Photo Sources:, Copies of the Chinese government’s new concept paper on the Global Security Initiative



Currently, global challenges continue to emerge, with regional conflicts and local wars erupting one after another, posing severe challenges to global security. The Global Security Initiative, announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2022, demonstrates deep concerns about global security issues and a beautiful vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. This article outlines the core concepts of the Global Security Initiative and analyzes the efforts and achievements made by China to implement it. Considering the security situation in the Middle East, this article also analyzes the impact and significance of the Global Security Initiative on the Middle East region.

Keywords: Global Security Initiative; China; Middle East


  1. Global Security

Global security involves military and diplomatic strategies implemented by nations and international organizations, such as the United Nations and NATO, to ensure mutual safety and security.

Over time, the content of global security has expanded significantly. Nowadays, it includes a variety of interconnected global issues affecting human survival. This includes traditional aspects such as military power, inter-state warfare, economic strength, as well as ethnic, religious and ideological tensions. Additionally, global security extends to concerns such as energy supplies, advancements in science and technology, food security, and threats to human well-being. This also includes challenges posed by environmental degradation, infectious diseases, climate change, and the actions of non-state actors, all of which contribute to the stability or instability of nations.

  1. The significant challenges of global security

Currently, the world is facing numerous security challenges, negatively impacting human well-being and hindering the pursuit of world peace. Regional security hotspots continuously flare up, leading to frequent local conflicts and unrest exacerbated by longstanding geopolitical tensions. Simultaneously, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has exposed vulnerabilities in global health security systems, highlighting the need for stronger international cooperation and coordination. Furthermore, a concerning rise in unilateralism and protectionism, with some countries prioritizing their national interests over collective global security efforts, threatens to erode multilateral frameworks crucial for maintaining global peace and stability. Meanwhile, traditional security threats such as military conflicts and terrorism intertwine with non-traditional threats like cyberattacks, climate change, and environmental degradation.

In response to these complex security challenges, the Global Security Initiative (GSI), proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, provides a practical path forward for addressing the root causes of international conflicts, enhancing global security governance, fostering joint international efforts, and promoting durable peace and development worldwide. This initiative emphasizes the significance of solidarity and cooperation among nations in addressing shared security threats and steering the world towards a safer and more stable future.

The Background of the Global Security Initiative

  1. The role of China as a major power in global affairs

As the world’s second-largest economy, China has gradually shifted from being a follower and participant in global affairs to becoming one of the leaders and playing an important role. Faced with complex challenges and opportunities, China, as a responsible major power, actively promotes the reform and construction of the global security governance framework. President Xi Jinping introduced the concept of a Community with a Shared Future for Humanity to the world in 2013, based on a deep understanding of the laws of human social development and China’s evolving relations with the world.

The notion of a community with a shared future for humanity embodies China’s commitment to diplomacy as a major player. China has consistently pursued peaceful development, fostering a growing alignment of interests with nations worldwide and advancing the establishment of a new paradigm of international relations rooted in cooperation and mutual benefit. China does not engage in aggression or expansion and has consistently contributed to global peace, development, and the preservation of international order. For instance, since the 1940s, China has been a significant force in UN peacekeeping operations and executing UN peacekeeping missions, playing a crucial role in shaping a community of human security. China has deployed over 50,000 personnel in nearly 30 UN peacekeeping operations, established a standby peacekeeping force of approximately 8,000 personnel, and ranks as the country dispatching the highest number of peacekeeping personnel among the UN Security Council’s permanent members and the second-largest contributor to UN peacekeeping budgets.

In 2017, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China proposed: “China follows the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration in global governance. China stands for democracy in international relations and the equality of all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor. China supports the United Nations in playing an active role in international affairs and supports the efforts of other developing countries to increase their representation and strengthen their voice in international affairs. China will continue to play its part as a major and responsible country, actively reforming and developing the global governance system, and keep contributing Chinese wisdom and strength to global governance.”

The report of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China pointed out that “we have pursued major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics on all fronts. We have taken a clear-cut stance against hegemonism and power politics in all their forms, and we have never wavered in our opposition to unilateralism, protectionism, and bullying. We have improved China’s overall diplomatic agenda and worked actively to build a global network of partnerships and foster a new type of international relations.

  1. The proposal of the Global Security Initiative

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the Global Security Initiative (GSl) on April 21, 2022, at the annual Boao Forum. The timing was noteworthy as it occurred shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. China, aligning with Russia, attributed Russia’s aggression to the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Development has been the dominant theme throughout the Boao Forums under Xi’s leadership. Xi’s 2015 Boao speech was “Towards a Community of Common Destiny and A New Future for Asia.”

On the first anniversary of the Global Security Initiative, the Chinese government officially released “The Global Security Initiative Concept Paper” in March 2023. This document further elaborated on the core concepts and principles, critical areas of cooperation, as well as the cooperation platforms and mechanisms of the Global Security Initiative. The core content of the Global Security Initiative is a security perspective that emphasizes commonality, comprehensiveness, cooperation, and sustainability.

The main content of the Global Security Initiative

  1. Stay committed to common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security.

President Xi Jinping initiated this new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security in 2014. The essence of this new vision of security is to advocate a concept of common security, respecting and safeguarding the security of every country; a holistic approach, maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains and enhancing security governance in a coordinated way; a commitment to cooperation, bringing about security through political dialogue and peaceful negotiation; and pursuit of sustainable security, resolving conflicts through development and eliminating the breeding ground for insecurity.

  1. Stay committed to respecting all countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The basic principles of international law and the most fundamental norms governing contemporary international relations are sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs. China believes all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community. Their internal affairs brook no external interference, their sovereignty and dignity must be respected, and their right to independently choose social systems and development paths must be upheld. Sovereign independence and equality must be upheld, and efforts should be made for all countries to enjoy equality in terms of rights, rules and opportunities.

  1. Stay committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

The purposes and principles of the UN Charter embody the deep reflection by people around the world on the bitter lessons of the two world wars. The various confrontations and injustices today did not occur because the purposes and principles of the UN Charter are outdated but because they were not effectively maintained and implemented. China calls on all countries to practice genuine multilateralism; firmly uphold the international system with the UN at its core, the international order underpinned by international law and the basic norms of international relations underpinned by the UN Charter; and uphold the authority of the UN and its status as the main platform for global security governance. The Cold War mentality, unilateralism, bloc confrontation and hegemonism contradict the spirit of the UN Charter and must be resisted and rejected.

  1. Stay committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously.

Humanity is an indivisible security community. One country’s security should not come at the expense of others. China believes all countries are equal in terms of security interests. All countries’ legitimate and reasonable security concerns should be taken seriously and addressed correctly, not persistently ignored or systemically challenged. Any country, while pursuing its own security, should consider the reasonable security concerns of others. China upholds indivisible security, advocating the indivisibility between individual security and common security, traditional security and non-traditional security, security rights and security obligations, and security and development. There should be a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, so as to realize universal security and common security.

  1. Stay committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation.

War and sanctions are no fundamental solution to disputes; only dialogue and consultation effectively resolve differences. China calls on countries to strengthen strategic communication, enhance mutual security confidence, diffuse tensions, manage differences and eliminate the root causes of crises. Major countries must uphold justice, fulfill their due responsibilities, support consultation on an equal footing, facilitate talks for peace, play good offices, and mediate in light of the needs and wills of the countries concerned. The international community should support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises and encourage conflicting parties to build trust, settle disputes, and promote security through dialogue. Abusing unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction does not solve a problem, but only creates more difficulties and complications.

  1. Stay committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains.

In today’s world, both the intension and extension of security are broadening. Security is more interconnected, transnational and diverse. Traditional and non-traditional security threats have become intertwined. China encourages all countries to practice the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits in global governance, and work together to address regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity. There should be concerted efforts to explore multiple channels, develop a holistic solution, and improve relevant rules, so as to find sustainable solutions, promote global security governance and prevent and resolve security challenges.

The implementation and achievements of China’s Global Security Initiative on the international stage

China proposed the Global Security Initiative, advocating for unity to adapt to the profound adjustments in the international landscape, addressing complex security challenges with a win-win mindset, eliminating the root causes of international conflicts, improving global security governance, and working together with other countries to bring more stability and certainty into the turbulent and changing era. China has always upheld a responsible attitude, fulfilling its international obligations and commitments, firmly supporting multilateralism in international security affairs, actively conducting international cooperation, and making significant contributions to maintaining international peace and security.

The initiative, put forward nearly two years ago, has been widely welcomed and positively responded to by the international community, receiving support and appreciation from over 100 countries and international regional organizations. It has been incorporated into numerous bilateral and multilateral documents regarding China’s interactions and cooperation with other countries and international organizations.

Firstly, China actively participates in promoting multilateral security cooperation. China is among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, dispatches the most peacekeeping personnel, and is the second-largest contributor to UN peacekeeping costs. China firmly supports the global conventional arms control process, has completed the domestic ratification procedures for the Firearms Protocol, and supports the implementation of the “Silencing the Guns in Africa” initiative. China actively engages in international humanitarian mine clearance cooperation, contributing to resolving regional countries’ landmine problems and enhancing people’s security and well-being. As of 2019, China has conducted military exchanges with over 150 countries, established defense consultation mechanisms with 41 countries and international organizations, and is committed to promoting the construction of a new type of security partnership based on equality, mutual trust, and win-win cooperation.

Secondly, China actively conducts mediation diplomacy, making unremitting efforts to promote political solutions to hotspot issues. In 2023, China issued documents such as “China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis,” “China’s Position on the Afghan Issue,” and “China’s Position on Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,” firmly standing on the side of peace. China successfully mediated reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, setting an example for regional countries to resolve conflicts and differences through dialogue and consultation. With China’s support, Saudi Arabia and Iran held talks in Beijing in March 2023. The two sides reached the “Beijing Agreement,” and the China-Saudi Arabia-Iran trilateral signed and issued a joint statement, announcing that the two sides agreed to restore diplomatic relations and cooperate in various fields. The facilitation of reconciliation and agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran fully demonstrates China’s sense of responsibility as a major country.

Meanwhile, China attaches importance to playing a constructive role within the framework of the United Nations and other multilateral organizations, contributing Chinese solutions to global and regional security governance. China assumed the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council in November 2023, holding over 30 meetings and passing seven resolutions. Since the outbreak of new conflicts between Palestine and Israel, China has actively communicated and coordinated with relevant parties, dispatched envoys to visit regional countries, and provided humanitarian assistance to Palestine at the first opportunity, promoting the de-escalation of tensions, preventing the spread of war, avoiding humanitarian disasters, and creating conditions for political solutions.

Furthermore, China continues to strengthen international exchanges and cooperation in health, food, energy, and maritime security, working with other countries to address non-traditional security challenges such as terrorism, climate change, and cybersecurity. China successfully hosted the first trilateral counter-terrorism security dialogue among China, Pakistan, and Iran, proposed international cooperation initiatives on food security under the G20 framework, launched the China-Pacific Island Countries Disaster Reduction and Disaster Relief Cooperation Center, and promoted the establishment of a global law enforcement security training system. In addition, at the third Belt and Road International Cooperation Summit Forum held in October 2023, China issued the “Global Artificial Intelligence Governance Initiative,” advocating for strengthening information exchange and technical cooperation among countries in artificial intelligence governance, jointly preventing risks, forming a consensus on artificial intelligence governance framework, standards, and norms, continuously improving the security, reliability, controllability, and fairness of artificial intelligence technology.

China also actively promotes improving international security dialogue and exchange platforms and mechanisms. China promoted the first “China-Horn of Africa” Peace Conference in African countries, successfully hosted the second Middle East Security Forum, and actively promoted exchanges and cooperation in the security field among various parties through multilateral platforms such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, and various mechanisms for East Asian cooperation. China continues to build a series of international security dialogue platforms, such as the Beijing Xiangshan Forum, the Global Public Security Cooperation Forum (Lianyungang), the China-Africa Peace and Security Forum, and the China-Latin America Senior Defense Forum, gathering consensus and joint efforts from the international community to address security challenges.

The impact and significance of the Global Security Initiative on the Middle East

Global Security Initiative is vital to eliminating security, development, and governance deficits in the Middle East.

Firstly, it breaks the monopoly of Western countries on Middle Eastern security affairs. Unlike the traditional Western security perspective, the Global Security Initiative advocates respecting Middle Eastern countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. It adheres to the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. China plays an important role in promoting security and stability in the Middle East. In 2018, President Xi Jinping proposed a Chinese solution to achieve security in the Middle East at the opening ceremony of the 8th Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. Since 2019, China has held two Middle East Security Forums, contributing Chinese wisdom to promote security and stability in the Middle East. In 2020, China proposed a constructive proposal to build a platform for multilateral dialogue in the Gulf region. In 2021, China successively put forward multiple initiatives to achieve security and stability in the Middle East, politically resolve the Syrian issue, and promote the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. These diplomatic actions demonstrate China’s constructive role in solving Middle Eastern security issues and promoting the construction of a new security framework in the Middle East, indicating that the Global Security Initiative can effectively address practical problems.

Secondly, it helps the Middle East establish a correct security perspective. “The Global Security Initiative Concept Paper” provides new ideas for solving security issues in the Middle East. Adhering to a common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security perspective helps improve the security environment in the Middle East. Middle Eastern countries should persist in cooperative games in a non-zero-sum game, where each party’s strategy is considered and coordinated to achieve the optimal result for the entire group, mutually benefiting through cooperation. The process from confrontation to reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran is also a transition from a one-time game to multiple games between the two countries. The Global Security Initiative proposed by China believes that only through cooperation and joint addressing of regional disputes through political dialogue and peaceful negotiations can Middle Eastern countries truly resolve security dilemmas.

Moreover, it promotes easing the security situation in the Middle East. China’s mediation of the Saudi-Iran conflict has accelerated the resolution of security issues in the Middle East. The reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran also provides an opportunity to resolve issues in countries such as Yemen and Syria. On April 6, 2023, a Saudi government delegation visited Yemen, met with leaders of the Houthi armed group, which controls most of Yemen’s territory, and held direct negotiations to end the conflict in Yemen. Parties involved in the Yemen issue have shown a positive attitude towards political solutions, taking a positive step forward. The reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran has promoted Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries to improve their relations with Syria. After 11 years of severance, Saudi Arabia and Syria have re-established diplomatic relations and reopened embassies. With the promotion of Saudi Arabia and other countries, on May 7, 2023, the Arab League at a special ministerial meeting in Cairo decided to restore Syria’s membership in the Arab League, with Syria returning to the Arab League after 12 years. On May 19, 2023, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attended the 32nd Arab League Summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Syria’s return to the Arab family is an essential achievement of the Saudi-Iran reconciliation, marking the deepening of the “reconciliation trend” in the Middle East. The Saudi-Iran reconciliation has brought significant positive impacts on the Middle East security situation, which is a successful practice of China in implementing the Global Security Initiative, setting an example for countries to establish models through dialogue, consultation, and conflict resolution.


Living in a global village, our humanity is a community with a shared future. Currently, global governance faces numerous challenges, and countries and peoples around the world have never been as interconnected and interdependent as they are today. Faced with global security dilemmas, China, as a responsible major country, has been earnestly fulfilling its international obligations and commitments while also calling for global unity, cooperation, and overcoming difficulties together.

President Xi Jinping first proposed the Global Security Initiative during the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference in 2022, advocating for “six commitments,” which received widespread attention in the international community. This significant initiative provided clear answers to questions about “what kind of security concept the world needs” and “how countries can achieve common security.” In practical terms, China has made outstanding contributions to improving global security governance, creating opportunities for maintaining international peace and security.

The Middle East is one of the regions most severely affected by security deficits in the world, where geopolitical conflicts and interventions from major powers have led to security dilemmas. The success of the Beijing Dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran is a successful practice of the Global Security Initiative, demonstrating its feasibility and effectiveness in addressing Middle East security governance issues, which holds significant and far-reaching implications for resolving security dilemmas in the region.



[1] Chris Cash (2022). What is China’s Global Security Initiative? Council on Geostrategy

[2] China Daily (2017) , Secure a Decisive Victory in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in All Respects and Strive for the Great Success of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era,

[3] Foreign Affairs Office of Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government (2022), Hold High the Great Banner of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics and Strive in Unity to Build a Modern Socialist Country in All Respects,

[4] China’s National Defense in the New Era, Liberation Army Daily, July 2nd, 2019

[5] Xu Bu, Chen Wenbing (2022), The Global Security Initiative Points the Way to Safeguarding World Peace and Stability. Contemporary World.




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About the author:

Mrs. Chen Cao

Mrs. Chen Cao is a student at the Shanghai University and intern at MEPEI.

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