The ascension of China in a globalized world presents a number of challenges and opportunities in the sphere of conflict prevention, post-conflict reconstruction, and peacebuilding. While focusing on this particular field of inquiry, we are also proposing potential ways in which the international community could approach the rise of China. We do so primarily by analyzing a number of common assumptions about China’s involvement in conflict prevention, post-conflict reconstruction, and peacebuilding, and through the identification of the most recent dynamics. It has commonly been argued that the demand for natural resources in growing economies such as China’s fuels conflict in war-torn nations through neocolonialist practices. While such arguments should not be disregarded, we assert that the emergence of China in the new politics of reconstruction does not represent as grave a threat as has been portrayed by some.
The expansion of the Chinese military and the recent South China Sea dispute have been regarded as uniquely accurate indicators of an aggressive China’s outward political posture. We argue instead that China’s increasing efforts to contribute to international peace and security should be seen as an opportunity rather than a threat. Recently China has been pursuing its “desire to be seen as a responsible power” by upholding the principle of noninterference, committing extensively to U.N. Peacekeeping and supporting the African Union. In the changing geopolitical security environment, established and emerging powers alike ought to develop frameworks for cooperation that can mitigate the tensions associated with new power dynamics. By doing so, the international community can foster the successful integration of emerging powers in the management of post-conflict and transitional settings and the prevention of future violence.
Click here for the full series “Changing Landscape of Assistance to Conflict-Affected States: Emerging and Traditional Donors and Opportunities for Collaboration.“