For the world, the year 2022 began with a number of challenges. The world, far from being peaceful and tranquil, has not yet recovered from COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine crisis comes on its heels. As regional security hotspots keep flaring up and the European security issue receives worldwide attention, the international situation which is already rife with uncertainties has become more complex and volatile.
With growing threats posed by unilateralism, hegemony and power politics, and increasing deficits in peace, security, trust and governance, mankind is facing more and more intractable problems and security threats. This situation should not continue anymore, because it runs counter to the trend of history as well as the security and well-being of humanity. At such a critical moment, countries need solidarity, not division; dialogue, not confrontation.
It is against this background that President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Security Initiative with the future of all humanity in mind. The Initiative is yet another global public good offered by China, and a vivid illustration of its vision of a community with a shared future for mankind in the security field.
The Global Security Initiative champions the commitment in six areas: stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and work together to maintain world peace and security; stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, uphold non-interference in internal affairs, and respect the independent choices of development paths and social systems made by people in different countries; stay committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, reject the Cold War mentality, oppose unilateralism, and say “No” to group politics and bloc confrontation;
Stay committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously, uphold the principle of indivisible security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security; stay committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation, support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises, reject double standards, and oppose the wanton use of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction; stay committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains, and work together on regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity.
The launch of this major initiative responds to the urgent need of the international community to safeguard world peace and prevent conflicts and wars, conforms with the common pursuit of all countries to uphold multilateralism and safeguard international solidarity, responds to the common aspiration of all peoples to overcome their difficulties and jointly create a better post-COVID world.
Common security means respecting and ensuring the security of each and every country. Comprehensive security means upholding security in both traditional and non-traditional fields. Cooperative security means promoting the security of both individual countries and the region as a whole through dialogue and cooperation. Sustainable security means that we need to focus on both development and security so that security will be durable.
Security must be universal, equal and inclusive. One cannot seek the security of self or some countries only while leaving the rest insecure, still less should one seek the so-called absolute security of self at the expense of others’ security. The connotation and extension of security is ever-growing. In West Africa and many other regions of the world, the challenges brought by terrorism, transnational crimes, environmental security, cybersecurity, energy and resource security and major natural disasters are on the rise remarkably. Traditional and non-traditional security threats are interwoven. No country can stay aloof or unaffected. We must pull together in these trying times, in order to enhance communication and coordination to turn the crisis into an opportunity.
An ancient Chinese philosopher observed: “Stability brings a country prosperity while instability leads a country to poverty”. Security and peace are the premises and foundation for development in all its manifestations. It has been proven time and again in the history of humanity that development is out of the question without peace – just like water without a source and a tree without roots. The Cold War mentality will only wreck the global peace framework, hegemonism and power politics will only endanger world peace, and bloc confrontation will only exacerbate security challenges in the 21st century.
On the Ukraine issue, China has adopted an objective and impartial attitude. We independently assess the situation and make our position clear on the basis of the issue’s merits. As a Chinese proverb puts it, “it takes more than one cold day to freeze three feet of ice”. The situation in Ukraine has become what it is today for a variety of complex reasons. What’s needed to solve complex issues is a cool head and a rational mind, not adding fuel to the fire which only intensifies the situation.
To resolve the current crisis, we must uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations (UN) and respect and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. We must adhere to the principle of indivisible security and accommodate the legitimate security concerns of the parties involved. We must settle disputes by peaceful means through dialogue and negotiation. We must keep in mind the long-term peace and stability of the region, and put in place a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture.
The Global Security Initiative upholds true multilateralism. It is open to the world and welcomes the participation of all countries. Besides putting forward this major Initiative, China will further take earnest actions in its implementation. We are ready to work through the UN and other bilateral and multilateral channels to engage in in-depth exchange of views with all parties on the Initiative, so as to inspire each other, pool global synergy, follow through on the Initiative, and contribute wisdom and strength to the political settlement of various international and regional hotspot issues while safeguarding world peace and tranquility.
On April 19, 2022, Wang Yi – State Councilor and Foreign Minister of China, had a telephone conversation with Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana. The two ministers reached consensus on strengthening collaboration, safeguarding international fairness and justice together, jointly opposing hegemonism and power politics and defending the overall interests of the two countries and other developing countries as well.
As a responsible major country, China will continue to hold high the banner of multilateralism, unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, and always be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, a defender of the international order and a mediator in hotspot issues.
China will work with all peace-loving countries, including Ghana, to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, jointly meet challenges, and continue to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. We will strive together for a brighter and better future for the world.
The writer is the Chinese Ambassador to Ghana