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November 16, 2023

Unpacking China's Multilateral Initiatives: GDI, GSI, GCI

Event Series: China and Global Governance

Chinese President Xi Jinping at the UN General Assembly in 2015. Flickr/UN Photo/Cia Pak

Over the past several years, China has proposed a trio of initiatives–the Global Development Initiative (GDI), the Global Security Initiative (GSI), and the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI). In some ways, this set of initiatives is a repackaging of Beijing’s foreign policy principles of state sovereignty and noninterference in the domestic affairs of others, as well as the primary importance of “peace through development.” This panel brought together experts who unpacked how China is promoting and leveraging these initiatives in multilateral fora and their impact on our conceptions of international order. 

This event was co-sponsored by the Walsh School of Foreign Service Asian Studies Program, the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues, and the Africa-China Initiative at Georgetown University. 


Courtney J. Fung is an associate professor in the Department of Security Studies and Criminology at Macquarie University. Fung is concurrently associate in research at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University, and associate fellow at the Lowy Institute. Her research studies how rising powers address the norms and provisions for global governance and international security, with a primary focus on China, and more recently, India.  She was previously an associate professor with tenure at the University of Hong Kong.

Christopher Klein is a Senior State Department Fellow at Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy. Klein most recently served as U.S. principal deputy assistant secretary for international organization affairs from 2021 to 2022. Prior to this assignment, he was deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi. Klein served in the U.S. State Department’s Executive Secretariat and the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs, as well as the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York. His overseas assignments included U.S. embassies in Paris, Baghdad, Beijing, and Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. 

Keren Zhu is a post-doctoral fellow at the India China Institute (ICI) at the New School. Previously Zhu was a Global China Post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Boston University Global Development Policy Center. Her research focuses on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), global infrastructure, international development, and program evaluation. Before working as a researcher at the RAND Corporation in the United States, she worked on BRI international cooperation and policy advisory in China and on public-private partnership at the International Labor Organization. 

Evan Medeiros (moderator) is the Penner Family Chair in Asian Studies at the School of Foreign Service and a senior fellow with the Initiative for U.S.-China Dialogue on Global Issues at Georgetown University. Medeiros has in-depth experience in U.S. policy toward the Asia-Pacific from his time on the National Security Council as director for China, Taiwan and Mongolia, and then as special assistant to the president and senior director for Asia under President Barack Obama.