Guest Opinion: The Global Security Initiative -- China's way forward in a turbulent world-Xinhua

Guest Opinion: The Global Security Initiative -- China's way forward in a turbulent world

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-27 17:09:45

by Yi Xin

In a recent article, The Economist described China as "sitting out" the security crisis in the Red Sea and "exploiting the Middle East situation for its own political gains." On global security more broadly, China's Global Security Initiative (GSI) is said to be "targeting the United States with insinuated language" and is "clearly aimed at rallying support" from countries resentful of American hegemony. Well, that could not be further from the truth.

At the 60th Munich Security Conference held not long ago, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi explained in detail what the GSI means for the world and how China seeks to be a force for stability in this turbulent world.


The Chinese people say, "To cure a disease, one should treat not just the symptoms but also the root causes."

On the Ukraine crisis, only looking at what happened on Feb. 24, 2022, would lead to a one-sided conclusion. A longer-term historical perspective is essential in understanding the roots of the problem. Decades of eastward expansion by NATO cannot be ignored.

In the Middle East, likewise, the attacks on Oct. 7, 2023, didn't happen out of thin air. Israel's chronic encroachment on Palestinians' rights and connivance at expanding settlements in Gaza and the West Bank have only fueled Palestinian resentment.

In both cases, the root cause lies in lacking a security arrangement that works for all parties concerned. But the West has failed to acknowledge these fundamentals. Its responses are primarily knee-jerk reactions to the most immediate outbreak. It condemns Hamas for the attacks but remains tight-lipped about Israel's decades-long maneuvers to squeeze the Palestinians out of a place to live. The United States is active in mediating this round of conflict. But without a practical arrangement that restores the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, the next flare-up is looming.

Absolute security can only be achieved when all countries feel secure. In its GSI, China proposes the vision of a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, where one country's security does not come at the insecurity of others, and the legitimate security concerns of all countries are taken seriously.

In that spirit, China proposes to build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture in the case of the Ukraine crisis and the implementation of a two-state solution where both Palestine and Israel feel secure.


"All members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means." This is a core principle upheld by the UN Charter. It corresponds with the thought of the ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu, who believed that "the enlightened ruler is heedful and the good general cautious at waging wars. This is the way to keep a country at peace and its army intact." Peacefully resolving disputes through dialogue and consultation is what the GSI advocates.

Violence will only invite more violence. One of the reasons why the Ukraine crisis rages on and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict continues to escalate is the confrontational measures taken by some countries to incite, rather than quell, violence.

In the case of Ukraine, the United States and other Western countries are effectively fueling the crisis by sending tons of weapons to one side while cornering the other with sanctions.

In the Middle East, retaliatory measures escalate regional tension and complicate the situation. Without UN authorization, the United States carried out air strikes on targets in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, trampling their sovereignty. This contradicts American efforts to broker peace in the region and risks incurring endless retaliation.

Confrontational moves like supplying weapons, imposing sanctions and military revenge only fuel the fire. The only way to calm fiery antagonists is to bring them to the table.

That is why China actively mediated the reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, an example of regional countries resolving differences and disagreements through dialogue and consultation.


The total disregard for Iraq and Syria's sovereignty in unauthorized military strikes only exacerbates regional fury and antagonism.

In recent years, China has put forth many proposals for settling conflicts. A five-point initiative on achieving security and stability in the Middle East, a four-point proposal for the political settlement of the Syrian issue and a three-point vision for implementing the two-state solution. At the center of these initiatives is respect for the sovereignty, independent choice and leadership of regional countries.

The Chinese place a tremendous value on respect. As Mencius once said, those who show respect to others will always be respected in turn. Following that tradition, the GSI states that all countries' internal affairs brook no external interference. It places a high value on respecting sovereignty and dignity.

Every country is entitled to defend its security and interests in a world of conflict and volatility. At the Munich Security Conference, Foreign Minister Wang Yi articulated the Chinese way of addressing hotspot issues, including non-interference in another's internal affairs, choosing political settlement over force, and addressing both the symptoms and root causes of conflicts. These are the principles that the GSI supports to navigate a turbulent world.

Editor's note: Yi Xin is a current affairs commentator based in Beijing.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Xinhua News Agency.