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.

Featured Publications

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.

Democracy & Governance

Jacob Stokes on China’s Credibility Problem

Jacob Stokes on China’s Credibility Problem

Thursday, August 15, 2019

By: Jacob Stokes

Amid the escalating Hong Kong crisis, USIP’s Jacob Stokes says China’s history of breaking deals has created a basic credibility problem that “relates to Hong Kong, it relates to territorial disputes...

Hong Kong’s Turn to Violence Divides the Movement

Hong Kong’s Turn to Violence Divides the Movement

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

By: Jacob Stokes; Jennifer Staats ; Rachel Vandenbrink

The weeks of peaceful protests by millions of Hong Kong residents opposed to the erosion of their civil liberties turned violent Monday. After days of aggressive police crackdowns that injured protesters and drew criticism from international human rights groups, hundreds of protesters bashed through doors into the city’s legislature yesterday. USIP specialists discuss the escalation of the conflict between residents and the city’s authorities—and the implications for one of the territory’s largest protest movements since Britain handed it over to Chinese control two decades ago.

Democracy & Governance; Nonviolent Action

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Current Projects

USIP's China Senior Study Group Series

USIP's China Senior Study Group Series

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.

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