Beyond Security ——China's View On Security
2023-03-20 23:39

Peace and security are like sunshine and rain. They are taken for granted, but none can live without them. For mankind, peace is indeed a luxury. Just two generations ago, the World War II caused huge human suffering. For Asian countries, barely 50 years have passed since the gunpowder dust settled on the Indochina Peninsula. In parts of the Middle East, the conflict persists to this day. Here in Europe, the conflict is a reality right now.

Why hasn’t the world escaped the curse of confrontation? Why hasn't the shadow of war faded away after the brutality of World War II? How can lasting peace be achieved? These are the questions we all should reflect on.

The People's Republic of China has since its founding never started a war or invaded another country. Peaceful development is written in our constitution, and we are the only country that has committed to "No First Use" policy among the 5 countries with nuclear weapons. China has provided its answer for peace. At the same time, we have observed three factors that lead to insecurity of the world:

Firstly, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter have not been abided by. The confrontations and injustice in today's world do not mean that these purposes and principles are outdated, but rather that they have not been fully practiced.

Secondly, the mentality of hegemony has stood in the way of equal treatment of all countries. All countries have equal security interests and their legitimate and reasonable security concerns must be taken seriously and addressed appropriately. No country should be allowed to practice exceptionalism or double standard. The security of one country should not be defended at the cost of the security of other countries.

Last but not least, the underlying problem of lack of development has not been solved. History and reality have proved that the happier people's lives are and the more developed a country’s economy and society has become, the less opportunity there will be for confrontation. The developing countries make up 80 percent of the world's population, and people there also deserve the right for a better life.

Under this background, China's President Xi Jinping has solemnly proposed a Global Security Initiative with a Chinese vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. It contains three important aspects:

1. We must stay committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. Major countries must lead the way so that hegemony has no place to hide.

2. We must stay committed to taking seriously the legitimate security concerns of all countries. Divergences and disputes should be resolved through dialogue and consultation. The sooner we understand mutual support and win-win cooperation and stand against the zero-sum game, the sooner we will achieve common security.

3. We must strengthen the system and capacity for global security governance, improve people's livelihood and stimulate economic growth so as to remove the root cause of war. China's practice has proved that peaceful development is fully possible and has been successful. The developing countries have weak foundations and need more support from the international community. Norway has played an important role in this regard.

The Ukraine crisis is a tragedy that could have been avoided. It is a painful lesson that it has developed to the situation today. This crisis takes place in Europe, but has had consequences for the whole world. Therefore, it should not continue indefinitely. In China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis, we have put forward twelve proposals, including respecting the sovereignty of all countries, ceasing hostilities, opposing the use of nuclear weapons, resolving the humanitarian crisis and promoting post-conflict reconstruction. The core stance is to promote talks for peace. Now the Ukraine crisis has entered a decisive phase, and China's position has been consistent and clear: We choose peace over war, dialogue over sanctions, and cooling down the situation over fueling the flames. Calmness and rationality are needed to begin the process of peace talks as soon as possible and promote respect for the legitimate security concerns of all parties. This is the right way forward to achieve lasting peace and stability in Europe.

China and Norway are both peace-loving nations. When our two countries strengthen cooperation, the less possibility there will be for bloc confrontation. When we choose openness and win-win, the greater hope there will be for development and prosperity. In order to build a safer world, we bear an unwavering duty. We must look beyond the mist of conflict and war, and let dialogue and negotiation guide the direction towards peace. It is high time to abandon the dangerous myth of absolute security, and let respect and mutual trust pave the way for lasting stability.

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