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China's solutions to help address governance problems

By Kong Qingjiang | China Daily | Updated: 2023-06-07 08:15


In the speech he delivered at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore on Sunday, State Councilor and Defense Minister Li Shangfu reiterated China's stance on the Taiwan question and warned foreign elements and separatist forces on the island not to make any attempts to seek "Taiwan independence". Li also elaborated on the Global Security Initiative, making clear the core concepts, principles and priorities of cooperation of the initiative.

Since security issues have evolved from political issues to international law issues today, it is all the more important for countries and regions to explore the path of cooperation that the Global Security Initiative recommends, in order to strengthen international law.

China proposed the GSI in response to the complex global security situation and the urgent need of the international community to maintain peace. The initiative envisions common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and calls for jointly safeguarding global peace and security. While respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of every country, the GSI rejects any interference in the internal affairs of other countries, and calls on the international community to respect the development path and social system chosen by the people of a country.

Unlike the Cold-War mentality-driven unilateralism and bloc confrontation resorted to by Western countries, the GSI embraces the principles of the United Nations Charter. Taking the reasonable security concerns of all countries into consideration, the GSI advocates building a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, while opposing the policy of one country or a group of countries strengthening their security at the cost of other countries.

Also, the GSI proposes that differences and disputes between countries be resolved through dialogue and consultation, while disapproving of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction. The initiative also proposes that countries adopt a holistic approach to address both traditional and non-traditional security issues such as terrorism, climate change and cybersecurity.

As Li said, the world should adhere to multilateralism with the UN at its core, hold extensive consultations, jointly contribute to and share the benefits of development, and balance development and security issues. In a nutshell, he highlighted the role of international law in international relations.

The preamble to and Articles 1 and 2 of the UN Charter underscore the purpose and principles of the UN, at the heart of which lies the maintenance of global peace and security. To this end, collective measures should be taken in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, so as to prevent and remove threats to peace, prevent acts of aggression or other breaches of peace, and settle international disputes which might lead to a breach of peace.

Article 2 of the UN Charter underlines certain principles the UN itself and its member states should abide by in pursuit of the above-mentioned purposes. The UN Charter's principles include sovereign equality of member states, peaceful resolution to bilateral and multilateral disputes, prohibiting threat or the use of force, and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. These principles, often viewed as the "peremptory law" of general international law, are not only binding on all countries but also essential to implementing the GSI.

The main organs of the UN, especially the Security Council, should be allowed to play their due roles. The Security Council is primarily responsible for maintaining peace and security around the world. It has the power to not only make clear decisions on "any threat to peace, breach of peace, or act of aggression" but also to take corrective action against them. And while regional organizations may help maintain regional peace and security, their actions, which could have an impact globally, should be in accordance with the principles of the UN and the UN Security Council.

Adhering to the principles of joint consultation, construction and sharing is essential for not only safeguarding universal security, but also implementing the GSI. In contrast, hegemony, beggar-thy-neighbor policy and the tendency to use force or unilateral sanctions against other countries are not conducive to maintaining global peace and security. To be sure, dialogue is the only way to enhance mutual trust, resolve disputes and promote security. In this regard, the Shangri-La Dialogue and other forums are expected to play their due roles.

The GSI has injected Chinese elements into the notion of global security, and offers Chinese solutions to governance problems with the aim of promoting global peace and development within the ambit of international law based on the UN Charter.

The author is dean of the School of International Law at the China University of Political Science and Law.

The views don't necessarily reflect those of China Daily.

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