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China and Peacekeeping: Unfolding the Political and Legal Complexities of an Ambivalent Relationship

Barelli, M. ORCID: 0000-0001-6650-7232 (2022). China and Peacekeeping: Unfolding the Political and Legal Complexities of an Ambivalent Relationship. Asian Journal of International Law, 12(1), pp. 157-176. doi: 10.1017/s2044251321000606


In the past decade China's engagement with UN peacekeeping has intensified. In particular, Beijing has supported and participated in peace operations that were not fully compatible with the consensual, impartial, and non-coercive models of peacekeeping traditionally employed by the United Nations. China's endorsement of offensive and intrusive missions is not inconsequential, given that it clashes with its professed adherence to rigid interpretations of the principles of sovereignty, non-intervention, and the non-use of force in international relations. This article suggests that to make sense of China's involvement in unconventional peacekeeping operations one must examine the broader process of foreign policy recalibration that is redefining the interests and priorities of the country as a new great power. Furthermore, by examining China's ambivalent approach to the principles that have traditionally defined the legal framework of UN peacekeeping, this article highlights the opportunities and challenges that China will face as a provider of international security.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: China, peacekeeping, collective security, use of force
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JX International law
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
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