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China uses new initiatives to shape the global security agenda and create a counterbalance to western alliances

China uses new initiatives to shape the global security agenda and create a counterbalance to western alliances

The Global Security Initiative (GSI), presented by President Xi, aims at creating an alternative global security architecture. The GSI is based on China’s traditional principles of security and comprehensive National Security concept developed by Xi. It also encompasses the idea of ‘indivisible security’, which has been systematically used by Putin to criticise NATO.

The GSI marks a new stage in the implementation of China’s (geo)strategy. Beijing projects the GSI, the Belt and Road Initiative, aimed at securing economic expansion, and the Global Development Initiative, which would strengthen Beijing’s dominance in international organisations, as a foundation for China’s goal to become a leading power in determining the global security agenda.

China uses various international formats to rally other states’ support to the GSI. It presented its vision at the BRICS Summit and the congress of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. China is also seeking to transfer the GSI provisions into international agreements. For example, the GSI provisions were included into the China–Africa cooperation Vision 2035, the agreement on bilateral security with the Solomon Islands, and the joint Chinese–Belarusian declaration. The GSI has been most favourably received by developing and / or authoritarian states that cultivate strong economic ties with China. Such Chinese position is also welcomed by the countries that are openly antagonistic to the West, such as Russia, Belarus, Iran, and a number of African and South American countries.

China has not defined specific areas of cooperation under the GSI. It is highly likely that in the near and medium term, China will be referring to this initiative in order to bolster cooperation in the military and intelligence domains as well as in counter-terrorism and stand against ‘colour revolutions’. Russia’s and Belarus’ deeper involvement in these areas of cooperation would have a negative impact on Lithuania’s national security interests, because it would enable these regimes to further develop their security apparatus and allocate more resources for repressive measures against their populations. It is highly likely that the procedure of joining the GSI will not be formalised and that the initiative will be mainly supported through joint declarations or other agreements.

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