The Sunday Mail
On March 9, the Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Zimbabwe, Mr Cheng Yan, paid a courtesy call on Vice President and Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Constantino Chiwenga.
Among the discussions the two sides held was the Global Security Initiative (GSI), whose concept China officially launched on February 21, and is now ready for implementation. The GSI is a comprehensive strategy for world peace and security, encompassing various aspects of global security that China is seeking the world’s consensus on. President Xi Jinping first put forward the GSI concept while delivering a keynote speech via video at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference in April 2022.
The basis of the initiative is multilateralism and it conceives countries of the world joining hands at various levels to achieve security for all nations. Since last year, the idea has been gathering momentum.
If implemented, the GSI will achieve unprecedented successes for global peace and security, and this is why Zimbabwe has every reason to support this initiative.
There is no doubt Zimbabwe will back China in embracing the GSI, because the two countries share common interests and views, and have coalesced around key global issues on the international forum.
Now, with the GSI set to be launched by President Xi soon, Zimbabwe should be part of the nucleus of nations that will support the birth and growth of the concept.
Conceivably, there are so many benefits that will accrue to Zimbabwe.
The concept of security is complex but the GSI clearly articulates the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. This is based on respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries as the basic premise; abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter as a primary benchmark; taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously as an important principle, peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation as a must choice; and maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains.
As a four-part document, the GSI has six “core concepts and principles”; 20 “priorities for cooperation” and envisages five “platforms and mechanisms of cooperation”.
The GSI outlines 20 priority areas the world should join hands on. These include “capacity enhancement of the United Nations for conflict prevention and fully harnessing the peace-building architecture to assist post-conflict states in peace-building; promoting coordination and sound interaction among major countries and building a major country relationship featuring peaceful coexistence, overall stability and balanced development; preventing nuclear war and avoiding arms races issued by leaders of the five nuclear-weapon states and fully promoting political settlement of international and regional hotspot issues”.
Apart from the general, principle-driven imperatives, GSI is also big on specifics relating to major geographical areas of the globe — Asia, the Middle East, the Caribbean and Latin America, the Pacific region and Africa.
On Africa, the GSI undertakes to “Support the efforts of African countries, the AU (African Union) and sub-regional organisations to resolve regional conflicts, fight terrorism and safeguard maritime security, call on the international community to provide financial and technical support to Africa-led counter-terrorism operations, and support African countries in strengthening their ability to safeguard peace independently.”
Also, GSI helps to support addressing African problems in the African way and promote peaceful settlement of hotspots in the Horn of Africa, the Sahel the Great Lakes region and other areas.
Key cross-cutting issues the GSI envisages include maritime security, the fight against terrorism, information security, security governance on artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies, public health, food and energy security, organised crime and climate change. The document makes a powerful analogy on how solving global security issues is good for all humanity.
It says: “Like passengers aboard the same ship, countries need to work in solidarity to foster a community of shared security for mankind and build a world that is free from fear and enjoys universal security.”
China is ready to conduct bilateral and multilateral security cooperation with all countries and international and regional organisations under the framework of the Global Security Initiative, and actively promote coordination of security concepts and convergence of interests.
The implementation of the GSI will be done through several vehicles, including the UN, regional frameworks, China-Africa Peace and Security Forum, the Middle East Security Forum, the Beijing Xiangshan Forum, the Global Public Security Cooperation Forum (The Lianyungang Forum) and other international dialogue platforms.
It will also include other mechanisms for exchange and cooperation on addressing security challenges in such areas as counter-terrorism, cybersecurity, biosecurity and emerging technologies, with a view to improving the governance capacity in the domain of non-traditional security.
Global benefits: Leaving no one behind
The benefits of the proposed global security architecture are huge, and China and President Xi deserve plaudits for coming up with a selfless concept that is good for the entire humanity. GSI is all-encompassing in scope and inclusive of all countries and geographical regions. It addresses all current and future security challenges that could affect humanity.
The concept also seeks to prevent conflict among major powers and tries to steer the world from harmful practices of unilateralism, hegemonism and political manoeuvring.