West’s security mania source of world’s insecurity
Published: Feb 21, 2023 09:03 PM
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The world is becoming a riskier place. Over the past year, Western countries have been trying to persuade the global public to accept a point of view that it is Russia and the conflict in Ukraine that has caused the global turmoil - therefore, Russia is the initiator of all insecurity, and the West is the one that maintains global security and defeats evil. But is this really the case?

The Western concept of security is zero-sum. The Western countries pursue their own absolute security and do not care about sacrificing the security of others. Although Western countries claim that all men are created equal, they actually think that some people are superior to the other, that is, the Anglo-Saxons are superior, and their security should be a priority. 

Therefore, NATO did not disband after the Cold War, but expanded round after round in the name of maintaining collective security and developed into a behemoth with 30 member states. NATO is now even attempting to extend its footprint to the Asia-Pacific region. 

It is precisely because the West aggressively pursues its own absolute security, regardless of the security of others, that makes the international security dilemma lasting. The outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict in essence is the result of NATO's eastward expansion and squeezing Russia's strategic space. In the end, it is the West itself that has brought about the bitter consequences.

Moreover, the West's security behavior is unfettered. It acts recklessly around the world and artificially creates security threats. Since modern times, Western powers have gradually become the dominant force in the world by virtue of their advantages in military and economic fields. 

From the perspective of security, the history of the world dominated by the West is nothing short of a history of war and conflict. Based on a sense of superiority, the West is used to bossing around non-Western countries. The three post-Cold War conflicts triggered by the US and its allies - the Kosovo war, the Afghanistan war, and the Iraq war - not only failed to solve security problems, but left only messes. 

Furthermore, the West's security capabilities are limited, and the West alone cannot solve growing security threats. Since the beginning of the new century, the center of gravity of global power has accelerated shifting from West to East, and the collective rise of the East has brought about the relative weakness of the West. Since 2022, the West has been exhausted by high inflation, economic recession, and various social conflicts. In contrast, global security issues continue to increase and intensify, as both traditional and non-traditional security threats grow. 

The main contradiction of the global security order is the conflict between the reduction of public security caused by the relative weakening of the West and the surging of traditional and non-traditional security threats around the world. This cannot be solved by the West alone, but only through cooperation.

Just a few days after the release of the Munich Security Report, Wang Yi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, attended the 59th Munich Security Conference in Germany and delivered a keynote speech, entitled "Making the World a Safer Place." In his address, Wang introduced the world to a different security vision from that of the West. 

This year's Munich Security Conference can be seen as a clash of two concepts of security. One is the traditional security concept that adheres to the Western concept of a zero-sum game and Cold War mentality. It takes power politics and militarism as the code of conduct, seeks bloc confrontation and sacrifices the security of other countries for the West's so-called absolute security. The other is the new vision of security which advocates a concept of common security, respecting and safeguarding the security of every country. 

The West draws ideological lines to incite division, engage in fake multilateralism, undermine the international order under the banner of so-called rules, and drag the world into uncertainties. This is obviously undesirable. 

How to choose the security concept and reconstruct the security order is related to the future of mankind. The report "US Hegemony and Its Perils," released by China on Monday, argues that "big countries should behave in a manner befitting their status and take the lead in pursuing a new model of state-to-state relations featuring dialogue and partnership, not confrontation or alliance." These words are wise. 

The author is an assistant research fellow from the Center for Russian Studies of East China Normal University. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn