With the emergence of a series of global security incidents, scholars and observers have placed increasing importance on nontraditional security (NTS). Since 2012, Xi Jinping’s regime has emphasized NTS issues and cooperation, which begs the question “What is the role of NTS in China’s foreign policy, and how is it shaped?” This study analyzes articles that include the term “nontraditional security” (“非传统安全”) in The People’s Daily newspaper since its first mention in 2001. Focusing particularly on the period between 2012 and 2019, the study explains China’s securitization process and its motivations toward NTS issues. By analyzing case studies of the NTS issues of terrorism, environmental issues, and cybersecurity, and further summarizing the logic in common behind the Chinese government’s process of securitizing NTS issues, this paper highlights the correlation between the characteristics of China’s NTS and China’s major foreign policy initiatives that play an active role in leading international efforts to enhance global governance and exploring new models of cooperation. Based on an analysis of China’s emphasis on promotion of NTS and provision of public goods, I argue that NTS has played an increasingly important role in China’s pursuit of greater influence in global governance mechanisms.
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