China–Africa Peace and Security Forum – 11-09-2023

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    Syllabus: GS2/Important International Events affecting India’s interest

    In News 

    • The third edition of the China–Africa Peace and Security Forum was held recently under the theme ‘Implementing the Global Security Initiative, Strengthening China-Africa Solidarity and Cooperation’ in Beijing.

    About

    • The China–Africa Peace and Security Forum provides a common platform for military officials from both sides to convene and discuss issues of mutual interest. 
    • The forum serves two primary goals:
      • consolidate networks of strategic communications between Chinese and African defence departments; and 
      • explore possible ways in which African militaries and security architecture can align with China’s Global Security Initiative (GSI)
    Global Security Initiative (GSI)

    – The GSI was espoused by President Xi Jinping during the Boao Forum in April 2022.
    – The GSI is China’s regional and global architecture and is an effort to shape a new world order with Chinese characteristics.
    – It contains broad general principles reiterating China’s previous foreign policy and security statements.
    – It is seen as a statement of China’s intent to claim a much more significant role in international politics.

    Outcomes of the Conference

    • Discussions at the forum echoed a need to strengthen China–Africa security cooperation to jointly deal with global security challenges and uphold international justice. 
    • It called African partners to work with China to uphold a common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security mindset. 
    • This is to be achieved by focusing on dialogue rather than confrontation, partnership rather than alliance, ‘win-win’ rather than zero-sum to inject more certainty, peace, and positive energy into a global order riddled with security challenges.

    Drivers of Chinese Security Activism in Africa

    • China aims to offer African countries with an alternative model for growth and development that is different from the West.
      • In June 2022, China sponsored a Horn of Africa Peace, Good Governance and Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and appointed a ‘Special Envoy’ for the Horn of Africa region. 
    • Beijing’s security engagement is inextricably connected to its logistical footprint, increasing political influence in multilateral forums like the United Nations, and protecting its commercial interests and investments.
      • The African continent has emerged as sort of a ‘testing ground’ for Chinese security engagements abroad
    • Protecting Chinese Citizens: With over 1 million Chinese citizens, 10,000 Chinese firms, loans worth US$ 160 billion, and investments worth nearly US$ 300 billion in Africa, protecting its citizens and investments is a top priority for Beijing.
      • An alarming trend in recent years is the increase in reports of attacks and kidnappings of Chinese workers in countries like the Central African Republic, South Africa, Ethiopia, and Democratic Republic of Congo, raising questions about China’s ability to protect its citizens overseas. 
    • Professional military education (PME) and policing and law enforcement cooperation: China has been taking interest in African security governance and is working to promote Chinese policing norms within African police forces and governments. 
    • Conflict mediation is an area which has attracted Chinese attention. Buoyed by the remarkable and unexpected success of brokering rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia in March 2023, Beijing is seeking to promote itself as a consequential mediator in the African peace process. 

    Source: IDSA