Friday, November 4, 2022

China's Global Security Initiative and Africa

 The Council on Geostrategy published in September 2022 a paper titled "What Is China's Global Security Initiative?" by Chris Cash, UK parliamentary China Research Group.  

Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC, announced in April 2022 the Global Security Initiative (GSI) at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference.  Cash explains that it remains a vague concept that is an effort to provide an alternative to the existing geopolitical order.  It is not yet clear how the GSI, which is long on principles and short on practical details, will be operationalized.  A case can be made that the GSI simply represents a CPC repackaging of existing security objectives with a new propaganda wrapping.  Nevertheless, it is now a core component of Xi Jinping's "comprehensive security" and needs to be taken seriously.  

China has prioritized the GSI in the Horn of Africa, where Beijing has its only military base outside China in Djibouti.  China has also attached the GSI label to China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035 and the Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa.  Beijing's special envoy for the Horn of Africa, Xue Bing, organized the first ever China-Horn of Africa Peace Conference in Addis Ababa in June 2022, reportedly to mediate conflicts in the region.  China cited this conference as an early achievement of the GSI.  (Never mind that it produced nothing more than flowery press releases.)

Comment:  Those of us interested in China's approach to security have been struggling with the significance and future of GSI.  Chris Cash's analysis is the best I have seen so far, but GSI remains an elusive initiative.