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On April 21, 2024, the Global Security Initiative (GSI) celebrated its second anniversary since its launch. This initiative, spearheaded by China, represents a significant public contribution in response to global security challenges. Rather than relying on confrontation, the GSI advocates for dialogue, partnership, and solutions that benefit all protagonists. Its practical importance lies in its ability to address urgent challenges and promote stability and peace in our ever-changing world.

China’s President Xi Jinping introduced the GSI during the annual BOAO Forum in April 2022. The initiative’s core objectives include upholding the principle of indivisible security, establishing a balanced, effective, and sustainable security architecture, and opposing the construction of national security based on insecurity in other countries.

Let’s delve deeper into the key aspects of the GSI:

Preserving world peace:

The GSI responds to the pressing need for global peace. As we grapple with the lingering effects of the pandemic and crises such as the Ukraine conflict, the war in Gaza, and tensions between Iran and Israel, the GSI provides a framework for collective action to prevent further destabilisation.

Creating a balanced security architecture:

Rooted in principles of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security, the GSI aims to establish an effective and enduring security framework. By addressing the underlying causes of conflicts, it offers a fresh approach to achieving lasting stability worldwide.

Promoting multilateralism and solidarity:

In a world facing unprecedented risks of division, the GSI aligns with the shared aspirations of all nations to uphold multilateralism. It counters outdated Cold War mentalities and contributes to bridging gaps in global security governance.

The GSI has two-fold expectations and implications:

Firstly, it should play a practical role in supporting peacekeeping operations, facilitating diplomatic communication, and providing logistical assistance to nations experiencing conflicts.

Secondly, by prioritising environmental security, the GSI can promote sustainable development and address climate-related risks.

Additionally, the GSI fosters international cooperation across various fields, including international peacekeeping, counter-terrorism, climate change, disaster prevention and mitigation, as well as emerging security domains like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence governance.

In summary, the GSI aims to address complex and interconnected security challenges worldwide. Its vision centres on common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security. Its objectives include building a security community and advocating for a new approach that emphasizes dialogue over confrontation and partnership over alliance. Notably, China has demonstrated its effectiveness in mediating between erstwhile hostile nations, successfully securing a peace pact between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Beijing has extended its services to mediate between Ukraine and Russia, as well as Israel and Hamas. However, thus far, its offer has not been entertained.

While the principles of the Global Security Initiative have long been integral to China’s security policy, operational specifics remained limited. To address this, China released a concept paper in February 2023, outlining the initiative’s principles, priorities, and platforms.

Critics may perceive the GSI as a vehicle for enhancing China’s global influence. However, taking a comprehensive approach, the GSI aims to tackle the root causes of international conflicts, enhance global security governance, and foster lasting peace and development worldwide.

China places significant emphasis on adhering to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. The GSI elaborates on these principles, reflecting the collective global reflection on the painful lessons learned from the two world wars.

Key considerations set forth by President Xi Jinping include:

Indivisible security sommunity:

Taking all countries’ legitimate security concerns seriously, the GSI underscores the idea that one country’s security should not come at the expense of others.

Peaceful conflict resolution:

Commitment to resolving differences and disputes through dialogue and consultation, rejecting war and sanctions as fundamental solutions.

The GSI’s six commitments are interconnected and mutually reinforcing. Simultaneously, the initiative prioritizes cooperation, advocating for bilateral and multilateral security collaboration with countries, international organizations, and regional bodies. It actively promotes the convergence of security concepts and interests.

To achieve mutual learning and complementarity, several significant steps have been identified:

Active participation in formulating a New Agenda for Peace and supporting UN efforts to enhance conflict prevention.

Strengthening coordination and interaction among major countries, emphasizing peaceful coexistence, overall stability, and balanced development.

Upholding the consensus that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

Implementing the resolution on Promoting International Cooperation on Peaceful Uses adopted by the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

Furthermore, the GSI advocates for political settlements of international and regional hotspot issues through candid dialogue and communication. It also emphasizes international cooperation in information security and biosecurity risk management. Emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), are focal points for preventing and managing potential security risks.

China’s advancements in outer space research serve as a catalyst for international cooperation in this domain.

Simultaneously, they contribute to safeguarding the international order in outer space, guided by established international law.

The lessons learned from the COVID-19 outbreak remain fresh, emphasizing the importance of supporting the World Health Organization (WHO) in its pivotal role in global public health governance. Effective coordination and mobilization of global resources are crucial for jointly addressing major infectious diseases worldwide. Additionally, the GSI advocates for safeguards to ensure global food and energy security.

While climate change rightfully commands attention, the GSI goes beyond mere identification of issues. It actively identifies platforms and mechanisms for cooperation. Notable among these are the United Nations (UN), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), BRICS cooperation, and various regional collaboration bodies.

Over the past two years, China has made significant strides in advancing its Global Security Initiative (GSI). Let’s delve into the progress made:

It unveiled the Conceptual Framework of GSI; emphasized its vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security, and accentuated that GSI goes beyond regional focus and addresses global security concerns.

Unlike China’s previous cautious regional security engagements, the GSI adopts a truly global agenda. While Africa remains prominent, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Pacific Islands are also focal areas.

As far as the principles and practices are concerned, China’s approach diverges from Western powers in both principles and practices. The GSI aims to eliminate root causes of conflicts and enhance global security governance. It emphasizes dialogue, cooperation, and sustainability.

China has taken concrete actions to implement the GSI over the past year. It actively supports the WHO in global health governance and emphasizes food and energy security.

China’s commitment to peaceful conflict resolution through dialogue is a key aspect of GSI implementation.

Since only two years have elapsed since the inauguration of GSI, it is imperative to talk about its future outlook. The GSI’s success will depend on its relationship with other international actors. By promoting openness, inclusiveness, and cooperation, the GSI aims to create a safer world for all.

In summary, China’s GSI transcends theoretical constructs and strives to foster lasting peace and development globally. In conclusion, the GSI promotes openness, inclusiveness, and eagerly anticipates the participation of all stakeholders.

By collectively enriching its substance and exploring new forms and areas of cooperation, we can work toward a safer world—one where the GSI transcends biases and fosters global well-being. In summary, global security initiatives like the GSI go beyond theoretical constructs; they hold immense practical value in shaping a safer and more stable world for all. Its impact will be closely watched as it continues to evolve and engage with other nations in pursuit of shared security.

The article does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Business Recorder or its owners

S. M. Hali

The writer is a retired Group Captain of PAF, and now a security analyst


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KU Apr 28, 2024 09:22am
Nice article, but war-mongering countries have learnt to manipulate trade interests at any cost.
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test Apr 28, 2024 06:09pm
I will follow any agenda or governance initiative by the Chinese Communist Party. And in return they have to move industrial manufacturing to poor countries so that poor countries can increase exports
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