What you need to know:
- China has always been a staunch supporter, a constructive participant, and an active contributor of the cause of peace and security in Africa.
An ancient Chinese philosopher observed, “Stability brings a country prosperity while instability leads a country to poverty.”
It has been proven time and again that security is the precondition for development and mankind share an indivisible community of security. Right now, we have yet to walk from the shadow of a once-in-a-century pandemic and the Ukraine crisis has emerged.
With the threat of unilateralism, hegemonism and power politics being on the rise, the deficit in global security governance is worsening, the themes of the era, namely, peace and development, have come under severe challenges.
At this critical moment, Chinese president Xi Jinping put forward the Global Security Initiative (GSI) in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference on April 21. With this initiative, China wishes to contribute her wisdom and solutions for closing the peace deficit for humanity and tackling the challenges of international security.
What is the Global Security Initiative?
The Global Security Initiative upholds six principles, namely:
1) Staying committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and working together to maintain world peace and security;
2) Staying committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, upholding non-interference in internal affairs, and respecting the independent choices of development paths and social systems made by people in different countries;
3) Staying committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, rejecting the Cold War mentality, opposing unilateralism, and saying no to group politics and bloc confrontation;
4) Staying committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously, upholding the principle of indivisible security, building a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and opposing the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security;
5) Staying committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation, supporting all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises, rejecting double standards, and opposing the wanton use of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction;
6) Staying committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains, and working together on regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity.
The GSI is another international public good incepted by China in the field of global security, and together with the Global Development Initiative (GDI) proposed by President Xi last year, are the two driving wheels of a vehicle.
How to fulfil Global Security Initiative
China has put the ideas in the Global Security Initiative into practice to safeguard world peace and security. For one, as a responsible major country and permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has, over the decades, actively participated in UN peacekeeping operations and has so far sent the largest number of peacekeepers among the permanent members of the Security Council. On the Ukraine issue, China has all along held an objective and just position, making her own judgment based on the merit of the matter, and promote peace talks.
At the same time, in order to clinch a final victory against the Covid-19 pandemic and enhance global biosecurity, China has provided more than 2.1 billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organisations.
Be it in delivering vaccines abroad or producing them overseas, China has honoured her commitments with concrete actions and will follow through the pledged donation of 600 million doses of vaccines to Africa countries, as part of the efforts to close the immunisation gap. China has also made crucial contributions to other non-traditional security threats by spearheading efforts on global climate governance and launching the Global Initiative on Data Security (GIDS).
The pursuit of peace and development is etched in the DNA of the Chinese nation. African people also treasure peace and yearn for development. China has always been a staunch supporter, a constructive participant, and an active contributor of the cause of peace and security in Africa. For one, more than 80 percent of Chinese peacekeepers are deployed in Africa, and China has sent a total of more than 30,000 peacekeepers to 17 UN peacekeeping missions in Africa.
At the 8th ministerial meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation last year, China and Africa jointly formulated China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035 and decided to launch nine programmes, including the programme of peace and security.
China will deliver 10 projects in the field of peace and security for Africa, continue China’s military assistance to the African Union, support African countries’ efforts to preserve regional peace and security and counter-terrorism by themselves, and carry out cooperation in joint and on-side training of China-Africa peacekeeping force and small arms and light weapons (SALW) management and control.
What are the major security challenges?
By contrast, certain major power, to serve self-interest, is keen to incite division, disrupt the international order, and attempt to drag the world into a new Cold War by drawing ideological lines and engaging in group politics.
On Ukraine, it poured oil on the fire by imposing unilateral sanctions and made a fortune out of the war. Some countries followed suit but turned out to face greater security and economic difficulties. The result benefits no one.
The whole world and all regional countries must see through the hegemonic and power politics nature of that strategy, stay highly vigilant and self-independent, safeguard peace, unity and cooperation to gather, and stand on the right side of history and the right side of international fairness and justice.
As an old Chinese saying goes, “Keep walking and one will not be daunted by a thousand miles; make constant efforts and one will not be intimidated by a thousand tasks.” China will join hands with all peace-loving and development-seeking countries including Uganda to nurture consensus on the Global Security Initiative and build a community of shared future for mankind, and in particular, a China-Africa community of shared future in the new era.
Mr Zhang Lizhong is the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda