Over the last decade, China has become more engaged internationally, including in conflict zones and fragile states of strategic interest to the United States. From civil wars in neighboring countries, such as Afghanistan and Myanmar, to more distant conflicts in Africa, China is becoming an increasingly important player in regional and international efforts to mitigate conflict. In countries where China exerts a strong influence, its engagement can have a substantial impact on local and international efforts to curb violence and extremism.

The United States Institute of Peace is convening a series of bipartisan Senior Study Groups (SSGs) to examine China’s influence on conflict dynamics around the world. The SSGs offer new insights into China's objectives and role vis-à-vis various conflicts, and generate recommendations for ways the U.S. government and other key stakeholders may account for China’s impact in their work to prevent and resolve conflict and support lasting peace.

SSG Reports

Report Cover, China’s Influence on the Freely Associated States of the Northern Pacific

China’s Influence on the Freely Associated States of the Northern Pacific

This report, the fifth in USIP’s Senior Study Group series on China’s influence on conflict dynamics around the world, examines how Beijing’s growing presence is affecting political, economic, and security trends in the Freely Associated States of the northern Pacific—the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands. 

Report cover, China's influence on conflict dynamics in south asia

China’s Influence on Conflict Dynamics in South Asia

This report is the fourth in USIP’s Senior Study Group (SSG) series on China’s influence on conflicts around the world. It examines how Beijing’s growing presence is affecting political, economic, and security trends in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region. 

Report Cover

China’s Impact on Conflict Dynamics in the Red Sea Arena

This report examines China’s interests and activities in the Red Sea arena, their impact on intrastate and regional conflict dynamics, and implications for U.S. and regional interests. The report advances recommendations for how Washington should respond to Beijing’s growing economic, diplomatic, and military footprint in the region.

Report Cover

China’s Role in North Korea Nuclear and Peace Negotiations

This is the second in the SSG's series of USIP reports examining China’s influence on conflicts around the world. A group of fifteen experts met from September to December 2018 to assess China’s interests and influence in bringing about a durable settlement of the North Korean nuclear crisis. This report provides recommendations for the United States to assume a more effective role in shaping the future of North Korea in light of China’s role and interests. Unless otherwise sourced, all observations and conclusions are those of SSG members.

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China’s Role in Myanmar’s Internal Conflicts

This report is the first in the SSG's series that USIP is convening to examine China's influence on conflict dynamics around the world. A group of thirteen experts met from February to June 2018 to assess China’s involvement in Myanmar’s internal conflicts, particularly those in Rakhine, Kachin, and Shan states, as well as China’s impact on Myanmar’s overall peace process. 

Related Publications

China’s Influence on the Freely Associated States of the Northern Pacific

China’s Influence on the Freely Associated States of the Northern Pacific

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

By: USIP China-Freely Associated States Senior Study Group

Around the world, Beijing is investing heavily in diplomatic, security, cultural, and economic ties in a bid to increase its global influence, strengthen its ability to protect and advance its national interests, attract support in multilateral fora and international institutions, and fracture the global consensus on key issues it views as unfavorable to its geopolitical ambitions. The Pacific Islands region—defined as the vast stretch of Pacific Ocean between Asian littoral waters in the west, Guam in the north and Hawaii in the northeast, and Australia and New Zealand in the south and southwest—has been no exception.

Type: Report

Global Policy

China’s Influence on Conflict Dynamics in South Asia

China’s Influence on Conflict Dynamics in South Asia

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

By: USIP China-South Asia Senior Study Group

China has embarked on a grand journey west. Officials in Beijing are driven by aspirations of leadership across their home continent of Asia, feelings of being hemmed in on their eastern flank by U.S. alliances, and their perception that opportunities await across Eurasia and the Indian Ocean. Along the way, their first stop is South Asia, which this report defines as comprising eight countries—Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka—along with the Indian Ocean (particularly the eastern portions but with implications for its entirety). China’s ties to the region are...

Type: Report

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

China’s Role in North Korea Nuclear and Peace Negotiations

China’s Role in North Korea Nuclear and Peace Negotiations

Monday, May 6, 2019

By: USIP China-North Korea Senior Study Group

This is the second in the Senior Study Group (SSG) series of USIP reports examining China’s influence on conflicts around the world. A group of fifteen experts met from September to December 2018 to assess China’s interests and influence in bringing about a durable settlement of the North Korean nuclear crisis. This report provides recommendations for the United States to assume a more effective role in shaping the future of North Korea in light of China’s role and interests. Unless otherwise sourced, all observations and conclusions are those of SSG members.

Type: Report

Conflict Analysis & PreventionMediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

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Latest Publications

For Peace in Sahel, African and U.S. Experts Urge Focused Partnership

For Peace in Sahel, African and U.S. Experts Urge Focused Partnership

Thursday, February 22, 2024

By: Katia Cavigelli;  James Rupert

The past month has sharpened a decade-old question for U.S. and international policymakers: How best, in 2024, to help stabilize what is now the world’s largest single zone of military rule and violent conflicts — Africa’s Sahel region? After three military-ruled Sahel states withdrew from the West African regional community in January, those juntas last week proclaimed an alliance aimed at resisting international pressures, including those for their return to elected civilian rule. Former U.S. and African officials yesterday urged what they called vital changes in U.S. and allied policies to prevent a dangerous spread of the Sahel’s crises.

Type: Analysis

Fragility & Resilience

The Limitations of India and Russia’s Transactional Relationship

The Limitations of India and Russia’s Transactional Relationship

Thursday, February 22, 2024

By: Dr. Jagannath Panda

Since Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, it might seem as though ties between India and Russia have strengthened. While much of the West isolated Russia, India-Russia energy trade spiked, and India made efforts to accommodate Russia on the world stage. The two countries have also had visible public exchanges, such as a mid-January phone call between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar’s trip to Moscow at the end of 2023.

Type: Analysis

Global Policy

How Might Prabowo Navigate Conflict, Competition as Indonesia’s President?

How Might Prabowo Navigate Conflict, Competition as Indonesia’s President?

Thursday, February 22, 2024

By: Brian Harding;  Meghan Sullivan

Indonesia’s defense minister, Prabowo Subianto, is set to become the next president of the world’s fourth-largest country and third-largest democracy. Prabowo will take the reins of power at a tense moment for regional and global security and as president will have to contend with a persistent, low-grade conflict in West Papua. Continuity will likely hold sway as prevailing winds in Indonesia’s foreign policy chart a well-worn course for navigating geopolitical competition and global conflicts, this time with what appears to be a willing captain at the helm.

Type: Analysis

Global Elections & ConflictGlobal Policy

As Fragile Kashmir Cease-Fire Turns Three, Here’s How to Keep it Alive

As Fragile Kashmir Cease-Fire Turns Three, Here’s How to Keep it Alive

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

By: Christopher Clary

At midnight on the night of February 24-25, 2021, India and Pakistan reinstated a cease-fire that covered their security forces operating “along the Line of Control (LOC) and all other sectors” in Kashmir, the disputed territory that has been at the center of the India-Pakistan conflict since 1947. While the third anniversary of that agreement is a notable landmark in the history of India-Pakistan cease-fires, the 2021 cease-fire is fragile and needs bolstering to be maintained.

Type: Analysis

Global Policy

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