Over the last two decades, 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 Burma, to more distant conflicts in Africa, China has a substantial influence on local, regional, and international efforts to reduce violent conflict. Meanwhile, a shifting international order and the return of competition among powerful states has raised the potential for geopolitical rivalries to exacerbate conflicts—or, with the right frameworks, serve as areas of constructive cooperation between Washington and Beijing.

USIP’S Work

Amb. J. Stapleton Roy, Amb. Joseph Yun

Former Ambassador to China Stapleton Roy and Former Special Representative for North Korea Policy and USIP Senior Advisor Joseph Yun launch USIP’s report on China’s role in North Korea Nuclear and Peace Negotiations. The report was written by a bipartisan group of senior experts as part of USIP’s Senior Study Group series.

Through rigorous research, policy dialogues, and expert working groups, USIP provides evidence-based analysis of China’s activities and influence in fragile and conflict-affected states. USIP also assesses the impact of China’s policies and behavior on efforts to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict, and provides recommendations for ways the United States government and other key stakeholders may account for these dynamics in their work to support lasting peace.

Convening High-Level Policy Dialogues

USIP brings together high-level officials and other experts from the United States, China, and around the world to discuss China’s growing influence. In these private and ongoing discussions—some of which have been underway for more than a decade—key stakeholders are able to share candid views and explore new policy ideas in an unofficial setting. For example, USIP facilitates a range of discussions that explore new strategies for managing conflict and competition in Burma, North Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Southeast Asia, Latin America, South Asia, the Red Sea region, and various states in Africa.

Producing Independent Research and Analysis

USIP conducts and supports research and analysis that examine China’s effect on peace and conflict dynamics. Recent projects have assessed China’s bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, as well as China’s growing participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations. The Institute also supports research on the execution and impact of China’s major investment projects in conflict-affected areas, including the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as Beijing’s evolving approaches to peacebuilding, development, humanitarian assistance, and post-conflict reconstruction. Additional topics include promoting stability among major powers and conflict prevention, particularly in Asia.

Advancing New Strategies for Preventing Conflict and Managing Competition

USIP works to identify creative and concrete actions that the United States, China, and other key players might take to reduce violent conflict. A central theme of that work is examining the future of the international order, the global system’s ability to address violent conflict, and ways the United States and China can both cooperate and manage competition. By partnering with scholars and practitioners to share their respective insights, experiences, and expertise, USIP helps policymakers and other key stakeholders around the world do their work more effectively.

Leading Senior Study Groups on China’s Impact on Conflict Dynamics

USIP leads a series of bipartisan working groups that examine China’s role in specific conflicts. The groups’ reports offer new insights into China’s objectives and generate recommendations for ways the U.S. government and other key stakeholders may account for China’s growing international footprint.

map of world with information on China

Related Publications

Senator Mark Warner: Meeting the Challenge of China

Senator Mark Warner: Meeting the Challenge of China

Thursday, September 26, 2019

By: Fred Strasser

China today is seeking to erode U.S. power and influence globally through economic, military, technological and political influence strategies, U.S. Senator Mark Warner said. The United States should respond not by reverting to a simplistic “new Cold War” frame, but by bolstering security at home and working with allies and partners abroad to reinforce the existing international order and make America more competitive.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance; Global Policy

China Trade War: Risks and Strategies

China Trade War: Risks and Strategies

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

By: USIP Staff

The chances that trade talks scheduled to resume with China next month will result in any broad agreement with the U.S. are slim to none, said two members of a bipartisan congressional panel focused on U.S.-China relations. “It’s important that we keep talking,” said Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA), the co-chair of the House of Representatives U.S.-China Working Group. “That’s a positive, but I haven’t seen anything that has changed to ensure that something would be different” when U.S. and Chinese trade officials are scheduled to sit down again in early October.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

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Despite Beijing’s Threats, Hong Kong Protesters Remain Unbowed

Despite Beijing’s Threats, Hong Kong Protesters Remain Unbowed

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

By: Patricia M. Kim; Paul Lee; Jacob Stokes; Rachel Vandenbrink

Hong Kong saw another massive rally on Sunday, with an estimated 1.7 million pro-democracy protesters taking to the streets. So far, China’s response to the protests, which started in June over a proposed bill that would have allowed extradition to mainland China, has largely consisted of a disinformation campaign and support for the Hong Kong police, which have engaged in violent beatings, extensive use of tear gas, and firing of rubber bullets to clamp down on the protesters. USIP experts discuss how the situation has evolved, the potential of Beijing conducting a violent crackdown, what the international community’s response would be, and what the U.S. can do.

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