China’s Engagement in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings: The Quest for Stability


Author: Bernardo Mariani

This paper finds that China’s vision of addressing violent conflicts and security challenges differs substantially from those of Western countries. China seeks stability, rather than peace, and Chinese diplomats tend to avoid references to terms such as peacemaking and peacebuilding (with the exception of discussions around the UN). China’s economic development, and connectivity and trade needs – especially along the path of the Belt and Road Initiative – drive Chinese engagement in conflict and post-conflict settings. Once there, rather than actively pursuing peace, China seeks stability, especially in contexts where it has major financial and geostrategic interests.

About the Series: The Global Transitions Series looks at fragmentations in the global order and how these impact peace and transition settlements. It explores why and how different third-party actors – state, intergovernmental, and non-governmental – intervene in conflicts, and how they see themselves contributing to reduction of conflict and risks of conflict relapse. The series critically assesses the growth and diversification of global and regional responses to contemporary conflicts. It also asks how local actors are navigating this multiplicity of mediators and peacebuilders and how this is shaping conflict outcomes and post-conflict governance. Explore the full series.