The world today is not peaceful. The international security situation is chaotic, with geopolitical conflicts intensifying. The major-country competition is becoming increasingly fierce, security threats continue to surge, and peace and security are facing unprecedented challenges. Amid the turbulent international situation, “what kind of security concept the world need and how countries can achieve common security” have become topics of the times facing everyone. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the second largest economy in the world, the security concepts that China advocates and the policies and measures that China implements bear on the world peace and stability, and the common well-being of the mankind. It is also a question attracting much attention from the people of all countries, including Tanzania.
I. The Global Security Initiative is an international public good China contributed to the world
On 21st April, 2022, President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Security Initiative (GSI) for the first time at the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference. The core essence of the initiative is “six commitments”: commitment to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security; commitment to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries; commitment to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter; commitment to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously; commitment to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation; and commitment to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains. As proposing the GSI, President Xi Jinping declares that China advocates a new path to security featuring dialogue over confrontation, partnership over alliance and win-win over zero-sum. This has provided a new direction and new ideas for eliminating the root causes of international conflicts and solving the security challenges facing humanity. The GSI is another international public good provided by China to world. At the same time, it is a real step that China has taken to build a community with a shared future for mankind in the security field.
The GSI is rooted in the fine traditional Chinese culture that values peace above everything else, and is inspired by China’s independent foreign policy of peace and its practices. It responds to the urgent needs of the international community to safeguard world peace and prevent conflicts and wars, and has been warmly received by the international community. At present, the GSI has been appreciated and supported by more than 80 countries and international organizations, and has been included in more than 20 bilateral and multilateral documents between China and relevant countries and organizations.
Since the GSI was put forward, its content and connotation have been continuously enriched. In February 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China officially issued the Global Security Initiative Concept Paper, which listed 20 key cooperation aspects for the most prominent and urgent international security concerns at present, providing a detailed and useful “manual” for countries around the world to understand the connotation of the Initiative more accurately and participate in the cooperation.
II. Implementing the Global Security Initiative brings greater stability to the turbulent world
China is the initiator of the GSI, and also an activist to implement this major initiative. In March 2023, China, Saudi Arabia and Iran signed and issued a joint statement in Beijing, announcing the resumption of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which was a successful practice of the GSI.
On the Ukrainian issue, China’s position boils down to one sentence, i.e. supporting talks for peace. For this, President Xi Jinping proposed four points about what must be done, four things the international community must do together and three observations, and these proposals have played a positive role in easing the tension and resolving the crisis.
China has also issued a position paper on the political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis, which once again emphasized China’s support for a political settlement of the crisis in a comprehensive and explicit manner. In April 2023, China issued a policy paper titled “China’s Position on the Afghan Issue”, which proposed measures in 11 aspects to support Afghanistan’s moderate and prudent governance, peace and reconstruction, and resolute and forceful fight against terrorism.
These measures aim at helping Afghanistan embark on a stable development path at an early date. China has also initiated the establishment of the International Organization for Mediation (IOMed), which is the world’s first intergovernmental legal organization dedicated to resolving international disputes through mediation, hence providing a new option for countries to peacefully resolve international disputes.
China is actively committed to cooperating with all parties in non-traditional security fields such as anti-epidemic, counter-terrorism, biology, cyberspace, food and climate change. In February this year, China-Pacific Island Countries Center for Disaster Risk Reduction Cooperation was officially launched, which is another robust effort to help developing countries cope with non-traditional security challenges under the framework of the GSI.
III. The Global Security Initiative helps to build a “gun-silenced Africa”
China has always been a staunch supporter and active contributor to the cause of peace and security in Africa. China and Africa have jointly formulated China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035 and together implemented the “nine projects”, including the peace and security project. More than 80% of the peacekeepers sent by China are deployed in Africa, and more than 30,000 people have been dispatched to Africa to perform tasks in 17 UN peacekeeping mission areas.
With China’s support, African countries held the first China-Horn of Africa Peace Conference, which achieved important consensus on promoting regional peace, development and governance, and injected positive energy into maintaining Africa’s security and stability.
China has always adhered to the principles of pursuing the greater good and shared interests, and sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, in developing relations with Africa. China is willing to work with African countries to promote the implementation of the GSI and build a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.
President Xi Jinping said, peace is like sunshine, and security is like rain and dew; One may not be conscious of it while enjoying it, but may find it difficult to survive once they are lost.
Maintaining international peace and promoting common development are the shared goals and pursuits of China and Tanzania. As the country hosting the East African Community (EAC) headquarters and the SADC Regional Counter-Terrorism Center, Tanzania is known as a “land of peace and stability” in Africa. Since its independence, Tanzania has always been upholding the values of peace, unity and solidarity, and has always been calling for, facilitating and building regional peace and stability.
It has played an important role in UN peacekeeping operations, regional counter-terrorism and promoting the settlement of hotspot issues such as the conflict in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). China is willing to join hands with all peace-loving and development-oriented countries and people in the world, to implement the GSI proposed by Present Xi Jinping, and make new and important contributions to the building of a “gun-silenced Africa” and a war-free world with universal security.
(The writer is the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania.)