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.
Learn more in USIP’s fact sheet on The Current Situation in China.
U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Yang Jiechi held a six-hour meeting in Zurich on October 6 in an attempt to manage “intense competition” between their two countries. The meeting took place against a backdrop of growing Chinese incursions of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone and a decision by the Biden administration not to remove Trump-era tariffs on Chinese goods until Beijing keeps its trade commitments.
On September 16, China applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). USIP’s Carla Freeman says China’s membership in the CPTPP will only increase Beijing’s relative regional influence and prompt more calls for the Biden administration to also join the pact.
USIP’s Dan Markey says the growth of the Quad — a partnership between the United States, Australia, India and Japan — can be seen as a counter to China, but “instead of being principally a military organization, the Quad … will focus on more positive ventures” such as vaccine diplomacy, climate change and technology.
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.