China is committed to its international responsibilities and remains a firm defender of the international order. China is the first founding member of the United Nations to sign on the UN Charter
Changes of the world, of our times and of history are unfolding today in ways like never before, posing challenges that must be taken seriously by humanity. At this moment critical to world peace and development, President Xi Jinping made a keynote speech entitled “Rising to Challenges and Building a Bright Future Through Cooperation” at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022, and proposed for the first time the Global Security Initiative (GSI). This important Initiative gives explicit answers to questions of our times such as what security concept the world needs and how countries can achieve common security. It fully demonstrates President Xi Jinping’s concerns for world peace and development, his internationalist vision, and his leadership as head of a major country. It contributes China’s wisdom to the efforts of mankind in tackling peace deficit, and offers China’s solution to addressing international security challenges.
I. Understanding deeply GSI’s practical significance and its values to our times
This major Initiative was proposed to meet the pressing need of the international community to maintain world peace and prevent conflicts and wars. Humanity has yet to emerge from the shadow of the pandemic, and the Ukraine crisis is already wreaking havoc. Various traditional and non-traditional security threats keep flaring up. Peace and development, the theme of our times, is faced with severe challenges. President Xi Jinping noted that peace is the ever-lasting wish of our people. Human history has proven time and again that without peace, development will be like water without source; without security, prosperity will be like trees without roots. The GSI is an effort to stand up to the changes of the world and answer the questions of the times. 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 thus offers a new approach to eliminating the root causes of international conflicts and achieving durable stability and security in the world.
II. Getting a good grasp of the logical system and theoretical innovation of the GSI
The GSI is a complete system with rich meaning. It is the important fruit of applying Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy to the field of international security. It also improves and goes beyond the Western theory of geopolitical security. The GSI is underpinned by “six commitments”, namely, staying committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security; staying committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries; staying committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter; staying committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously; staying committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation; and staying committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains.
These six commitments are interlinked and mutually reinforcing, including macro thinking of top-level design as well as methods and pathways for addressing practical issues. They form an organic whole of dialectical unity.
III. Inheriting and promoting the successful practices and valuable experience underpinning the GSI
The GSI takes root in New China’s independent foreign policy of peace and the practices of this policy. It is inspired by the diplomatic tradition and wisdom with unique Chinese characteristics. Over the years, as a responsible major country, China has held high the banner of peace, development and cooperation for win-win results, and made active contributions to upholding global peace and security, setting a prime example as a major country.
China keeps to its conviction about peaceful development and remains a committed builder of world peace. Since the founding of New China, the country has pursued an independent foreign policy of peace and adhered to the path of peaceful development. It never started a war, never occupied one inch of foreign land, never engaged in proxy wars, and never participated in or organized any military bloc. Among the major countries, China has the best peace and security record. At present, China remains the only country in the world that undertakes to follow a path of peaceful development in its constitution, and the only one among the five nuclear-weapon states that has pledged no-first-use of nuclear weapons. No matter how developed China becomes, it will never seek hegemony, expansion or sphere of influence, nor will it engage in arms race. China will always be a strong pillar for peace and tranquility of humanity.
China is committed to its international responsibilities and remains a firm defender of the international order. China is the first founding member of the United Nations to sign on the UN Charter. It firmly upholds the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and advocates respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. China has dispatched the most peacekeepers among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. It is the second largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget. China has taken an active part in international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation processes.
IV. Implementing fully the major propositions and policy goals of the GSI
Visions set the course, and actions shape the future. More than proposing the GSI, China acts on this major Initiative. We stand ready to work with the international community to ensure that the GSI, put forward by President Xi Jinping, will take root and come into fruition, so that the world will enjoy greater peace, security and prosperity.
We need to seek to build a new regional security architecture and jointly protect peace and stability in Asia. Asia is an anchor for world peace, a powerhouse for global growth and a new pacesetter for international cooperation, and it needs a new security architecture compatible with its economic foundation. We should build a model of security for Asia featuring mutual respect, openness and integration that takes into account the diversity of Asian countries in terms of development stages, social systems and cultural values and accommodate the aspirations and interests of all parties.
We must firmly oppose any attempt to divide the region and wage a “new Cold War” through the so-called Indo-Pacific strategy, and reject the attempt to piece together an Asia-Pacific version of NATO through military alliances. We must firmly uphold ASEAN centrality in the regional architecture, advocate the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the Bandung Spirit, deepen regional and sub-regional security cooperation, and find a path for Asia that ensures security for all, by all, and of all.
By following the trend of history and taking the right path, one can reach high and go far. China stands ready to work with all peace-loving countries and peoples committed to development to carry out the GSI put forward by President Xi Jinping, open up a broad path toward lasting peace and universal security, and forge a strong synergy to build a community with a shared future for mankind. Let the torch of peace be passed on from generation to generation and the sound of peace echo throughout the world.
The writer is State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of People’s Republic of China.