Xi’s global security initiative and Pakistan | By Dr Mehmood-ul-Hassan Khan


Xi’s global security initiative and Pakistan

NOW Asia & economic NATO has become a hot debate in many regional capitals. It seems that the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has alarmed many countries which consider that Taiwan would be the next point of conflict between the US and China.

That is why NATO’s heavy presence has been on the increase for the last six months in the Indo-Pacific Region (IPR).

Moreover, the first step of economic NATO has been initiated during the recently concluded visit of the US President Joe Biden to Japan by launching a new the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).

The sole aim of this IPEF is to contain China because it does not have spirits of “economic integration” and “inclusiveness” because regional economic cooperation initiatives should be open and inclusive, instead of discriminatory and exclusive.

12 nations joining the IPEF include Australia, India, Japan and South Korea, while China, the second largest economy in the world, is currently not on the list.

Besides having a so-called collaborative vision of economic cooperation, the IPEF has not detailed any substantial benefits that it can provide to its signatories yet.

Thus all efforts are being carried out at all coroners to contain China. Furthermore, the US increases its influence in IPR with the QUAD (Quadrilateral Security Dialogue) and AUKUS (a trilateral security pact between Australia, the UK and the US) under the Indo-Pacific Strategic Framework.

Despite the Chinese government’s warnings, NATO is constantly increasing its military presence in the backwards of China.

In this connection, the US arms sales and military training to Taiwan and many other regional countries and military strategic alliances and partnerships with Japan and South Korea all indicate that the US and its allies are on the mission of containing China through force and economic barricade.

To counter these emerging socio-economic, geopolitical and geostrategic anti-China trends in the region and beyond, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has floated the idea of “BRICS Plus” which would further promote humanity’s common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom among the developing countries through unremitting efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

BRICS Plus vividly reflects true spirits of “multilateralism” and “multiculturalism” which consequently guarantees the survival of emerging markets and developing countries.

It would follow principles of the United Nations and oppose all tactics of coercion against developing countries.

It would also global security enhance governance and safeguard world peace and tranquillity.

According to the Chinese Foreign Minister, it would pursue sustainable development goals and implement the mission of global governance.

In this regard, he urged the developing countries to work together to improve global governance and strive for greater space for development.

He rightly suggested that true spirits of solidarity and mutual assistance, South-South cooperation should be pursued and implemented on a larger scale, in broader areas and at deeper levels, so as to enhance the power of international discourse, agenda-setting and rule-making, and promote the development of global governance system in a more just and reasonable direction.

Thus the “BRICS Plus” cooperation, as a platform for emerging markets and developing countries, is built for cooperation and development.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi welcomed more countries to join it in promoting democracy in international relations, making the world economy more inclusive and rationalizing global governance, so as to jointly create a bright and better future.

The BRICS comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa accounting for nearly 42 percent of the world population, 27 percent of land surface and 32 percent of global GDP (PPP) and has always remained committed to multilateral cooperation and a multipolar world order.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, while addressing the opening session of the meeting, urged the BRICS countries to reject the Cold War mentality and shun confrontation and work together to build a global community of security for all.

This was clearly hinted at the geopolitics of polarization pursued by the US and its Western allies wherein the world is divided in the simplistic, yet irrational, binary of allies and adversaries similar to the times of the Cold War.

Xi noted that BRICS could play a constructive role in dealing with these challenges. He was of the opinion and constructive force in the international positive, inspiring that as a community, the BRICS countries should be brave enough to tackle all hurdles to promote peace and development, uphold fairness and justice and advocate democracy and freedom in the world.

Good news is that the BRICS is now preparing for the expansion of BRICS to include other large emerging markets as members.

The BRICS Foreign Ministers’ joint statement revealed that discussions on the expansion process are already ongoing and “the guiding principles, standards, criteria and procedures” for new members will be formulated through consultation and consensus among the present members.

It seems that at least four countries that are part of the Group of 20 (G20) largest economies of the world, including Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey along with Bangladesh have expressed strong interest in full membership of the BRICS, while Egypt, Iran, Nigeria, Sudan, Syria and most recently Pakistan have also expressed a desire in joining BRICS.

The five current BRICS countries are G-20 members as well. Thus forces of multilateralism and multiculturalism are on the rise to defeat the forces of darkness and destruction.

A BRICS expansion could multiply the global influence of the bloc while also consolidating its principle of multilateralism through greater representation of developing countries.

Hopefully, an expanded BRICS will have the potential to become a pivot for global growth, security and peace.

On the other hand, most recently the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s proposed Global Security Initiative (GSI) which aimed at creating an Asian security framework that replaces confrontation, alliance and a zero-sum approach with dialogue, partnership and win-win propositions.

So it is a value addition in the regional security systems which will be a balancing act in the days to come.

It is a holistic and comprehensive new security system which cares about security, economy, sovereignty, dignity and last but not least, humanity.

To conclude, Xi’s GSI is against the Western theory of geopolitical security rather is a giant step towards Asian Security Architecture (ASA).

It pledges “six commitments”, comprising of the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security; respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries; abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter; taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously; peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation; and staying committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains.

World is changing and changing rapidly thus Chinese BRICS Plus and GSI would be a catalyst for sustainable development and an equitable security system in the world. The policy makers of Pakistan should support both.

—The writer is Director, the Centre for South Asia & International Studies Islamabad & regional expert, China, CPEC & BRI.


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