On February 21st, the Chinese government released a comprehensive and authoritative Concept Paper on the Global Security Initiative (GSI), first proposed by President Xi Jinping at the annual Boao Forum in April 2022.
Noting that today, the international community is confronted with multiple risks and challenges, but is also “brimming with hope”, the document says that the GSI “aims to eliminate the root causes of international conflicts, improve global security governance, encourage joint international efforts to bring more stability and certainty to a volatile and changing era, and promote durable peace and development in the world.”
Divided into six core concepts and principles and 20 cooperation priorities, the concept paper calls for “bringing about security through political dialogue and peaceful negotiation; and pursuit of sustainable security, resolving conflicts through development,” noting that, “security will only be firmly established and sustainable when it is underpinned by morality, justice and the right ideas.”
It describes sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs as “basic principles of international law and the most fundamental norms governing contemporary international relations”, adding that “we believe all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community. Their internal affairs brook no external interference, their sovereignty and dignity must be respected, and their right to independently choose social systems and development paths must be upheld.”
The purposes and principles of the UN Charter are said to embody the peoples’ deep reflection on the bitter lessons of two world wars. “The various confrontations and injustices in the world today did not occur because the purposes and principles of the UN Charter are outdated, but because they are not effectively maintained and implemented.”
The paper insists that the security of one country should not come at the expense of that of others. Invoking a principle that China often cites with regard to both Russia and the DPRK, for example, it says that: “The legitimate and reasonable security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously and addressed properly, not persistently ignored or systemically challenged.” In similar vein, it notes that: “War and sanctions are no fundamental solution to disputes; only dialogue and consultation are effective in resolving differences.”
The importance of the January 2022 consensus reached by the five recognised nuclear weapons states, that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”, is underlined and support extended to the struggles of peoples in various regions of the world to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones. Among the specific issues highlighted are the need to “achieve a just solution to the Palestinian question at an early date” and to address the concerns of Pacific island countries with regard to climate change, natural disasters and public health. The proliferation of non-traditional security threats, along with issues relating to outer space, pandemics, food and energy security, and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, are among the many other topics addressed. In all, it stresses that the proposed commitments are, “interlinked and mutually reinforcing, and are an organic whole of dialectical unity.”
We republish below the full text of the document. It was originally published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
The issue of security bears on the well-being of people of all countries, the lofty cause of world peace and development, and the future of humanity.
Today, our world, our times and history are changing in ways like never before, and the international community is confronted with multiple risks and challenges rarely seen before. Regional security hotspots keep flaring up, local conflicts and turbulence occur frequently, the COVID-19 pandemic persists, unilateralism and protectionism have risen significantly, and traditional and non-traditional security threats are entwined. The deficits in peace, development, security and governance are growing, and the world is once again at a crossroads in history.
This is an era rife with challenges. It is also one brimming with hope. We are convinced that the historical trends of peace, development and win-win cooperation are unstoppable. Upholding world peace and security and promoting global development and prosperity should be the common pursuit of all countries. Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed the Global Security Initiative (GSI), calling on countries to adapt to the profoundly changing international landscape in the spirit of solidarity, and address the complex and intertwined security challenges with a win-win mindset. The GSI aims to eliminate the root causes of international conflicts, improve global security governance, encourage joint international efforts to bring more stability and certainty to a volatile and changing era, and promote durable peace and development in the world.
II. Core concepts and principles
1. Stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. In 2014, President Xi Jinping initiated a new vision for common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, which has been widely recognized and supported by the international community. The essence of this new vision of security is to advocate a concept of common security, respecting and safeguarding the security of every country; a holistic approach, maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains and enhancing security governance in a coordinated way; a commitment to cooperation, bringing about security through political dialogue and peaceful negotiation; and pursuit of sustainable security, resolving conflicts through development and eliminating the breeding ground for insecurity. We believe security will only be firmly established and sustainable when it is underpinned by morality, justice and the right ideas.
2. Stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. Sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs are basic principles of international law and the most fundamental norms governing contemporary international relations. We believe all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community. Their internal affairs brook no external interference, their sovereignty and dignity must be respected, and their right to independently choose social systems and development paths must be upheld. Sovereign independence and equality must be upheld, and efforts should be made for all countries to enjoy equality in terms of rights, rules and opportunities.
3. Stay committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. The purposes and principles of the UN Charter embody the deep reflection by people around the world on the bitter lessons of the two world wars. They are humanity’s institutional design for collective security and lasting peace. The various confrontations and injustices in the world today did not occur because the purposes and principles of the UN Charter are outdated, but because they are not effectively maintained and implemented. We call on all countries to practice true multilateralism; firmly uphold the international system with the UN at its core, the international order underpinned by international law and the basic norms of international relations underpinned by the UN Charter; and uphold the authority of the UN and its status as the main platform for global security governance. The Cold War mentality, unilateralism, bloc confrontation and hegemonism contradict the spirit of the UN Charter and must be resisted and rejected.
4. Stay committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously. Humanity is an indivisible security community. Security of one country should not come at the expense of that of others. We believe all countries are equal in terms of security interests. The legitimate and reasonable security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously and addressed properly, not persistently ignored or systemically challenged. Any country, while pursuing its own security, should take into account the reasonable security concerns of others. We uphold the principle of indivisible security, advocating the indivisibility between individual security and common security, between traditional security and non-traditional security, between security rights and security obligations, and between security and development. There should be a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, so as to realize universal security and common security.
5. Stay committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation. War and sanctions are no fundamental solution to disputes; only dialogue and consultation are effective in resolving differences. We call on countries to strengthen strategic communication, enhance mutual security confidence, diffuse tensions, manage differences and eliminate the root causes of crises. Major countries must uphold justice, fulfill their due responsibilities, support consultation on an equal footing, and facilitate talks for peace, play good offices and mediate in light of the needs and will of the countries concerned. The international community should support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises, and encourage conflicting parties to build trust, settle disputes and promote security through dialogue. Abusing unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction does not solve a problem, but only creates more difficulties and complications.
6. Stay committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains. In today’s world, both the intension and extension of security are broadening. Security is more interconnected, transnational and diverse. Traditional and non-traditional security threats have become intertwined. We encourage all countries to practice the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits in global governance, and work together to address regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity. There should be concerted efforts to explore multiple channels, develop a holistic solution, and improve relevant rules, so as to find sustainable solutions, promote global security governance and prevent and resolve security challenges.
These six commitments are interlinked and mutually reinforcing, and are an organic whole of dialectical unity. Among them, the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security provides conceptual guidance; respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries is the basic premise; abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter is a primary benchmark; taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously is an important principle, peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation is a must choice; and maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains is an inherent requirement.
III. Priorities of cooperation
It is our common aspiration to achieve lasting world peace, so that all countries can enjoy a peaceful and stable external environment and their people can live a happy life with their rights fully guaranteed. Like passengers aboard the same ship, countries need to work in solidarity to foster a community of shared security for mankind and build a world that is free from fear and enjoys universal security.
To realize these visions, China is ready to conduct bilateral and multilateral security cooperation with all countries and international and regional organizations under the framework of the Global Security Initiative, and actively promote coordination of security concepts and convergence of interests. China calls on all parties to carry out single or multiple cooperation in aspects including but not limited to the following ones, so as to pursue mutual learning and complementarity and to jointly promote world peace and tranquility:
1. Actively participate in formulating a New Agenda for Peace and other proposals put forth in Our Common Agenda by the UN Secretary-General. Support UN efforts to enhance conflict prevention and fully harness the peace-building architecture to assist post-conflict states in peace-building. Further leverage the Secretary-General’s Peace and Security Sub-Fund of the China-UN Peace and Development Trust Fund and support a bigger UN role in global security affairs.
Support the UN in enhancing capacity for implementing its peacekeeping mandate, uphold the three principles of “consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force except in self-defense and defense of the mandate” for peacekeeping operations, prioritize political solutions, and take a holistic approach to address both symptoms and root causes. Provide peacekeeping operations with adequate resources. Support the provision of sufficient, predictable and sustainable financial assistance to the African Union (AU) for it to carry out autonomous peacekeeping operations.
2. Promote coordination and sound interaction among major countries and build a major country relationship featuring peaceful coexistence, overall stability and balanced development. Major countries shoulder particularly important responsibilities of maintaining international peace and security. Call on major countries to lead by example in honoring equality, good faith, cooperation and the rule of law, and in complying with the UN Charter and international law. Adhere to mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, stick to the bottom line of no conflict and no confrontation, seek common ground while reserving differences, and manage differences.
3. Firmly uphold the consensus that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”. Comply with the joint statement on preventing nuclear war and avoiding arms races issued by leaders of the five nuclear-weapon states in January 2022. Strengthen dialogue and cooperation among nuclear-weapon states to reduce the risk of nuclear war. Safeguard the international nuclear non-proliferation regime based on the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) and actively support the efforts of countries in relevant regions to establish nuclear-weapon-free zones. Promote international cooperation on nuclear security, so as to build a fair, collaborative and mutually beneficial international nuclear security system.
4. Fully implement the resolution of Promoting International Cooperation on Peaceful Uses in the Context of International Security adopted by the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.
Carry out cooperation under such frameworks as the UN Security Council’s 1540 Committee, the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), promote complete prohibition and thorough destruction of weapons of mass destruction, and build up the capacity of all countries in areas including non-proliferation export control, biosecurity and protection against chemical weapons.
Support the process of global conventional arms control. Support cooperation among China, Africa and Europe on small arms and light weapons control under the premise of respecting the will of Africa. Support the implementation of the initiative of Silencing the Guns in Africa. Actively carry out international cooperation and assistance on humanitarian demining and provide help to affected countries as much as one’s ability permits.
5. Promote political settlement of international and regional hotspot issues. Encourage the countries concerned to overcome differences and resolve hotspots through candid dialogue and communication. Support the international community in constructively participating in the political settlement of hotspots, under the premise of non-interference in internal affairs, mainly through the means of facilitating peace talks, with fairness and practicality as the main attitude, and mainly following the approach of addressing both symptoms and root causes. Support political settlement of hotspot issues such as the Ukraine crisis through dialogue and negotiation.
6. Support and improve the ASEAN-centered regional security cooperation mechanism and architecture, and adhere to the ASEAN way of consensus-building and accommodating each other’s comfort level to further strengthen security dialogue and cooperation among regional countries. Support efforts to promote cooperation in non-traditional security areas under the framework of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC), implement relevant cooperation projects under the LMC Special Fund, and strive to foster a pilot zone for GSI to jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.
7. Implement the five-point proposal on realizing peace and stability in the Middle East, including advocating mutual respect, upholding equity and justice, realizing non-proliferation, jointly fostering collective security, and accelerating development cooperation, so as to jointly establish a new security framework in the Middle East. Support the positive momentum and the efforts of Middle East countries to strengthen dialogue and improve their relations, accommodate the reasonable security concerns of all parties, strengthen the internal forces of safeguarding regional security, and support the League of Arab States (LAS) and other regional organizations in playing a constructive role in this regard. The international community should take practical steps to advance the two-state solution to the Palestinian question, and convene a larger, more authoritative and more influential international peace conference, so as to achieve a just solution to the Palestinian question at an early date.
8. Support the efforts of African countries, the AU and sub-regional organizations to resolve regional conflicts, fight terrorism and safeguard maritime security, call on the international community to provide financial and technical support to Africa-led counter-terrorism operations, and support African countries in strengthening their ability to safeguard peace independently. Support addressing African problems in the African way, and promote peaceful settlement of hotspots in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel, the Great Lakes region and other areas. Actively implement the Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa, promote the institutionalization of the China-Horn of Africa Peace, Governance and Development Conference, and work actively to launch pilot projects of cooperation.
9. Support Latin American and Caribbean countries in actively fulfilling commitments stated in the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, and support the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and other regional and sub-regional organizations in playing an active role in upholding regional peace and security and properly handling regional hotspots.
10. Pay high attention to the special situation and legitimate concerns of Pacific island countries in regard to climate change, natural disasters and public health, support the efforts of Pacific island countries to address global challenges, and support island countries in implementing the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. Increase the provision of materials, funds and talents to help island countries improve their ability to deal with non-traditional security threats.
11. Strengthen maritime dialogue and exchange and practical cooperation, properly handle maritime differences, and work together to tackle transnational crimes at sea including piracy and armed robbery, so as to jointly safeguard maritime peace and tranquility and sea lane security. Call on upstream and downstream countries along trans-boundary rivers to actively engage in international cooperation, resolve relevant disputes through dialogue and consultation, ensure the safety of shipping on trans-boundary rivers, rationally utilize and protect water resources, and protect the ecological environment of trans-boundary rivers.
12. Strengthen the UN’s role as the central coordinator in the global fight against terrorism, support the international community in fully implementing the UN General Assembly and Security Council counter-terrorism resolutions and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and jointly crack down on all terrorist organizations and individuals designated by the Security Council. Channel more global counter-terrorism resources to developing countries to enhance their counter-terrorism capacity building. Oppose linking terrorism with any particular country, ethnic group or religion. Enhance studies on and responses to the impact of emerging technologies on global counter-terrorism efforts.
13. Deepen international cooperation in the field of information security. China has put forward the Global Initiative on Data Security and calls for joint efforts to formulate global rules on digital governance that reflect the will and respect the interests of all parties. Follow through on the China-LAS Cooperation Initiative on Data Security and the Data Security Cooperation Initiative of China+Central Asia, jointly address various cyber threats, and work to establish a global governance system on cyberspace featuring openness and inclusion, justice and fairness, security and stability, vigor and vitality.
14. Strengthen biosecurity risk management. Jointly advocate responsible bioscience research and encourage all stakeholders to refer to the Tianjin Biosecurity Guidelines for Codes of Conduct for Scientists on a voluntary basis. Jointly strengthen the building of biosecurity capability of laboratories, reduce biosecurity risks and promote the healthy development of biotechnology.
15. Strengthen international security governance on artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies, and prevent and manage potential security risks. China has issued position papers on regulating military applications and strengthening ethical governance of AI, and stands ready to strengthen communication and exchange with the international community on AI security governance, promote the establishment of an international mechanism with broad participation, and develop governance frameworks, standards and norms based on extensive consensus.
16. Strengthen international cooperation on outer space and safeguard the international order in outer space underpinned by international law. Carry out activities in outer space in accordance with international law, safeguard the safety of in-orbit astronauts and the long-term and sustainable operation of space facilities. Respect and ensure the equal right of all countries to use outer space peacefully. Resolutely reject the weaponization of and arms race in outer space, and support the negotiation and conclusion of an international legal instrument on arms control in outer space.
17. Support the World Health Organization in playing a leading role in global governance in public health, and effectively coordinate and mobilize global resources to jointly respond to COVID-19 and other major global infectious diseases.
18. Safeguard global food and energy security. Strengthen action coordination to maintain the smooth operation of international agricultural trade, ensure stable grain production and smooth supply chains, and avoid politicizing and weaponizing food security issues. Strengthen international energy policy coordination, create a safe and stable environment for ensuring energy transportation, and jointly maintain the stability of the global energy market and energy prices.
19. Fully and effectively implement the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. Encourage all countries to conclude or join international treaties, conventions or agreements or make institutional arrangements to fight transnational crimes. Support the three international drug control conventions of the UN, safeguard the international drug control system, and advocate coordination, shared responsibility and sincere cooperation in the international community to jointly address challenges posed by the drug problem and build a community with a shared future for mankind that is free from the harm of drugs. Actively conduct law enforcement cooperation on the basis of respecting each country’s sovereignty, so as to jointly improve law enforcement capacity and security governance. Support the establishment of a global training system to train for developing countries more law enforcement officers who are responsive to their countries’ security needs.
20. Support the cooperation among countries in addressing climate change and maintaining stable and smooth supply and industrial chains, and speed up the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in order to promote sustainable security through sustainable development.
IV. Platforms and mechanisms of cooperation
1. Engage in wide-ranging discussions and communication on peace and security at the General Assembly, relevant UN Committees, the Security Council, relevant institutions, and other international and regional organizations based on their respective mandates, and put forward common initiatives and propositions to forge consensus in the international community to address security challenges.
2. Leverage the roles of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS cooperation, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, the “China+Central Asia” mechanism, and relevant mechanisms of East Asia cooperation, and carry out security cooperation incrementally to achieve similar or same goals. Promote the establishment of a multilateral dialogue platform in the Gulf region and give play to the role of coordinating and cooperative mechanisms such as the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan and the China-Horn of Africa Peace, Governance and Development Conference to promote regional and global peace and stability.
3. Hold high-level conferences on the GSI in due course to strengthen policy communication in the field of security, promote intergovernmental dialogue and cooperation, and further foster synergy in the international community to address security challenges.
4. Support the China-Africa Peace and Security Forum, the Middle East Security Forum, the Beijing Xiangshan Forum, the Global Public Security Cooperation Forum (Lianyungang) and other international dialogue platforms in contributing to deepening exchange and cooperation on security. Promote the establishment of more global security forums to provide new platforms for governments, international organizations, think tanks and social organizations to leverage their advantages and participate in global security governance.
5. Build more international platforms and mechanisms for exchange and cooperation on addressing security challenges in such areas as counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, biosecurity and emerging technologies, with a view to improving the governance capacity in the domain of non-traditional security. Encourage more exchanges and cooperation among university-level military and police academies. China is willing to provide other developing countries with 5,000 training opportunities in the next five years to train professionals for addressing global security issues.
The GSI, following the principle of openness and inclusiveness, welcomes and looks forward to the participation of all parties to jointly enrich its substance and actively explore new forms and areas of cooperation. China stands ready to work with all countries and peoples who love peace and aspire to happiness to address all kinds of traditional and non-traditional security challenges, protect the peace and tranquility of the earth, and jointly create a better future for mankind, so that the torch of peace will be passed on from generation to generation and shine across the world.
3 thoughts on “The Global Security Initiative Concept Paper”
Deeds, not words. When a U.S. military plane flies over international waters in the South China Sea, the PRC tries to order the plane to go away and sends up a jet that harasses the plane within 500 feet for an hour. This has nothing to do with defense of sovereignty. It is the expansionist monopoly capitalist power ratcheting up the antagonism between it and the established monopoly capitalist power.
Charles, every single nation with an air-force and a border does these kinds of sorties. It’s extremely normal to patrol your air-space and provide eyes on anyone fucking around there. What’s not extremely normal is planting a whole CNN crew on a spy-plane and intentionally provoking a response. The only people that want war in this situation are the ‘established monopoly capitalists’ because they’re scared of a rising China that will soon supplant their authority on the diplomatic world stage.
No border here. The P-9 was over international waters and not near any border.