Thursday, February 23, 2023

China Elaborates on Its Global Security Initiative

 President Xi Jinping announced on 21 April 2022 a new Global Security Initiative (GSI) at the Boao Forum for Asia's annual conference in China.  This nebulous initiative raised more questions than it answered about China's "new" security policy.  

On 21 February 2023, China issued "The Global Security Initiative Concept Paper" that provided additional details about the initiative.  Foreign Minister Qin Gang summarized the concept paper by noting it lays out 20 priorities of cooperation for "upholding the UN's role in security governance; promoting coordination and sound interactions among major countries [not identified], facilitating peaceful settlement of hotspot issues through dialogue; tackling traditional and non-traditional security challenges; and strengthening the system and capacity for global security governance."

Comment:  There is relatively little that is "new" in the GSI, although several themes have evolved in the Xi Jinping era.  It mostly brings together long-standing Chinese foreign policy principles such as support for state sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs, multilateralism, dialogue, and opposition to sanctions.  The concept paper underscores the centrality of Xi Jinping's "community of shared security for mankind" and support for the UN and African Union's peacekeeping mandate, peaceful coexistence, arms control, ASEAN-centered regional security cooperation, Africa-led counter-terrorism operations, UN-led fight against global terrorism, international security governance on artificial intelligence and outer space, global food and energy security, the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and cooperation to address climate change.

China's goal is clearly to place security issues in forums where China has more influence or has established mechanisms where it has control such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the China-Horn of Africa Peace, Governance and Development Conference.