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

Insurgents in Myanmar’s Rakhine State Return to War on the Military

Insurgents in Myanmar’s Rakhine State Return to War on the Military

Monday, October 3, 2022

By: Kyaw Hsan Hlaing

Serious combat has resumed in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, despite a continuing de facto cease-fire declared by the military just before its coup last year. Unlike previous rounds of fighting in Rakhine that could be viewed as a localized internal conflict, the renewed violence is taking place in the context of a nationwide civil war triggered by the coup, and its consequences are spreading far beyond the state’s borders. The resumption of war in Rakhine State, in short, could be a hinge on which the future of the resistance’s self-described “Spring Revolution” will turn. Its progression bears close watching.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

In Papua New Guinea, Homegrown Solutions Should Guide U.S. Aid

In Papua New Guinea, Homegrown Solutions Should Guide U.S. Aid

Monday, October 3, 2022

By: Jessica Collins

“The world stands today at the dawn of a decisive decade — a moment of consequence and peril, of profound pain and extraordinary possibility,” President Biden declared in April. These words came just two months into Russia’s war on Ukraine and during a time of concern for Western countries as China flexed its muscular diplomacy in the Pacific Islands region. Biden’s statement also sets the scene for the U.S. administration’s new approach to peacebuilding, which aims to prevent conflict from erupting in fragile states by disrupting drivers of instability.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Fragility & ResilienceGender

Never Again? The Legacy of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Trials

Never Again? The Legacy of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Trials

Monday, October 3, 2022

By: Nicole Cochran;  Andrew Wells-Dang, Ph.D.

Between 1975 and 1979, the Khmer Rouge regime that ruled over Cambodia committed untold atrocities, with an estimated 1.5 to 2 million people dying of starvation, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. In mid-September, over 40 years after its reign of terror, the only formal accountability mechanism to prosecute the Khmer Rouge —the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) — issued the final decision of its judicial mandate. While the court's legacy is complex, it served an important platform for accountability and reparations for victims. As it moves to a new phase of residual functions over the next three years, the international community should prioritize supporting its work, which is vital to boosting peace and stability and protecting the rights of Cambodians.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

What Is JDEIA and Why Is It So Elusive in Peacebuilding?

What Is JDEIA and Why Is It So Elusive in Peacebuilding?

Monday, October 3, 2022

By: Joseph Sany, Ph.D.

Justice, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (JDEIA) is often seen as an elusive concept rather than a concrete set of values and needs. The U.S. Institute of Peace’s Joseph Sany defines JDEIA as a peacebuilding practice and explains why it’s so important for USIP to bring people together to discuss it.

Type: Podcast

Beijing’s Strategy for Asserting Its “Party Rule by Law” Abroad

Beijing’s Strategy for Asserting Its “Party Rule by Law” Abroad

Thursday, September 29, 2022

By: Jordan Link;  Nina Palmer;  Laura Edwards

Under the leadership of Xi Jinping, the Chinese Communist Party has taken steps to assert more influence over the international legal system and to shape the global legal environment to better serve its political and economic objectives. This report examines the potential ramifications of China’s assertive use of new legal tools for US interests and international stability, and discusses several options that the United States and its partners can pursue to bolster the rules-based order that underpins global stability and cooperation.

Type: Special Report

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

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