China releases the concept paper on the Global Security Initiative. What’s in it?

China has called on all parties to participate in GSI. Whether Nepal should become a part of GSI remains a debated issue in the country.

Photo courtesy: Global Times

NL Today

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Kathmandu: China on Tuesday released the concept paper on much debated Global Security Initiative (GSI), which says the goal of GSI is 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.

The China proposed GSI has become a subject of debate including in Nepal. Whether Nepal should become a part of GSI also remains a debated issue in the country.

The ten-page long concept paper released on Tuesday has outlined six core principles.

The first principle is about staying 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,” says the paper. “The essence of this new vision of security is to advocate a concept of common security…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.”

Second principle is commitment 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,” says the paper. “We believe all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community,” mentions the paper. “Their sovereignty and dignity must be respected, and their right to independently choose social systems and development paths must be upheld.”

Third principle is about commitment to abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. “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and injustices in the world today did not occur because the purposes and principles of the UN Charter are outdated, but because they are not effectively maintained and implemented,” says the paper. “The Cold War mentality, unilateralism, bloc confrontation and hegemonism contradict the spirit of the UN Charter and must be resisted and rejected.”

The fourth principle is related to commitment to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously. Security of one country should not come at the expense of that of others and therefore, says the paper, 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.”

Fifth principle calls for 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,” says the paper. “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 sixth one is about the commitment to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains. The paper calls for 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.

These six principles are interlinked and mutually reinforcing, and are an organic whole of dialectical unity, says the paper.

Likewise, the concept paper has also outlined the priorities of cooperation. “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,” the paper says.

Besides, China has called on all parties to carry out single or multiple cooperation in the following major areas. One, coordination and sound interaction among major countries and building a major country relationship featuring peaceful coexistence, overall stability and balanced development. Two, upholding the consensus that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”.  Three, supporting and improving the ASEAN-centered regional security cooperation mechanism and architecture, and adhering to the ASEAN way of consensus-building and accommodating each other’s comfort level to further strengthen security dialogue and cooperation among regional countries. Four, strengthening the UN’s role as the central coordinator in the global fight against terrorism. Five, supporting the World Health Organization in playing a leading role in global governance in public health, and effectively coordinating and mobilizing global resources to jointly respond to COVID-19 and other major global infectious diseases. Six, supporting the cooperation among countries in addressing climate change and speeding up the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

China has also called for leveraging 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.

China in the concept paper has called on all parties to participate in GSI. “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,” says the paper.