At the first plenary meeting of the Central National Commission of the Communist Party of China held on April 15, 2014, General-secretary Xi Jinping officially proposed the general national security concept. This is the key theoretical innovation on the work of national security in China, providing a fundamental path to follow for the national security with Chinese characteristics. It is of important significance for the realization of the target of “Two Centenary Goals” and the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Creating favorable external security environment is to implement the fundamental requirements of national security concept
The key to the implementation of the general national security concept is to properly handle five relations, namely, paying attention to both external security and internal security; paying attention to both homeland security and national security; paying attention to both traditional security and non-traditional security; paying attention to both development issue and security issue; and paying attention to both individual security and common security. Among them, to properly handle the relationship between internal security and external security is of more important significance. For any country, the basic task for maintaining national security is about handling the issue of domestic trouble and external invasion. The so-called awareness of trouble and invasion is to keep alert from time to time to the internal risks and external challenges. General Secretary Xi Jinping clearly pointed out that China is facing double pressures of maintaining national sovereignty, security and development interest in foreign affairs and maintaining political security and social stability in domestic affairs.
In relationship of handling domestic security and external security, the key is to properly handling our own affairs. The strong national power, harmonious society and an agglomerated cohesion of the Party and its people are the fundamental guarantee of the national security. At the same time, effectively defuse various external risks will greatly promote the general quality of national security. In history, the Chinses nation had been invaded by foreign countries for many times, in modern times particularly, due to the invasion of Western powers, China was once fallen into the depth of semi-colonial and semi-feudal society. The nation had to cede territory and pay indemnities, plunging the people into misery and suffering, which was a bitter lesson.
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, under the leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the General Secretary, China has unprecedentedly closed to the center stage of the world, unprecedentedly approached the goal of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and unprecedentedly gained capability and confidence in realizing such a goal. As a Chinese saying goes, “The ninety miles is only half of a hundred miles journey -- the last part of an endeavor is the hardest to finish”. At this crucial moment, we should exert all our strength and wisdom, be good at planning and act and never allow external risks and challenges to disturb the process of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Main characteristics of China's external security environment at present
Entering the 21st century, especially its second decade, the external security environment China is facing is experiencing complicated and profound changes. First, peace and development are still the theme of the time but mingled with continuous accumulation of uncertainties. The multi-polarization of the world, the intensified development of globalization, the cultural diversity, the continuous carrying forward of social informatization, the cultivation and new breakthroughs of science and technology revolution, the multiple all-aspect expansion of global cooperation, the enhancement of the overall power of the newly emerging market countries and developing countries, and the comparison of international power moving toward in favor of the direction of maintaining world peace, all these indicate that to maintain general stability of the international situation has more favorable conditions. At the same time, the present world is not unsteady. The global issues such as the impact of international financial crisis being profound, the uncertainty of world economic growth being increasing, the imbalance of global development being deteriorating, the hegemony and power politics being increasing, the games between superpowers being strengthening, social turbulences in some parts of the world occurring frequently, various ideologies and thoughts being integrated and confronted in different views, the terrorism goes rampant, and the issues of the network and ecological security turn out to be more distinctive.
Second, the relations between China and the external world are on a new historical start. The frequency of the interaction between China and the world accelerates and strengthens. China's international influence is increasing in great margin and the ability to resist various external risks is increasing. All these demonstrate that China has become one of the main factors in influencing world economic and political development. At the same time, various contradictions, risks and challenges are continuously approaching to China. The foreseeable risks and unexpected challenges are increasing together. And some risks and challenges are extremely distinctive.
To maintain its hegemonic status, the US is accelerating its pace to carry out the Asia-Pacific “rebalance” strategy, continuously intensifying its military deployment around China, strengthening its alliance system and getting involved in the maritime territory disputes between China and its neighboring countries. The cross Taiwan Straits situation might regain its turbulence. As the Democratic Progressive Party came in power, the hard-earned peaceful and steady situation across the straits since 2008 may face challenges. Threat from ocean is increasing day by day. In the setting of eastward moving of US strategic center of gravity, some countries began to adjust their maritime policies and strategy, challenging China's island sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. The regional situation in northeast Asia is full of changes. The situation of the Korean peninsula tends to be complicated with increasing uncertainties. Meanwhile, Japanese rightist trend is getting obvious, seeking to get rid of the post-war system and mobilizing various resources to be a pioneer to curb China. The Western powers continue to strengthen its implementation of westernizing and dividing China, strengthening its implementation of peaceful evolution.
Meanwhile, China also faces a series of new type security risks. The “three forces” in the Central Asia region are active, bringing unfavorable impacts to the security steadiness in the northwest border areas and hinterland of China. Network security also faces a complicated situation. With each country competing to strengthen the network space attacking and defending deployment, adding that the occurrence of network crime and attack showing a growing momentum, China has become one of the countries suffering different forms of network attacks. Ecological security faces double challenges. Ecological security is a global issue. On one hand, China suffers from the damage of global climate changes, El Nino, sand storm and smog. On the other hand, the call from the international community that requires China to shoulder greater responsibilities is rising. The issue of protection of overseas interest is obvious. With China's rise and its deepened interaction with the outside world, China's overseas interest is expanding at a rare speed and range in the world, while China's protection of overseas interest is distinctively lagged behind the growing trend of its overseas interest.
Commanding the external security with general national security concept
Facing the complicated external security environment, we must insist on the general national security concept as the fundamental path to follow, strengthen the top-level design, bottom-line thinking, strategy operation and co-ordinations of the external security work, and defuse various risks and shape favorable situation.
First, hold up high the banner of peaceful development. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that China's pursuance of peaceful development path is the organic unification of the ideological confidence and practical conscientiousness. China will advance in a pioneering spirit amid the sound interaction, mutual benefits and gaining win-win situation with other countries in the world. At the same time, he also pointed out China wants to pursue the peaceful development path and other countries also want to pursue the peaceful development path; China must insist on peaceful development but will never give up our proper rights and interests, will never sacrifice national core interest. This brilliant elaboration deepened our Party's understanding for the rules of pursuing peaceful development path and guided the direction for China to expand the space for peaceful development.
Second, advocate cooperation and win-win concept. General Secretary Xi Jinping advocated that all countries should push forward to the establishment of the new-type international relations with cooperation and win-win achievements as the core and display the cooperation and win-win concept at the various aspects of foreign cooperation including politics, economy, security and culture. Different countries should be mutually respectful in politics, mutually beneficial in economy, inclusive and mutual learning in culture. He advocated cooperation security and common security and abandoned the old ideology of lose-or-win and winner-take-all. Different countries should join hands to tackle various global challenges including terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, climate changes, network security and major natural disasters.
Third, plan major-power relations and maintain global strategic stability. Major powers are the key elements to guide international systems and international affairs. They are important external elements that affecting China's national security. China should set up the China-US new type major power relations, deepen the China-Russia overall strategic coordination partnership, push forward the overall strategic partnership between China and Europe, strengthen the coordination between the emerging powers represented by the BRICS, and reduce the mutual doubts among different powers and increase mutual understanding and trust. At the same time, China should be good at making use of the differences and contradictions among great powers to expand its own space and maintain the general steady balance of the world layout.
Fourth, plan and control the peripheries, forge a peripheral community of common destiny. China pursues the peripheral diplomatic concept of “being close, honest, preferential and inclusive with neighbors”, practices the peripheral policies of being good to the neighbor and making it a partner, insists on being harmonious, steady and enriching. It weaves a closer network of common interest, pushes forward the establishment of peripheral community of common destiny. Particularly, China will greatly carry forward the construction of the “Belt and Road” to realize the connectivity of development strategy and promote mutual development among countries and regions. At the same time, China will insist on the unification of maintaining stability and safeguarding the rights, build up the impregnable fortress at coastal lines and borders to prevent various the inward transmission of the peripheral security risks.
Fifth, intensify cooperation with developing countries with correct justice-profit view. Developing countries are the cornerstones of China's diplomacy and have always been the reliable strategic forces in the international political stage for China. To develop relations with developing countries, China should set up correct justice-profit view, insist on giving priority to justice, fairness, and morality in politics, and stick to mutual benefits and win-win and mutual development in economy.
Sixth, participate in global governance and strive for the voice for international affairs. China should be more active in maintaining world peace and involved in international affairs; more active in promoting common development; actively maintain and uphold international fairness and justice to promote the democratic, legal and reasonable international relations, and push forward the international order to a more justified and reasonable direction. At the same time, China should actively forge its institutional voice over international affairs, actively disseminate its concept and proposition of its own security to the world and strive to make more contributions to maintaining world peace.
Seventh, forge “overseas projects on people's livelihood”. To safeguard the safety and legal interest and rights of the overseas Chinese citizens and legal entities, China should make efforts to construct the three-in-one overall management system of being guided by government, participated by enterprises and self-rescue of the citizens, set up a responsibility system which has clear goals, tasks and work divisions.
(Author: Researcher of Institute of American Studies, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)