BEIJING, Aug. 9, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — This is an opinion piece by Ong Tee Keat, Chairman of the Center for New Inclusive Asia, Malaysia, for Beijing Review:
Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Global Security Initiative (GSI) is no doubt a timely call that provides the world with an alternative to the escalating geopolitical tension.
The initiative evolved from President Xi’s proposal at the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia in Shanghai in 2014 and calls for a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security model. It was first directed at Asia, but now is becoming increasingly relevant globally.
The GSI raises the principle of indivisible security. It seeks to forbid any country from strengthening its own security at the expense of others, echoing a 1999 charter signed by members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which includes the United States and Canada.
Be that as it may, in reality, no single charter could ever make an effective deterrent to military conflicts if only the narrow unilateral gains of a nation were to be pursued. Legitimate security concerns of all conflicting nations involved have to be addressed even-handedly to minimize differences, if full-blown conflicts are to be averted.
While acknowledging the current global vulnerability to military conflicts, it is not too far-fetched to envision that risks of potential military clashes could be minimized considerably if economic dividends could be reaped jointly through the promotion of development, notably through the connectivity of trans-border development where economic interests of neighboring countries in the region are all set to intertwine.
In this context, the GSI should not be read and interpreted in isolation. Much less should it be deemed a spontaneous response to any specific existing security pacts. It must be read in conjunction with such preceding proposals of China as the Belt and Road Initiative, which aims to boost connectivity along and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes, the ideal of building a community with a shared future for humanity and the Global Development Initiative. In short, it is part of the holistic strategy China offers to the international community in its bid as a responsible rising power to make the world a safer home for humanity, one that is more inclusive and sustainable.
This by itself is a timely and relevant public good that warrants global attention and common sense across the political spectrum. Amid the growing existential threats compounded with the increasing vulnerability to military clashes, any hegemonic moves to maintain one’s geopolitical primacy at the expense of global peace and solidarity are nothing but myopic and despicable moves that deserve global disdain.
SOURCE Beijing Review
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