Issue Brief on “China’s Global Security Initiative (GSI): An Explainer”

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On February 21, 2023, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) published a comprehensive concept paper entitled, The Global Security Initiative (GSI).[2] Earlier, the GSI was proposed by the Chinese President Xi Jinping on April 21, 2022, at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022. The theme of the conference was: “The World in COVID-19 & Beyond: Working Together for Global Development and Shared Future.”[3] President Xi delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony via video link and said that “security is the precondition for development,” and quoted a Chinese axiom that “Stability brings a country prosperity while instability leads a country to poverty.” His keynote speech at the forum was focused on “Rising to Challenges and Building a Bright Future Through Cooperation.”[4]

President Xi emphasised the prevailing traditional as well as non-traditional security threats and the ways and means to mitigate the global challenges including Covid-19, unilateralism, and protectionism. He said that besides non-traditional threats, new traditional security threats were also emerging which were further fuelled by the fragile global economic recovery and the widening of the development gap. He drew attention towards the lack of climate change governance and digital governance. President Xi quoted an ancient Chinese saying that “One must not change his commitment or give up his pursuit even in the face of danger and risk.”[5] In other words, he reiterated his confidence in mitigating the traditional as well as non-traditional threats being faced by the international community. One argues that the concept paper published by the Chinese MFA is the reflection of President Xi’s keynote speech and has a great value in understanding the future contours of China’s foreign policy.

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