China is a relative newcomer to peacebuilding, but its recent moves to participate in Afghan peace talks, influence and fund progress in Burma’s peace process, invest in Pakistan, and contribute to United Nations peacekeeping missions illustrate a growing role in conflict zones of strategic interest to the United States. China’s increased engagement presents opportunities for reducing violent conflict, but U.S. and Chinese interests and approaches do not always align. Through research, dialogue, and training, the U. S. Institute of Peace provides evidence-based analysis of China’s activities and impact, identifies areas for collaboration where appropriate, and develops strategies for preventing differences from exacerbating instability or undermining broader peacebuilding efforts.
Learn more in USIP’s fact sheet on The Current Situation in China.
The latest India-Pakistan crisis has put China in a difficult position, as it tries to balance its relationships with both countries, while helping to stave off a conflict and demonstrate its ability to manage and resolve crises. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke to leaders in both Pakistan and India last week, urging them to practice restraint and find a way to deescalate the situation. Despite Pakistan’s request for China to play a more active role, competing priorities constrained the degree to which Beijing could lead—highlighting a chronic challenge for Chinese diplomacy in South Asia. China’s decision to keep a low profile is likely deliberate and in keeping with longstanding practice, but it is inconsistent with Beijing’s aspirations to lead in Asian crisis diplomacy.
David Shinn, a former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia and Burkina Faso, examines how great and regional power competition is impacting political and security dynamics in the Horn of Africa and complicating U.S. interests in the region.
Speaking at USIP’s seventh Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue, Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) and Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) discussed the threat posed by sharp power to global stability and how the United States, through bipartisan efforts, could use soft power to counter this threat.
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.