an important principle, resolving differences and disputes peacefully through dialogue and consultation is the only pathway, and upholding both traditional and non-traditional security is an integral part.
The Ukraine crisis, the pandemic, spiraling inflation in many parts of the world and a looming global recession, all have sounded an alarm for a deficit of international governance, and are imposing the heaviest pressure on the international system since the end of World War II. The world faces once again the danger of division and confrontation. The GSI was proposed to meet the pressing needs and common aspirations of the international community to maintain world peace, uphold multilateralism and international solidarity and build a better world beyond the pandemic.
It is high time not only to end the conflict in Ukraine, but also to provide a new philosophy and architecture for humanity to safeguard world peace and security.
Beyond the Western theory
Building on the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, the GSI seeks to promote the establishment of a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture. It offers a new approach to eliminating the root causes of international conflicts and achieving durable stability and security in the world.
The GSI opposes all "gang rules" set by a few without UN authorization and at odds with the spirit of the UN Charter. It also calls on all countries to abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, rejects the obsolete zero-sum mentality and bloc confrontation, advocates a win-win mindset to address the complex and intertwined security challenges, and champions the spirit of solidarity and multilateralism to adapt to the profoundly changing international landscape. It will demonstrate the great potential of the new type of security that features dialogue, partnership and win-win cooperation instead of confrontation, factionalism and a zero-sum approach.
Certain big power, driven by a selfish interest in maintaining hegemony, willfully undermines international rule of law, stirs up antagonism, remains zealous about decoupling, and glorifies hegemony and bullying. It is reviving the Cold War mentality and stoking confrontation between blocs, building "exclusive yards with high walls" or "parallel systems," and putting together exclusive small circles or blocs that jeopardize global security and hold back global development.
The world is facing sluggish economic recovery, rising inflation, and multiple financial, trade, energy, food, industrial and supply chain crises. Despite this, certain countries stand by as their arms dealers, bankers and oil tycoons make a fortune out of war, while leaving small countries wounded, imposing unilateral sanctions on supposed rivals, and exercising long-arm jurisdiction. They overstretch the concept of national security to hold back the advancement of other countries, worsening the living standards of people all over the world, particularly those in developing countries.
President Xi observed that countries around the world are like passengers aboard the same ship who share the same destiny. All passengers must pull together for the ship to navigate storms and sail toward a brighter future.
Last century's scourge of two world wars, which has brought untold sorrow to humanity, should remind us that we all live in a shared world with a shared future. It is out of the question for any country or country bloc to have absolute security while ignoring other countries' security. Facing complex international security threats, no country can stay unaffected or become a lone island. The world would never be peaceful without respect, trust, mutual accommodation and cooperation.
The GSI echoes and reinforces the Global Development Initiative (GDI) proposed by President Xi in 2021, which focuses on development as the master key to addressing all problems, calls on the international community to strengthen development cooperation and accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The GDI was warmly received by UN Secretary General António Guterres, and has attracted the active participation of the UN member states at large. Over 100 countries have expressed their support for the GDI, and more than 50 countries have joined the Group of Friends of the GDI set up by China on the UN platform.
Peace and security are crucial for development and prosperity. The GDI and GSI are both in keeping with trend of the times of peace, development and win-win cooperation, and represent a coordinated approach to safeguarding traditional and non-traditional security, with the aim of seeking the widest converging interests of all countries.
With the GDI and GSI, China emphasizes the holistic approach to strike a balance between security and progress, and to enhance sustainable security through sustainable development. To promote peace and security, it is therefore urgent to put more emphasis on development to actively improve people's living standards, narrow the wealth gap, bridge the development divide, stay committed to building an open world economy, keep global industrial and supply chains stable, resolutely oppose decoupling and supply disruption, and promote balanced, coordinated and inclusive global development.
China loves peace and opposes war. The country is not only the initiator of the GSI, but also a campaigner for its implementation.
China remains a committed builder of world peace. As a major power, China has the best track record in global peace and security, as it has never provoked a war, nor invaded an inch of another country's land, nor engaged in any proxy wars, nor joined or formed any military blocs. China is the only country in the world that undertakes to follow a path of peaceful development in its Constitution.
As a persistent guardian of international order, China has joined almost all the intergovernmental organizations and over 400 multilateral treaties. The country is the second largest contributor to UN regular budget and peacekeeping assessments, and has dispatched more than 50,000 peacekeepers to UN-led missions. China has been actively mediating on hotspot issues, consistently advocates a balanced solution to accommodating the legitimate concerns of all parties via peace talks and political settlements, and plays a constructive role in easing regional and international tensions.
China took the lead in achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals, contributing more than 70 percent to global poverty reduction, and ranking first in terms of contribution to the world economic growth for 15 consecutive years. It has set up the $100-million China-UN Peace and Development Fund, which has supported 95 projects benefiting more than 100 countries and regions, and has provided over 2.1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to the international community to bridge the immunization gap.
China stands ready to work with other peace-loving countries to carry out the GSI, and forge a strong synergy to build a community with a shared future for humanity.
The author is an op-ed contributor to Beijing Review and an expert on international studies
Copyedited by G.P. Wilson
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