China Literally Wants To Be 'World's Policeman,' Paper Says
In April 2022, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a speech on foreign policy at the Boao Forum for Asia, an annual conference of business executives and world leaders in Hainan Province.
Photo Insert: Xi proposed what he called “Quanqiu Anquan Changyi,” or the Global Security Initiative (GSI), which he framed as “promoting the common security of the world.”
He proposed what he called “Quanqiu Anquan Changyi,” or the Global Security Initiative (GSI), which he framed as “promoting the common security of the world,” Prof. Sheena Chestnut Greitens of the University of Texas at Austin wrote for the September-October 2022 issue of Foreign Affairs magazine.
Xi offered few details of how the initiative might be put into practice but the speech was hardly insignificant. As Chinese diplomats and analysts close to the government have made clear in the months since, the GSI marks a significant shift in Chinese foreign policy.
It directly challenges the role of US alliances and partnerships in global security and seeks to revise global security governance to make it more compatible with the regime security interests of the Chinese Communist Party. GSI actually supports China, and China alone, amd it ewxports the idea of “fangkong” or prevention and control of threats, as what Beijing did in Xinjiang.
During his first two terms, Xi transformed China’s approach to internal security in ways that caught the world off-guard—writing China’s first-ever national security strategy and a host of new security laws, restructuring the country’s domestic security apparatus, purging and jailing many of the security forces’ top leaders, building a massive surveillance state, and intensifying repression at a speed that few outside observers predicted.
The guiding framework for those efforts was something that Xi called the “comprehensive national security concept,” which was really a regime security concept codified as grand strategy. Now, Xi is applying that framework to foreign policy, attempting to remake regional and global security order to guard against threats to China’s domestic stability and further consolidate the party’s grip on power.
Xi’s new approach to security began to take shape in 2014, when he rolled out what he called the “zongti guojia anquanguan,” or comprehensive national security concept, often also referred to as the “overall” or “holistic” state security concept. At the same time, he unveiled a new party body, the Central National Security Commission, tasked with putting the concept into practice.
At the time, many US analysts thought the CNSC would resemble the US National Security Council, but the linguistic parallel turned out to be misleading.
The Chinese conception of national security places a much greater emphasis on internal security than the American one (a better translation might be “state security”).
Much of the CNSC’s work is conducted in secret, but most of its known meetings have focused on domestic matters, such as the potential for COVID-19 to fuel instability in China or the party-state’s counterterrorism policy in Xinjiang.
CNSC leads the whole-of-nation approach to national security, which means firstly the political security of the regime and the party and how diplomacy could strengthen such security by offering law enforcement “assistance” to other countries. Xi also has this strange idea that China’s security stabilizes global security.