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China, the UN, and human protection: Beliefs, power, image
 2020931794, 9780198843733, 9780198843740

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China, the UN, and Human Protection

China, the UN, and Human Protection Beliefs, Power, Image R O SE M A RY F O O T

1

1 Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, United Kingdom Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries © Rosemary Foot 2020 The moral rights of the author have been asserted First Edition published in 2020 Impression: 1 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Control Number: 2020931794 ISBN  978–0–19–884373–3 (hbk.) ISBN  978–0–19–884374–0 (pbk.) Printed and bound in Great Britain by Clays Ltd, Elcograf S.p.A. Links to third party websites are provided by Oxford in good faith and for information only. Oxford disclaims any responsibility for the materials contained in any third party website referenced in this work.

Abbreviations A4P AGE AIIB ASG AU BRI BRICS C34 CASS CCP CCW CERD CHR CIIS CPC CRSV DDR DESA DFS DPA DPKO DRC ECOSOC ECOWAS EU EWIPA G7 G20 G77 GCC GDP HIPPO HLP HRC HRW ICC ICG ICISS IFIs IGAD

Action for Peacekeeping Advisory Group of Experts Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Assistant Secretary-General African Union Belt and Road Initiative Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Chinese Communist Party Convention on Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination Commission on Human Rights China Institute of International Studies Communist Party of China Conflict-related Sexual Violence Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration Department of Economic and Social Affairs Department of Field Support Department of Political Affairs Department of Peacekeeping Operations Democratic Republic of the Congo United Nations Economic and Social Council Economic Community of West African States European Union Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas Group of 7 Group of Twenty Group of 77 Gulf Cooperation Council Gross Domestic Product High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations High Level Panel Human Rights Council Human Rights Watch International Criminal Court International Crisis Group International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty International Financial Institutions Intergovernmental Authority on Development

xvi Abbreviations IIIM IMF ISHR ISIS JIM LMG MDGs MINUSMA MONUSCO

International, Impartial, and Independent Mechanism International Monetary Fund International Service for Human Rights Islamic State in Syria Joint Investigative Mechanism Like-Minded Group Millennium Development Goals United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo MOOTW Military Operations Other Than War NAP National Action Plan NGOs Non-Governmental Organizations OCHA Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs OIC Organization of Islamic Cooperation OPCW Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons PBA Peacebuilding Architecture PBC Peacebuilding Commission PBF Peacebuilding Fund PBSO Peacebuilding Support Office PDTF Peace and Development Trust Fund PLA People’s Liberation Army POC Protection of Civilians PRC People’s Republic of China R2P Responsibility to Protect RMB Renminbi RwP Responsibility while Protecting SDGs Sustainable Development Goals SIPRI Stockholm International Peace Research Institute SR Special Rapporteur UDHR Universal Declaration of Human Rights UN United Nations UNAMA United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan UNAMET United Nations Mission in East Timor UNAMSIL United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone UNDP United Nations Development Programme UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization UNFICYP United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus UNMISS United Nations Mission in South Sudan UNSMIS United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria UNTAC United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia UPR Universal Periodic Review USG Under-Secretary-General WPS Women, Peace and Security WSOD World Summit Outcome Document

China, the UN, and Human Protection

China, the UN, and Human Protection Beliefs, Power, Image R O SE M A RY F O O T

1

1 Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX2 6DP, United Kingdom Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trade mark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries © Rosemary Foot 2020 The moral rights of the author have been asserted First Edition published in 2020 Impression: 1 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer Published in the United States of America by Oxford University Press 198 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016, United States of America British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Data available Library of Congress Control Number: 2020931794 ISBN  978–0–19–884373–3 (hbk.) ISBN  978–0–19–884374–0 (pbk.) Printed and bound in Great Britain by Clays Ltd, Elcograf S.p.A. Links to third party websites are provided by Oxford in good faith and for information only. Oxford disclaims any responsibility for the materials contained in any third party website referenced in this work.

Introduction The nadir of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) appraisal of the United Nations probably came in 1965. That year, an editorial in the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), characterized the UN as a ‘dirty international political stock exchange in the grip of a few big powers’.1 Beijing, still under the continuous rule of the CCP, subsequently shifted to a diametrically opposed idea, describing the UN in a major official statement in 2005 as ‘indispensable’ and the ‘most universal, representative, authoritative intergovernmental international organization . . . the best venue to practice multilateralism, and an effective platform for collective actions to cope with various threats and challenges’.2 Thus, in a relatively short period of time, Beijing moved from ­dismissing the UN to embracing it. How are we to make sense of the PRC’s embrace of the UN, and what does its engagement mean in larger terms? Is it a ‘supporter’ that takes its fair share of responsibilities, or a ‘spoiler’ that seeks to transform the UN’s contribution to world order? Certainly, it is difficult to label it a ‘shirker’ in the last decade or more,3 given Beijing’s apparent appreciation of the UN, its provision of public goods to the organization, and its stated desire to offer ‘Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving the problems facing mankind’.4 This study traces questions such as these, interrogating the appropriateness of such distinct categorizations of its positions through a direct focus on Beijing’s engagement with one of the most contentious areas of UN activity—human protection. It is contentious because the norm of human protection, promoted within the UN in the post-Cold War era, tips the balance away from the UN’s Westphalian state-based profile, towards the provision of greater protection for the security of individuals and their individual liberties. Beijing has faced the challenge that this shifting balance has thrown up on many occasions since the early 1990s—none more so, perhaps, than in March 2011 when the Chinese government decided to abstain on a UN Resolution that led to a military intervention in Libya without host state consent. Although this is not a book about the merits and demerits of humanitarian intervention, and instead deals with a range of UN policies that deal with security threats to humankind, the Libyan example is one that raised questions directly about how best to protect civilians caught up in armed conflict and subject to mass atrocity crimes. The Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, had threatened to show no mercy to rebel forces and civilians corralled in Benghazi and other parts of the country, thereby facing the PRC with the dilemma of China, the UN, and Human Protection: Beliefs, Power, Image. Rosemary Foot, Oxford University Press (2020). © Rosemary Foot. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198843733.001.0001

2  China, the UN, and Human Protection acquiescing in civilian suffering on a massive scale, or taking a stand to prevent further atrocities. As matters progressed to the overthrow and killing of Gaddafi, Beijing came bitterly to regret its decision to abstain on that crucial UN reso­ lution. The resultant outcome prompted the Chinese leadership to focus with more de­ter­min­ation on a Westphalian concept of sovereignty that emphasizes state security over individual security, but the dilemmas that its preferred stance have created continue to complicate its decision-making. The argument that follows shows that, as an ever-more crucial actor within the United Nations, Beijing’s rhetoric and some of its practices are playing an increasingly important role in determining how this norm of human protection is ar­ticu­ lated, interpreted, and implemented. At stake in the questions this book tackles is both how we understand the PRC as a participant in shaping global order, and the future of some of the core norms that constitute global order.

Main Argument The book argues that the PRC’s engagement with the concept of human protection and the policy dilemmas that it poses can best be uncovered through a focus on two driving concerns: Beijing’s ideological beliefs and its image in world pol­it­ ics. For the former to be a source of influence requires the beliefs in this issue area to be sufficiently coherent and well-articulated that they provide signposts for policy direction and promote understanding of Beijing’s wants outside of China itself, including within an institution that relies in various important ways on China’s presence. I argue that, over time, a transition along these lines has occurred. In considering the role of image, I maintain that the PRC cares strongly about the creation or maintenance of a positive international image for both domestic and external reasons. In addition, for Beijing, the UN undoubtedly provides a significant venue for image-enhancement or its opposite, thus setting up the dilemmas that China faces when it promotes preferred beliefs that challenge those that appear dominant within this multilateral venue. Where there is consistency in Beijing’s concerns to promote its beliefs and protect its image, there is also change in various aspects of its power attributes. What has altered for Beijing are its capabilities, level of confidence, and the inter­nation­al context. Beijing’s increased skill in operating in the realm of global governance are matched by the enhanced material resources that it can leverage to achieve desired outcomes, and the advent of a leadership under President Xi Jinping that is more ambitious in the promotion of Beijing’s foreign policy interests. Furthermore, Beijing is operating within an international environment at the UN that, while it can still be constraining, is more receptive to its arguments, and appreciative of the resources it has chosen to devote to the workings of this organization, as well as to many of the UN’s member states.

Introduction  3 At the core of my argument is that, in this enabling environment, the Chinese government has come to articulate a world view that reflects a strong commitment to a triadic model that it believes is superior to the UN’s three-pillar structure. That UN structure is designed to promote the interlinkages among development, peace and security, and human rights in order to provide protection for individuals. Beijing’s triadic model, on the other hand, connects economic development, the strong state, and social stability on the understanding that having these three components in place better guarantees international peace and security and thus human protection. Necessarily, therefore, this Chinese model downplays the significance of human rights. In this sense, Beijing is attempting to shape the United Nations from within and to weaken support for the inter-linked three-pillar structure that the UN Secretariat, UN Secretaries-General, and democratic states—if more variably— have continued to advance. While the PRC is working to weaken this attachment primarily through discursive means, the book also argues that other factors have aided the progress of Beijing’s ideas. For four main reasons over the course of the post-Cold War era, UN and Chinese positions have come closer together: first, because of greater attention by significant parts of the UN bureaucracy to the relationship between underdevelopment, conflict, and human protection; second, because of the setbacks and difficulties of enacting the UN’s complex human protection agenda; and third, as a result of the relative decline in Western influence, not least because of the diminution of Western troop presence in UN peace operations in the last several years, and more latterly because of a US denial of the benefits of multilateralism and obvious disavowal that bodies like the United Nations can further any (or many) of Washington’s objectives in world politics. Finally, China’s contribution of resources to the organization, as well as its recognized and often positive relations with members of the G77, are also perceived as beneficial to the legitimate enactment of key parts of the UN’s protection policies. However, the study also outlines some of the reasons for the ‘stickiness’ of the UN’s normative attachment to the idea that human protection requires not only sustainable levels of development and sustainable levels of peace, but also that these, in turn, demand adherence to the idea of the universality and indivisibility of human rights. One contemporary example, taken from an era when the UN is heavily focused on successfully reaching the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), may help to illustrate this ‘stickiness’. As will be shown later, the UN requires China’s material help, and evidence of its own continuing progress, in reaching those ambitious SDG targets. The challenge ahead in the relationship between China, the UN, and human protection is summarized in Goal 16 of that agenda—a goal that Beijing apparently did not wish to see included. SDG 16 argues that sustainable development requires the ‘provision of access to justice for all and for building effective, accountable institutions at all levels’. Included among

4  China, the UN, and Human Protection such institutions is space for ‘independent national human rights institutions’. These phrases emphasize once again the UN’s commitment to its approach linking development, security, and human rights.

The UN’s Focus on Human Protection The book’s focus is on the post-Cold War era and particularly the last fifteen to twenty years of this era. This period has witnessed a deepening of both scholarly and policy interest in norms associated with human protection, as well as the creation of a number of global, mostly UN-associated, institutions designed to enhance protective capacity.5 Academic and policy-related appraisals of inter­ nation­al actions intended to promote humanitarian outcomes have mushroomed. Debate and discussion of topics such as the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P), or of modes of accountability for mass atrocity crimes appear regularly on UN agendas. This includes the agenda of the UN Security Council, which debates these protections in the context of its primary mandate to respond to threats to international peace and security. The Security Council’s understanding of how global insecurity is generated has noticeably widened since the 1990s, and resolutions intended to deal with mass atrocities have been passed under mandatory Chapter VII UN Charter provisions. As is to be shown in the chapters that follow, China undoubtedly favours a UN that underlines the legal sovereign equality of states as expressed in General Assembly membership, embodies hierarchical structures that give special rights and status to the permanent members of the UN Security Council, and that pledges via article 2(7) of the UN Charter not to infringe on matters within the domestic jurisdiction of states. Nevertheless, Beijing has worked more actively within a UN that has shifted the balance between the focus on state security to that of the security of the individual. UN Secretary-General Boutros BoutrosGhali in 1992 referenced an ‘opportunity regained’ in the post-Cold War period for the UN to maintain peace and security, secure justice and human rights, and to promote ‘social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom’.6 Secretary-General Kofi Annan took this a significant step further, arguing in 1999 for sovereignty as responsibility, stating unequivocally that ‘[w]hen we read the charter today, we are more than ever conscious that its aim is to protect individual human beings, not to protect those who abuse them’.7 The next Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, presided over a mechanism for implementing responsible sovereignty—the ‘Responsibility to Protect’—and introduced the ‘Human Rights up Front’ initiative in order to try to ensure that human rights considerations pervaded all aspects of the UN’s three-pillar structure.8 Although there has been some disquiet about UN Secretary-General Guterres’s level of commitment to the

Introduction  5 promotion of human rights, nevertheless he, together with the Secretariat, has continued defining the UN in terms of its three pillars.9 It is this normative environment in which China has found a more active role, emerging since 2019 as the second largest contributor to the UN’s overall budget, as well as, since 2016, the second largest contributor to the peace operations budget. Beijing has shown an increased willingness to provide global public goods through the UN framework as well as outside of it, and China’s leadership under President Xi Jinping has more broadly determined it has a role to play in either advancing, reshaping, perhaps even challenging, norms associated with global governance.

A Challenge to Liberal Order? Indeed, as a result of greater Chinese foreign policy activism, many now see these more liberal aspects of the UN contribution to world order as being under challenge. It is important not to overstate that challenge and to acknowledge from the outset that world order since 1945 has always contained strong illiberal elements, associated not only with the perceived imperatives of Cold War politics, but also with the violence that accompanied colonial rule and its eventual dismantlement. The UN itself in the post-Cold War era remains a mixed normative environment with clear divisions among its member states in the interpretation of the UN Charter and in the amount of autonomy, if any, to give to the UN Secretariat. Also under debate is what constitutes liberal or illiberal normative behaviour. As Jennifer Welsh has reminded us, sovereign equality was itself originally put forward by political theorists such as Rousseau and Vattel as a liberal idea, with the sovereign state viewed as ‘protector of the moral process of self-de­ter­min­ation’.10 Nevertheless, the state is not always regarded as a protector with Welsh again, in 2004, reminding us that ‘while roughly thirty-five million people were killed in armed conflict’ during the twentieth century, some ‘150–70 million p ­ eople have been killed by their own government through political murder or mass misery’ [emphasis in original.]11 Thus, there is inevitably some sense of urgency surrounding the current challenge to the UN’s post-Cold War turn to human protection. In particular, the human protection function has been faced with several attempts to constrain it. This challenge has come not only from China and Russia, but also from a number of other states.12 Human protection appeals to universalist, cosmopolitan principles and implies imposing limits on state sovereignty (what Hedley Bull once referred to as ‘solidarism’ versus ‘pluralism’).13 Yet, the UN has expressed and advanced this global norm at a time when a progressively more powerful China potentially has the capacity to project its beliefs in the value of state-based pluralism and the need to accept diversity and difference. Moreover,

6  China, the UN, and Human Protection the United States, which has long been in a problematic relationship with the multilateralism inherent in UN design,14 has come to be viewed as equally, if not more, disruptive of some of the core functions of this organization, especially since the advent of the Trump administration. That administration has made no secret of its disregard for multilateralism in favour of a focus on ‘America First’. Washington has already removed itself from the UN’s Human Rights Council, UNESCO, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the Iran nuclear agreement, which had the sanction of the Security Council, and made good on its intent to cut its contribution to the UN budget (though it remains in first place in terms of its contribution).15 Thus, this is a signal moment to conduct an empirical investigation of the claim that the UN’s expansion of the definition of what it means to be secure is being tested. This study’s concentration in this regard is on a Chinese government— sometimes working closely with Russia—that is globally more powerful as well as more influential in the UN itself. Is China working from within the United Nations to undercut, modify, or actually to bolster UN action related to human protection? Is it set on changing the terms of the debate about how human protection can best be brought about, or rather than being a disruptive force, has it come instead to align its ideas on human protection more closely with those on offer at the United Nations? Has multilateralism worked to constrain the pace and scope of change to the idea of human protection from wherever that source of change may come, or is multilateralism stymied by geopolitics and the interstate governance arrangement that the UN reflects? In sum, the focus on China, the UN, and human protection provides an exceptionally valuable opportunity to examine China’s efforts to work within international institutions that have played a defining role in the post-World War II global order, and in consequence to establish how it is actively seeking to reshape such institutions, if that is its intention at all.16 Certainly, China has significantly increased its potential to influence the UN’s normative architecture. Beijing has slowly gained confidence and competence in representing its areas of interest and has sought a larger role and voice in governance arrangements. It already has shown interest in acquiring higher-level posts within the UN Secretariat, attempted to have one of its nationals appointed to head UNESCO, and maintained strong control over the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). A Chinese national has been appointed a UN Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, the first occasion on which such a post has been offered to it.17 Chinese nationals now head several UN specialized agencies: the International Civil Aviation Organization, the UN’s Industrial Development Organization, the International Telecommunications Union, as well as the Food and Agricultural Organization.18 It has been suggested that China is additionally lobbying to take over the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and in November 2019 put in its bid to head the World Intellectual Property Organization.19

Introduction  7 Of direct relevance to the issues discussed in this study, Beijing has made larger material contributions in terms of finance and personnel in the area of peace operations, and has established a UN-China ‘Peace and Development Trust Fund’ with two sub-funds able to support projects of importance to the SecretaryGeneral as well as in respect of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Beijing interprets these moves as being reflective of the responsibilities that its new status carries, and is likely to perceive these representational changes as indicative of some of the rewards that successfully initiated multilateral institutional policies bring to the legitimation of its new global role. The executive positions as well as the policy initiatives demonstrate a relationship between its material advancement and positive international image as ‘responsible great power’ (RGP). In some respects, this fulfils the wishes of President Xi Jinping—a leader, in power since 2013, who has resurrected the phrases ‘the China dream’ and ‘great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation’—more firmly to promote this image of China.20 Indeed, Beijing has steadily moved away from an argument that emphasized its material inadequacies and therefore necessary ‘backseat’ position in reference to the demands of global governance, towards one where it has come to accept that its status as the second largest economy in the world (measured at market exchange rates), as well as permanent membership of the UN Security Council, has conferred upon it a new social role that carries ‘special responsibilities’ to sustain global order. As Xi stated in 2018, China should ‘[l]ead the reform of the global governance system with the concept of fairness and justice’.21 Beijing still claims its alignment with developing countries, but sets itself apart from that grouping: the PRC government emphasizes that it is its experience of overcoming its past material weakness and former semi-colonial status that forms the basis of its leadership position with respect to the developing world.22

Contribution Apart from advancing the central argument outlined at the start of this chapter, the book is intended to make a number of other contributions. It aims to aid scholarly understanding of the obstacles faced in promoting redefinitions of se­cur­ity that promote a human protective element; to consider the degree to which certain liberal elements of the global order as represented in post-Cold War UN action are under challenge; and to assess China’s impact on and contributions towards these two matters within the United Nations. Already noted is the core and specific objective to explore how a more powerful PRC satisfies its desire to shape global norms relating to human protection in ways that reflect its ideological beliefs, and, as it would prefer, in such a way as to bolster its image as a responsible great power. Or, to put this question in a way that highlights more overtly the potential dilemmas associated with operating in this policy

8  China, the UN, and Human Protection environment, the study asks whether Beijing can both shape this normative arena in ways that are seen by significant others (internally and externally) as appropriate to the evolution of the norm of human protection, and that at the same time do not validate the norm’s underlying values where they come into conflict with the ideological beliefs the Chinese government wishes to see promoted and protected. I see this dilemma broadly as gaining in force for Beijing in movement through the book’s substantive chapters (2 through 6) during which questions of human protection come more directly to be faced. The approach in chapter 7 is somewhat different: at this point, the argument focuses exclusively on the Chinese government’s and certain Chinese scholars’ attempts to be socially cre­ative and to redefine how the central aim of human protection can best be realized. Chapter 7 investigates in greater depth what I term Beijing’s own triadic model, which emphasizes development, social stability, and the creation of the strong state as the main means of advancing human protection.

Methodological Approach Constructivist and International Society (or ‘English School’) approaches have influenced the intellectual framing of this project as chapter 1 elaborates in more detail. The study argues that there is a mutually constitutive relationship between China’s power, image, and ideological beliefs, and that uncovering that interdependent relationship helps to highlight the dynamic nature of Beijing’s policy responses in the political environment examined in this study. It assumes there is a direct association between a state’s adherence to dominant global norms in a particular issue area and a positive international image for that specific state. But it also accepts that norms can be multi-layered and complex, and some norms are in direct competition with other sets of global norms. The study accepts too that norm diffusion is a non-linear and dynamic process. It supports and cites those scholars working in this field who have gone beyond the idea that norms are oneway in their effects and progression, and challenges the idea that norm diffusion involves either a top-down process, or is mediated in a straightforwardly simple way at the local level and involving a varying degree of acceptance or resistance by local actors. The mixed nature of today’s global normative order further complicates this norm diffusion process.23 Here I attempt to express the dynamism of this process by examining the interplay between the PRC’s ideological beliefs, sometimes referred to in the text as ‘world views’, and its concerns with international image. The research identifies global normative developments in the field of human protection as a policy area of considerable domestic salience to China, since this area not only touches directly on matters of state sovereignty and non-interference in internal affairs,

Introduction  9 but also on state-society relations. It throws into stark relief the relationship between ideas of collective or individual human welfare, and questions about the universality and indivisibility of a range of rights connected with different forms of rights protection. Yet the study remains attentive to China’s concern with inter­ nation­al image and thus the extent to which international expectations of Beijing’s behaviour can serve to constrain or enable its attempts to give primary place to its own official world view. Of course, strong states, like China, that enjoy the benefits of an international system built on forms of global hierarchy as well as a well-embedded domestic institutional structure, are capable of shaping global norms, or of organizing resistance to them at the international and domestic levels. With better-established global norms that they wish to resist, they can seek out norm ambiguities, play up their voluntaristic rather than their formal regulative elements, or attack their levels of legitimacy and the basis of the consensus on which they are said to rely. With norms at an early stage of creation, and especially within state-based institutions, they can step in from the start to influence their core characteristics, interpretation, and elaboration through discourse, bargaining, and behaviour.24 The chapters that follow will provide examples of these forms of normative interaction. However, in better service of the argument for non-linear normative evolution, as well as the dynamism associated with the idea of global-local feedback, this study underlines that influence does not work in only one direction—either from China to the normative environment or the global normative environment to China. China’s status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and the impressive enhancement in its material power that has led to its recognition as a great power, has placed on it a responsibility to contribute to the global commons if it desires to legitimate that great power status. Thus, Beijing cannot ignore these normative developments in the area of human protection even when they may be seen to represent a major challenge to its ideological beliefs. Neither can it claim with a high degree of credibility that it is having norms associated with human protection imposed upon it—that it is operating ‘within an order not of its own making’25—given that these protection norms have developed at a time of China’s full participation as a UN Security Council permanent member (that is, a member of the P5).26 Moreover, these policies relating to the norm of human protection have developed within an international organization that China has singled out on numerous occasions (as noted earlier) as the most authoritative and representative of all post-1945 multilateral institutions. In light of this publicly articulated appreciation of the UN, Beijing has often stated that as a P5 member it is committed to bearing the burdens associated with that membership. Thus, China must either present its ideological beliefs as being in service of a norm that the UN has sought to advance over nearly three decades, or find other methods of displaying its commitment to the promotion of a norm associated strongly with

10  China, the UN, and Human Protection the United Nations, if it wishes to avoid or diminish negative consequences for its international image. These methods may include rhetorical adaptation, reinterpretation of complex or layered norms, or reference to alternative norms that Beijing argues may better serve the peaceable and protective outcome desired.

Conceptual Framing: Ideological Beliefs, Image, and Power As alluded to already, ideological beliefs, power, and image have been selected as foci for the detailed empirical treatment of this topic and have been viewed as being in a mutually constitutive relationship. The study does not start with the supposition that there are certain kinds of conditions under which one element of this triumvirate will win out over another, but looks instead at the ways in which changes in one component part of this triangular structure affects another. Thus, China’s material resurgence, alongside its P5 membership, has led to the acceptance in international society of its great power standing. These changes have also raised the expectation that it should live up to the responsibilities that accrue to that role. However, the understanding of what great power responsibility entails should not be assumed to be static. It is an understanding that can be contested, especially by those actors that have gained in material power and political authority, providing openings for the articulation of beliefs that can serve to modify or shift the meaning of responsible behaviour.27 Chapter 1 of the book provides a fuller definition of these three concepts, and their mutual constitution is more fully elaborated. To explain briefly at this stage what the three concepts entail, first ideological beliefs are deemed im­port­ant to any understanding of the policy proposals that governments promote, though it is not assumed that there is a direct translation from beliefs to policy. Definitions of beliefs, as will be shown, embody the idea of political action, sometimes without conscious reflection, and thus imply an embeddedness or taken for granted quality associated with those beliefs. An ideology is also something that may be shared between elites and the broader domestic society. In other words, a focus on beliefs prompts us to consider the degree of ‘ “discursive” fit between a set of ideas’ coming from political elites, and the ‘set of ideas, mostly taken-for-granted, that inform the daily life-world of average people’. As Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink have put it, the world views that get successfully propagated must ‘fit or resonate with the larger belief systems and real life contexts’ of those targeted in wider social environments in order to have authority and legitimacy.28 Importantly, from the perspective associated with Clark and other scholars that adopt the so-called ‘International Society approach’, resonance is important not simply in relation to domestic audiences, but also in relation to international audiences. Clark’s argument, for example, is that if China wishes to attract followers it must first be recognized as a member of international society and respectful

Introduction  11 of its extant norms. Only thereafter can it act as a successful, creative, force in norm development.29 China itself has a particularly deep reservoir of ideas on which to draw, from imperial times to the contemporary era. However, notable in regard to the beliefs that emerge from these eras is that although they derive from vastly different experiences, they each point in a similar direction. As chapter 1 illustrates, they each underpin an argument that priority has to be given to the role of a political authority able to achieve legitimacy through the establishment of a social contract. The government or central authority provides welfare or economic advancement for its own people, and citizens in turn are expected to generate a socially stable state, thus accepting that society is weak and the political institutions are strong. Statism is centrally embedded in these ideological influences, as discussed later. It is perceived as the source of stability and unity, and has been identified as a central ideological value in past writings on China.30 However, the research for this book underlines in addition that China’s policy and behaviour since the 1990s and especially since the start of Xi Jinping’s presidency in late 2012, emphasizes discursively if not always analytically a strong inter-relationship between the economically developed state, domestic social stability, and the strong or effective state. From China’s perspective, these combined elements are the main means of protecting humankind, both domestically and internationally. The chapters that follow underline the extent to which these beliefs are reflected in its policy discourse and behaviour with respect to the UN’s human protection agenda. In identifying the deep-seated nature of these ideological beliefs, it is understood that these beliefs may also be of instrumental benefit: the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership, after all, inevitably thinks about these questions against the backdrop of its overwhelming desire to stay in power.31 However, as the earlier references to ‘fit’ and ‘resonance’ suggest, and as Quentin Skinner has said of rhetoric, to be successful, rhetoric has to have ‘one eye to the past, to established values and modes of argumentation’.32 Thus, the beliefs can be thought of as legacies that are useful as political resources and that have an enhanced prospect of being legitimated at the domestic level. As such, they can be sparingly or expansively deployed in particular international circumstances and for particular policy ends. Also related to the degree of congruence between beliefs and policy is the question of how these world views are mediated. There are various routes to mediation, of course, as any exploration of the foreign policy analysis literature demonstrates. However, in this study, the focus is on the mediation that occurs as a result of China’s concern to fulfil the image of a responsible great power. Image is defined in these circumstances as discursive and actual behaviour that is deemed as normatively appropriate. A positive image is valued as an end in itself. In consequence, social rewards are sought to underpin the status markers valued by a state concerned with image, and social opprobrium is seen as a challenge to a

12  China, the UN, and Human Protection state’s social integrity and thus to be avoided or overcome.33 Yong Deng has argued with respect to the idea of status—though clearly it is a concept that closely relates to the neighbouring idea of image—we need to take China’s concerns with international status seriously. In his view, ‘[m]aking China prosperous, strong and respected in the world is now the most important source of the CCP’s domestic legitimacy’ [emphasis added].34 Xiaoyu Pu similarly laments the failure on the part of many analysts of China to accept that the ‘domestic audience is at times the primary targeted audience in status signaling’.35 However, this goes beyond a domestic legitimation project, significant though that remains. Image and status have also become important to Beijing as it seeks more energetically to promote its values in a world that it believes has become increasingly receptive to its message. In addition, China has long had a sense of entitlement and sought restitution of its former prominence in world politics. Beijing, as with a number of other emerging powers, lays claim to civilizational greatness and great power status, which includes a ‘proactive demand for rights, acceptance of responsibilities, and self-perception as a manager of the inter­ nation­al system’.36 That quest for a positive image, to be regarded as successful, requires endorsement by peers of similar standing, or by a significant number of weaker entities, such as members of the Global South, willing to show themselves as being in alignment with the values and projected world view articulated by the state in search of image enhancement. China rightly regards the United Nations as a valuable social environment to demonstrate high status and potentially to receive the social rewards associated with a positive image. Material power, because of the social meanings attached to its attributes, stands in an intimate relationship with image and beliefs. As China’s power has grown, so has its global presence, and the expectations of the roles it should play in world politics have altered. ‘Responsible statehood’ is a contested concept and this allows an opening for beliefs to be advanced and argued for. Thus, in what follows, while there is frequent reference to increases in China’s material power and the greater range of global interests Beijing needs to protect, the concept of power is understood as something more than a source of leverage. Going beyond the definition once provided by Robert Dahl, power is more than an exercise by ‘A’ in getting ‘B’ to do what otherwise it would not do (though we shall see instances of that direct form of Chinese influence).37 Power also means the ability to set agendas, to gain non-coerced followership, and to shift the meanings of dominant global norms towards an interpretation closer to those that the powerful state believes validates its own positions.38

Sources The book engages with relevant parts of the vast secondary literature on the United Nations and its relationship with the human protection regime, together

Introduction  13 with the secondary literature that deals directly with China and the UN. Within that latter category, Chinese scholarly work is accorded weight not only in its own terms as scholarship, but also as a policy referent because scholars in China operate within an environment constrained by the party-state political system. Chinese scholarship provides an indication of the range of views that are likely to be in debate at elite political levels, and these scholarly views may form the source of advice to the central leadership. Scholars may be ‘asked to collaborate with or provide inputs to the Chinese government’, or they may be involved in government-directed projects. There is also a degree of ‘cross-pollination’ in light of the tendency to appoint former senior officials as heads of think tanks, or as ‘honorary deans at university departments’. Some scholars move the other way, into ‘state ministries or party organs to do formal policy work’.39 Primary source material forms a major part of the research project including an examination of UN documentation and reports, as well as China’s official statements at the United Nations and related venues, aided in their transmission by party-controlled news outlets and ministry-related think tanks. In addition, I have conducted a series of confidential, semi-structured interviews with scholars in universities and think tanks in Beijing and Shanghai, together with those from many different nationalities who work with or on the UN in Canberra, Geneva, London, and New York—whether as diplomats, international and domestic civil servants, or in non-governmental organizations. These discussions have vastly increased my understanding of the role that China has been playing in this policy area and how and when it steps forward to articulate its beliefs and to exercise its prerogatives.40

Chapter Structures and Outlines In the chapters that follow, the discussion moves from human protection as associated with the central UN activity of peace operations towards more specific elem­ents within the human protection regime. Each chapter begins with a discussion of the developments in UN policy, including reference to important turning points in those policies following their initial enactment. The aim here is to provide context: to illustrate the environment in which China operates as well as to allow for some assessment of the degree of alignment between Chinese beliefs and those extant within the UN. The closer the alignment, then the less Beijing is required to justify oppositional stances, or to repair any damage to its inter­ nation­al image. Each chapter turns next to an examination of China’s discourse and behaviour. Against the background of China’s growing material power, and its higher levels of familiarity with working in the UN environment, the chapters show Beijing’s attempts to promote its beliefs and protect its image. It does the former more forcefully in some of the private meetings of the UN’s committees of the General Assembly, and the latter more frequently within the public de­lib­er­ ations of the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council.

14  China, the UN, and Human Protection

Chapter 1: Defining the Scope This chapter provides the building blocks for the argument that is to come. It explains the value of adopting a social ontology in order better to understand the way that power, beliefs, and image can interrelate in a mutually constitutive way to shape a state’s discourse and behaviour. The chapter also justifies the book’s focus on the UN in the post-Cold War era and the UN decision to make human protection a core element of UN activity. Turning to the China case, the chapter demonstrates Beijing’s increased role within the organization deriving from its greater familiarity with the UN environment, enhanced global influence and interests, and a more ambitious central leadership. It sets out China’s official and wider societal beliefs associated with the idea of human protection, explaining how and why the UN is useful to China in its performative role as ‘responsible great power’.

Chapter 2: UN Peace Operations This chapter is the first of several substantive areas of analysis. It examines the mode of operation within UN peace operations, focusing in particular on the period since the 1990s, which has seen an explosion in the tasks that these op­er­ ations are mandated to perform. The UN has moved well beyond its initial peacekeeping function of keeping the peace among previously warring state parties, to a more intrusive form of intervention involving conflicts internal to states where there may be no peace to keep. Tasks performed can include promoting the rule of law, protecting civilians caught up in violence, managing the demobilization and disarmament of former combatants, reforming the security sector, as well as overseeing ceasefires. These new demands have occurred in the context of a deepening Chinese involvement in terms of troop numbers (including the add­ition of combat troops since 2012), more active participation in shaping UN Security Council resolutions, and an expanded fiscal commitment to the UN including its budget for peace operations. Beijing’s decision to augment further the UN’s peace operations capacity, particularly after 2015, is also explored as are some of the consequences, actual and potential, that have come in the wake of that decision. The primary aim of this chapter is to explain what could be seen as the apparent paradox of increasing Chinese support and involvement even as UN peace operations have become more complex, dangerous, and intrusive. The argument explores why Beijing moved from a position of hostility in the Maoist era to one of constructive if still cautious engagement. It then establishes how the building of a positive image and reputation in the UN peace operations field has proven useful to the more active presentation of its core beliefs about the role of such activity in generating peace and security, before assessing the extent to which its

Introduction  15 ideas contradict or complement some of the central recommendations offered in the major reform reports that the UN has commissioned and that will be referenced in the opening section of this chapter.

Chapter 3: The Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda The protection of civilians in armed conflict (POC) since 1999 has been recognized as a core obligation of the United Nations, and as vital to the legitimation of the Security Council’s role and status in its efforts to control and confront largescale violence. This protection requirement has come to pervade all UN peace operations, and is an explicit focus of the vast majority of them. Over the course of this same period, and with the passage in 2000 of Security Council Resolution 1325, the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda has also become a prominent requirement associated with the protection of civilians. Widespread agreement that women and children suffer disproportionately in conflict, that sexual violence too often is used as a weapon of war, and that women need to be properly represented in all phases of UN peace operations has resulted in several reso­ lutions and actions intended to help increase the security of women and girls, to generate some form of accountability for those engaged in sexual violence, and to give women greater agency. Thus, since 2000 the POC and WPS mandates have become intimately linked in UN Security Council resolutions and in the design of peace operations. This chapter first discusses some of the steps that have been taken to put POC and WPS on the UN’s agenda, before turning to the official Chinese response to these two core areas of the UN’s activities. That response illustrates once again a complex interplay between Beijing’s understanding that it must be responsive in this area of action, yet it remains attentive to its belief in the need to ensure the preservation of a state-based international order that includes a restrained UN Security Council interpretation of the types of conflict that represent threats to international peace and security. In both the POC and WPS policy areas, China accords a primary role to economic development as the most effective means of preventing the conflicts that are the source of civilian harm and for improving women’s rights and representation.

Chapter 4: The ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P) This chapter traces the origins and elaboration of the R2P norm, dividing the period into two. It places the accent on the process of norm development during which a variety of states, including China, were able to shape the norm’s

16  China, the UN, and Human Protection characteristics. It begins with a discussion of the norm’s origins in 1990s debates, initial reception in 2001, formalization in documentary form in 2005, and then elab­ora­tion in 2009. Next, it turns to the Libyan intervention in 2011 under the R2P banner and the impact of that usage on R2P’s status. The tracing of R2P’s pathway shows that for a state such as China, which is concerned about international image and does not wish to appear obstructive or irresponsible, it can find welcome and bedrock support for its conservative attitude towards R2P among several other states concerned about the norm’s implications. The discussion also shows how the complex layering of the norm has presented China with the ability to shape the norm discursively and to insert other normative preferences into the process of R2P elaboration. In particular, the three-pillar strategy for implementation of R2P put forward at the UN in 2009 has provided China with opportunities to exploit the meaning of R2P in order to emphasize state primacy and the target state’s role in taking decisions about the building of preventive capacities. This has undermined consideration of what role exists for collective international action in response to wide-scale atrocities. The chapter also argues that the Libyan intervention, which witnessed the first usage of R2P as a justification for UN-backed interventionist action without the consent of a host state, has reinforced the environment supportive of Chinese ideas in the R2P debates. These points underpin the chapter’s conclusion that Beijing can live with, though is still wary of, a protective norm that as currently constituted does not pose a high threat to its international image, and that has been reduced as a potential challenge to China’s domestic political system or to its ideological beliefs.

Chapter 5: The Syrian Crisis The UN Security Council’s role in protecting civilians caught up in armed conflict has signally failed in the case of the war in Syria. The Syrian disaster has similarly proven impossible to generate any notable traction for the norm of R2P despite the disregard for international humanitarian law as well as human rights obligations exhibited during the conflict. One of the most unexpected developments in reference to this tragedy has been China’s decision to use its Security Council veto on a number of Syria-related resolutions—seven times in all as of September 2019. This is extremely unusual behaviour for Beijing, which, between 1971— when it became a Security Council member—and Syria, only used the veto on six occasions. This chapter begins with a brief exploration of the various phases of this devastating conflict. It explores the puzzle of this change in China’s behaviour, and the image consequences, mostly damaging in the early stages of this war, that have flowed from that change in approach. It references some of the resolutions that

Introduction  17 caused Security Council division before explaining why Beijing used it veto in these instances. In particular, it focuses on the justifications Beijing has offered for the unusual stance it has adopted and which, at an earlier point but less so at later stages of this conflict, garnered both domestic and international criticism. The Syrian case is afforded its own chapter in this study not only because of China’s use of the veto, but also because of Syria’s status as one of the worst failures in human protection since World War II. The case study is additionally instructive with regard to China’s approaches to the UN’s POC and R2P agendas, and the role that Beijing is contemplating playing in Syria if and when some form of stabilization is reached.

Chapter 6: The UN’s Human Rights Bodies This chapter examines the evolution of the UN’s two human rights bodies: the UN Commission on Human Rights and its replacement, the UN Human Rights Council. Three key moments in China’s history in relation to these organizations—notably the Commission’s (and Sub-Commission’s) role during and after the Tiananmen crisis of June 1989, the movement from Commission to Council in 2005–6, as well as the impact of the UN’s 2011 Libyan intervention and the advent of the broader ‘Arab Spring’—are used to uncover how and why Beijing has worked to influence the procedures of bodies designed to advance the UN’s human protection agenda. In all these instances, China’s active involvement in the work of these bodies demonstrates a potent relationship between its ideo­logic­al beliefs and concerns about image. The chapter concludes that, over time, the PRC has become less reticent and more confident in putting forward its world view about what best promotes human rights. The balance has shifted in its approach from an essentially defensive strategy towards one that aims to promote its own ideas in this issue area. Beijing may have come to believe that less burnishing of its international image is required through regular and direct reference to its treaty signature and reporting with respect to the international human rights treaty regime. Instead, the Chinese leadership seems to have concluded that its image, both domestically and inter­ nation­al­ly, requires less support or maintenance in an era when—from Beijing’s perspective—the benefits of its politico-economic model, and the relationship of that model to improved levels of human protection, have become plainer to all.

Chapter 7: Positioning Development in Human Protection This chapter adopts a different approach in search of an understanding of the Chinese relationship with the UN and human protection. It concentrates on the

18  China, the UN, and Human Protection Beijing government’s attachment to a view that human protection requires a state to be economically developed, domestically stable, and effectively governed. The chapter places the focus on the PRC’s official arguments in support of this ar­ticu­ lated triadic position, but also examines a range of scholarly perspectives on this topic area. It situates Chinese voices within a larger, mostly UN-centred, policy literature that explores the relationship between economic development and the management of international peace and security. The chapter assesses whether there is a gap between UN and Chinese thinking on how best to prevent conflict and give better protection to individuals caught up in violence, entertaining also the possibility that there has been something of a convergence of UN and official Chinese perspectives. Exploration of Chinese voices also provides insight into possible future changes in Beijing’s position and practice, given the form that the internal debate has sometimes taken. An additional objective is to discover the extent to which official Chinese statements and positions relating to human protection are underpinned by a body of work that represents well-conceived and articulated conceptual and theoretical positions. In the absence of this underpinning, we might conclude that much of what China is arguing is more instrumental in intent and is less likely to be broadly persuasive in the external world. On the other hand, that lack of an intellectual argument may relate to a strong sense that it is unnecessary to articulate what is generally deemed to be obvious given the economic and social trans­­ forma­tion that China itself has undergone over the past forty years. Or, most globally persuasive of all, the chapter assesses the possibility that the arguments are grounded in a nuanced appreciation of China’s domestic experiences, as well as in broader research findings relating to how societies other than China’s have reached improved levels of human protection.

Chapter 8: Conclusion: Shaping from Within? This chapter begins with a summary of the main findings deriving from the issue areas covered in this study. Those findings underpin the argument that China’s growing power has been used in service of the firmer articulation of its ideo­ logic­al beliefs, together with an effort to reconstitute what it means to be a re­spon­ sible great power in the global system. The chapter concludes that Beijing’s own triadic model linking together developmentalism, the strong state, and social stability has established a place in the understanding of how human protection can best be obtained, leading to a potential diminution in the UN’s attachment and association with its three-pillar structure of development, peace and security, and human rights as the best guarantees of the well-being of humankind. China is found to be a conservative actor, working to restrict the human protection focus of the UN Security Council, and to weaken the emphasis on civil and political rights as major sources of protection.

Introduction  19 Beijing also mostly finds the accountability mechanisms that the UN can bring to bear with respect to breaches in protection to be detrimental to positive outcomes. Its inclination is to give primacy to the potential role of political dialogue and what it describes as non-confrontational approaches. The Chinese leadership’s preference is for the UN to reinforce its position as an inter-state governance mechanism where national authorities decide on pri­or­ities, and international actors are enablers of the government in power. However, the UN’s normative resilience and bureaucratic resistance to change should also not be overlooked and remain capable of constraining Beijing’s ability to shape new understandings of how human protection can best be arrived at.

Notes 1. People’s Daily quoted in Samuel  S.  Kim, China, the United Nations, and World Order (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979), p. 100. The Beijing government did not hold the UN seat until 1971. 2. ‘Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China on United Nations Reforms’, 7 June 2005, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/chinaandun/zzhgg/t199101.htm. 3. Randall L. Schweller and Xiaoyu Pu, ‘After Unipolarity: China’s Visions of International Order in an Era of U.S. Decline’, International Security, 36(1), 2011: 42. Perhaps in the 1990s, we might have described China as somewhere between a supporter and shirker. 4. Xi Jinping, ‘Secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and strive for the great success of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era’, speech delivered at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, 18 October 2017 at http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/download/Xi_Jinping's_ report_at_19th_CPC_National_Congress.pdf. 5. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used the term ‘human protection’ in a lecture at the University of Oxford in 2011. ‘Human Protection and the 21st Century United Nations’, 2 February 2011, at http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocus/sgspeeches/search_ full.asp?statID=10.4. Alex J. Bellamy, more than any other scholar, has worked to delineate the major components of this ‘emerging normative architecture’. He includes within that architecture ‘the Responsibility to Protect (R2P); the UN Security Council’s protection of civilians agenda and changing peacekeeping practices; the development of the International Criminal Court; discrete agendas focusing on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Children in Armed Conflict; the further entrenchment of human rights law and international humanitarian law; and the adoption of protection as a core mandate of a variety of international organizations and NGOs’. See Alex  J.  Bellamy, ‘The Changing Face of Humanitarian Intervention’, St Antony’s International Review, 11(1), 2015: 16; and Bellamy, ‘The humanisation of security? Towards an International Human Protection Regime’, European Journal of International Security, 1(1), 2016: 112–33. A number of these components of the protection agenda are to be taken up in this study. 6. ‘An Agenda for Peace: Preventive Diplomacy, Peacemaking and Peace-keeping’, 17 June 1992, A/47/277-S/24111.

20  China, the UN, and Human Protection 7. Kofi Annan, ‘Two Concepts of Sovereignty’, 18 September 1999, at https://www. un.org/sg/en/content/sg/articles/1999-09-18/two-concepts-sovereignty. 8. ‘Fact Sheet -- Rights up Front in the Field’ [no date], at https://www.humanitarianresponse.info/sites/www.humanitarianresponse.info/files/documents/files/ 013_fact_sheet_-_rights_up_frontin_the_field_draft_2014-08-21_2.pdf. 9. Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch has been a regular critic. See for example ‘UN Chief Guterres has Disappointed on Human Rights’, 22 July 2019, for one among a number of criticisms. At https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/07/22/un-chief-guterreshas-disappointed-human-rights. Similar disquiet was expressed in a number of my interviews in March 2019 with members of the UN Secretariat as well as with diplomats within some country missions to the UN, though there was no overall consensus on the matter. 10. Jennifer  M.  Welsh, ‘Norm Contestation and the Responsibility to Protect’, Global Responsibility to Protect, 5, 2013: 392. 11. Jennifer  M.  Welsh, ‘Taking Consequences Seriously: Objections to Humanitarian Intervention’, Welsh (ed.) Humanitarian Intervention and International Relations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 65. Non-state actors, including terrorist groups, have also been the source of much carnage, of course, though not on this scale. 12. See, for example, an argument illustrating this challenge in Aidan Hehir and Robert  W.  Murray (eds), Protecting Human Rights in the 21st Century (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017). 13. Hedley Bull, ‘The Grotian Conception of International Society’, Herbert Butterfield and Martin Wight (eds), Diplomatic Investigations: Essays in the Theory of International Politics. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1966), 51–74. 14. Edward  C.  Luck, Mixed Messages: American Politics and International Organization 1919–1999 (Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, 1999). See also Steve Chan, Weixing Hu and Kai He, ‘Discerning States’ Revisionist and Status-Quo Orientations: Comparing China and the US’, European Journal of International Relations, 25(2), 2019: 613–40. 15. As President Trump put it in his 25 September 2018 address to the UN General Assembly: ‘We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism.’ ‘Remarks by President Trump at the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, New York.’ At https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/ remarks-president-trump-73rd-session-united-nations-general-assembly-newyork-ny/. For one insight into the US State Department’s alarm about its loss of influence at the United Nations see Colum Lynch, and Robbie Gramer, ‘Senior Officials Concede Loss of U.S.  Clout as Trump Prepares for U.N.  Summit’, Foreign Policy, 5 September 2019. 16. I ask the final question this way because the mere fact of China’s growing presence in UN action reshapes institutions in ways it may not deliberately intend. 17. Interviews with UN officials, New York, March 2019, and see Colum Lynch and Elias Groll, ‘As  U.S.  Retreats from World Organizations, China Steps in to Fill the Void’, Foreign Policy, 8 October 2017, at https://foreignpolicy.com/2017/10/06/as-u-s-retreatsfrom-world-organizations-china-steps-in-the-fill-the-void/.

Introduction  21 18. A Le Monde report notes that China had long been interested in the FAO and in 2018 gave US$80 million to the body in supplementary funding. It received 107 votes for its candidature out of 194. However, the article also reports the accusation that Beijing offered Cameroon debt relief of US$78 million to persuade it to withdraw its candidature, and threatened to block exports of agricultural products from Latin American countries if they did not cast votes in its favour. ‘Réchauffement climatique, malnutrition, démographie: les défis du prochain directeur de la FAO’, Le Monde, 24 June 2019. 19. Private communication from member of NGO, 15 August 2019. See also ‘Sending Talent to the UN’, cp.signal, 6 September 2019, at https://us2.campaign-archive.com/? u=3fd756a9629015f7becc6e127aid=75581d2a64; and Colum Lynch, ‘China Bids to Lead World Agency Protecting Intellectual Property’, 26 November 2019, https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/11/26/china-bids-lead-world-intellectual-propertyorganization-wipo/. 20. Resurrected because, as has been argued, these phrases resonate strongly with ‘historical Chinese narratives prevalent during the post-1911 period on self-strengthening and accomplishing the country’s “great power dream” ’. See Pichamon Yeophantong, ‘Governing the World: China’s Evolving Concepts of Responsibility’, The Chinese Journal of International Politics, 2013, 6(4): 358, as well as Hoo Tiang Boon, China’s Global Identity: Considering the Responsibilities of Great Power (Washington DC: Georgetown University Press, 2018). 21. For a general discussion of these matters of responsibility see Mlada Bukovansky et  al., Special Responsibilities: Global Problems and American Power (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). Xi is quoted in ‘Xi Urges Breaking New Ground in Major Country Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics’ Xinhua, 24 June 2018. 22. Xiaoyu Pu sees Beijing as being more conflicted in terms of its ‘image signalling’ than I have suggested here. See his Rebranding China: Contested Status Signaling in the Changing Global Order (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2019). 23. Andrew Hurrell, On Global Order: Power, Values, and the Constitution of International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007). 24. Rosemary Foot and Andrew Walter, China, the United States and Global Order (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), esp. chapter 1. 25. Yongjin Zhang, ‘China and Liberal Hierarchies in Global International Society: power and negotiation for normative change’, International Affairs, 92(4), 2016: 797. 26. There are, of course, historical precedents for the various components of the human protection regime that will be discussed in this book, but I argue that the range and the potential for the further deepening of these norms occurred in the 1990s and early 2000s. See, e.g., Luke Glanville, Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect: A New History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014). 27. See in particular Clark’s ‘International Society and China: the Power of Norms and the Norms of Power’, The Chinese Journal of International Politics 7(3), 2014: 315–40; and Rosemary Foot, ‘Chinese Power and the Idea of a Responsible State’, The China Journal, January 2001: 1–19. 28. See Ted Hopf ‘Common-sense Constructivism and Hegemony in World Politics’, International Organization 67, Spring 2013: 322 who also quotes Margaret Keck and

22  China, the UN, and Human Protection Kathryn Sikkink, Activists Beyond Borders: Activist Networks in World Politics (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998) at the same page. 29. Ian Clark, ‘International Society and China: the Power of Norms and the Norms of Power’, The Chinese Journal of International Politics, 7(3), 2014: 315–40. 30. See in particular William A. Callahan, The China Dream (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). 31. Indeed, Courtney J. Fung references a Chinese foreign ministry adviser’s statement to the effect that ‘when we vote on Syria, we are thinking of China’. See China and Intervention at the UN Security Council: Reconciling Status (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 1. 32. Quoted in Christian Reus-Smit, Individual Rights and the Making of the International System (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 176. Reus-Smit quotes Skinner to the effect that ‘All revolutionaries are to this extent obliged to move backwards into battle’. 176. 33. There is now a large literature on this topic, but particularly valuable with respect to the China case is Alastair Iain Johnston, Social States: China in International Institutions, 1980–2000 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008), chapter 3. 34. Yong Deng, China’s Struggle for Status: the realignment of International Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), p. 66. See also, Johnston, Social States, 98. 35. Pu, Rebranding China, 41–4. 36. Chris Ogden, China and India: Asia’s Emergent Great Powers (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2017), 8; Andrew Hurrell, ‘Hegemony, Liberalism and Global Order: what space for would-be great powers?’ International Affairs, 82(1), 2006: 1–19. 37. Robert Dahl, ‘The Concept of Power’, Behavioral Science 2(3), 1957: 201–15. 38. These forms of power, and some of the associated scholarly literature are discussed in chapter 1. 39. As Feng Zhang puts it, ‘China’s repressive political system makes intellectual debates a surrogate form of politics’, and ‘are important because they provide a window into the thinking and making of China’s foreign policy’. See his ‘Chinese Exceptionalism in the Intellectual World of China’s Foreign Policy’, in Rosemary Foot (ed.) China Across the Divide: the domestic and global in politics and society (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 46. See also Camilla T. N. Sørensen, ‘That is Not Intervention; That Is Interference with Chinese Characteristics’, The China Quarterly, March 2019, DOI:10.1017/S0305741018001728, who notes that scholars are sources of advice to the leadership, are sometimes privy to debates that occur prior to decisions being made, and thus can offer insight into China’s evolving policies. The quotes here are from Hoo, China’s Global Identity, at xxiii-xxiv. 40. My interviews were completed mostly over the period from November 2017 to May 2019, and overwhelmingly on a face-to-face basis. A few, however, were conducted using Skype or via email. With one exception, they were all conducted on the basis that views presented would be kept confidential, but even in that one exception I have chosen not to identify the individual.

1

Defining the Scope The aim of the Introduction has been to establish the focus of the book, to outline the central questions to be addressed, and to provide an indication of how the argument unfolds and concludes. At this stage, the study has suggested how the UN’s human protection agenda intersects with a progressively more powerful People’s Republic of China (PRC) that seeks to protect and promote its ideo­logic­al beliefs, while building and sustaining its image as a responsible great power. Uncovering that interactive process helps to move the argument closer to the determination of China’s ability to shape the UN’s normative environment. This chapter is designed to flesh out that introductory chapter and to provide a discussion of the building blocks of the book’s main argument, one that is influenced by constructivist as well as International Society theoretical approaches. These approaches take seriously the role of beliefs in shaping state behaviour, the idea that global norms can help to constitute and regulate the way that a state operates in world politics, and especially so in the case of a state that cares about its image in world politics. In particular, these approaches are underpinned by an assumption that a major state’s world view (a term used interchangeably with ideological beliefs) can be mediated through interaction within an international organization such as the United Nations which has a legitimate and recognized role in regulating the social world in which states interact. These conceptual approaches additionally help us to appreciate how material power can translate into forms of influence not only through the use of overt forms of leverage, but also through adjustments in advance of the less powerful to the presumed preferences of more powerful others, as well as in response to a state’s acquisition of legitimate authority. Finally, they direct attention to the expectation that special responsibilities are allocated to those in world politics with a greater range of power attributes. Having explained in what follows why a social ontology is appropriate for the questions at the heart of this study, the first substantive section justifies the book’s focus on the post-Cold War era. The chapter alludes to the greater ambition of the UN at this turning point in world history, outlining the bureaucratic, intellectual, and normative changes that accompanied the reduction in a polarized form of politics that had hitherto restrained the UN’s ability to fulfil the aims of its founding charter. A second section describes the main components of the human protection agenda and references some of the main sites within the UN promoting China, the UN, and Human Protection: Beliefs, Power, Image. Rosemary Foot, Oxford University Press (2020). © Rosemary Foot. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198843733.001.0001

24  China, the UN, and Human Protection that protection mandate. Next, the chapter shows why China represents an important actor, both in the recent past and in the contemporary period, affecting both the consolidation and development of UN action in this policy area. It details Chinese official and wider societal beliefs relating to human protection, assessing their potential origins, consistency, and coherence. Included in this exploration is a discussion of the ways that the UN’s institutional design has facilitated the expression of Chinese beliefs and an explanation of why China has, over time, switched from a more passive to a more active form of image projection, in the process adjusting its presentation of image as ‘responsible great power’. Perhaps unintentionally for a government that regards relative material power among states as the key to explaining outcomes in world politics, it is clear in this part of the discussion that Beijing appears to have recognized that the UN has some authority independent of state members, as shown by the organization’s ability to confer an image on its member states.1 Thus, the PRC has implicitly or explicitly accepted that the UN has some capacity to regulate and constitute state behaviour. These building blocks provide the contextual framework for the six chapters that follow this one. However, though these are the ideas that shape this study, none of the parts of this framework have stood still over the last three decades. China’s material power and its material contribution to UN action has grown, and particularly so from the early 2000s. Beijing’s engagement in the protection agenda has led to experiences that have required it to adapt its behaviour if not always its rhetoric. Neither is it easy to assign motives to Beijing’s leadership or to assess how those motives may have changed over time: whether the leadership is acting instrumentally, in reaction to the practicalities of engagement, or in response to the obligations associated with increases in its material power. Interviews with Chinese nationals and those from outside China who regularly interact with Chinese officials have been vital in trying to reduce the opaqueness that always surrounds any understanding of Beijing’s motivations and behaviour and that is not always revealed in public discourse; but a high level of opaqueness remains. The UN’s attention to human protection has also evolved over time: though protection is at the heart of UN activity, norms in relation to this core goal came into clearer focus in the early 1990s, expanded again in the late 1990s, and once again in the lead-up to the World Summit held in New York in September 2005. Yet that ambitious agenda has often fallen short in terms of results, leading to several periods of self-examination and reflection on the pathways the Secretariat and member states have tried to establish to reach the goals this organization has set itself. In the current era, UN Secretary-General António Guterres is once again engaged in a major reform effort, and one which has had notable consequences for China’s relationship with the UN, as well as for the three-pillar structure (development-peace and security-human rights) that is associated with a UN focused on maintaining international peace and security. One among many challenges in writing this book is to convey the dynamism of this process, as well as to

Defining the Scope  25 reach some generalized findings about the period covered, and the PRC’s ­discourse and behaviour that has resulted.

A Social Ontology The questions at the centre of this book are representative of interpretive approaches sympathetic to the social contexts in which decisions are made and action is taken. The rise of constructivism within the subject area of International Relations (IR) after the Cold War underlined this ‘social turn’, stressing an explicit social ontology. International Society approaches, or ‘English School’ theorizing as it has often been termed, has also been helpful to understanding the research questions that motivate this study, not least because of its attention to the inter­ rela­tion­ship between material power and social norms. In short, the appeal of these two approaches is that they focus explicitly on the social construction of reality—on social facts rather than brute facts as it has been described2—helping our understanding of the concepts of power, image, and beliefs as shaping mech­ an­isms in the determination of policy positions.

Power, Image, and Beliefs This study links power, image, and beliefs together in a mutually constitutive relationship, with China’s UN policy forming the empirical basis for uncovering those interdependencies. The study does not ask ‘under what conditions’ does any one of the three elements override another, but asks how do changes in one part of this three-fold distinction affect another part. Already I have suggested that increases in material power give states such as China both new opportunities to translate official beliefs into policy initiatives, and also raise expectations at the domestic and international levels of the role the country should play in world politics. This, in turn, influences conceptions of the degree of compatibility between image and role as expressed in policy positions. Turning to the individual components of this three-part framework, the concept of power and its enactment between states has been defined in many different ways in the scholarly literature. In its most overt and straightforward form, power can be defined as power over others—that is, the ability to cause another actor to behave in ways that they would not otherwise behave. This assumes that there is a prior disagreement between states over a particular policy. For that dis­ agree­ment to be removed successfully requires the exercise of coercion, inducement, or persuasion. However, power can also be exercised in far less vis­ible and direct ways. Three main means of exercising indirect forms of power include anticipating a powerful state’s likely response and adjusting in advance—as in the

26  China, the UN, and Human Protection rephrasing of resolutions in the UN Security Council in the anticipation that a veto-wielding state on the Council is likely to object to certain language or courses of action. Second, a political actor, through its influence, competence, or level of authority, can acquire the role of agenda setter in meetings. Third, such an actor can build a reputation as ‘natural leader’ or legitimate authority which generates respect for the values that the leader articulates. Such a state may be deemed worthy of following because of the respect that it attracts, and be seen as useful to draw on side for one’s own projects as a result.3 The role of image at the domestic and international levels is related to the understandings of appropriate behaviour for a state with a particular self-assigned or externally determined identity (even if that behaviour is not always followed for other intervening reasons). A focus on image—in China’s case, the image of the country as a ‘responsible great power’ or as its officials sometimes prefer to put it as ‘responsible major state’—leads directly to an appreciation of the country’s history, culture, and ideology, the norms and rules that are extant at the domestic level and that enter into a relationship with those norms existing or in development and capable of being (re)interpreted at the international level. We now accept the need better to understand the interactive and circular relationship between domestic, regional, and global norms—important in any attempt to tie assessments of state behavioural consistency with global norms and, in turn, with fealty to or compatibility with international image. Consideration of resistance, feedback loops, and multi-level sources as well as multiple agents adds complexity even as these aid understanding of the behavioural outcomes. We also have come to recognize the sometimes complex layering or a lack of specificity embedded within the construction of many norms, which allows for selectivity on the part of those operating within particular normative environments. It is also understood that behaviour in relation to norms covers a spectrum. At either end of that spectrum, consistency in behaviour, or its opposite, signals where political actors place themselves in relation to shared social understandings and in relation to their own perceived roles and self-image.4 Finally, social approaches to IR theorizing take seriously the role of ideological beliefs, world views, or ideas, seeing them as both constitutive and causative of certain behaviours. I sometimes use the term beliefs interchangeably with world view because these concepts have come to be understood as providing broad road maps or assumptions about how the world works, or how the world should work. Some scholars have worked to revive and redefine the term ideology, advocating rejection of the term’s contagion from association with the familiar ‘isms’—fascism, communism, Marxism, liberalism, and the like—as well as to liberate the term ideology from association with an inflexible political philosophy.5 Michael Freeden, in particular, has been central to this effort, defining ideologies as ‘those systems of political thinking, loose or rigid, deliberate or unintended, through which individuals and groups construct an understanding of the political world

Defining the Scope  27 they, or those who preoccupy their thoughts, inhabit, and then act on that understanding’.6 Turning attention more explicitly to official-level beliefs, Amy King and I have deployed the term ‘world view’ in analysis of contemporary China’s foreign policy. We divide ideas into two types: background ‘world views’ and foreground ‘policy initiatives’. We argue that at the background level, ‘world views’ are underlying normative and cognitive assumptions about how the world should or does operate. World views shape behaviour or policy in a deep, constitutive way by constraining the range of policy initiatives considered possible or legitimate. At the foreground level, ‘policy initiatives’ are ideas that flow from background world views. These initiatives provide specific solutions to problems or goals defined at the background level.7 In what follows, I show how an ideology or world view is reflected in UN documents and practices as well as in Chinese initiatives and responses from within that UN environment. As is illustrated in the next two sections, the post-Cold War era gave rise to new elements within the social reality of the United Nations expressed markedly in a reconceptualization of security, associated and related practices in domains previously thought of as separate from security, and an institutional reorganization in order to make concrete the ideas contained within new concepts of security. I explain why human protection became a more visible part of the UN’s remit before discussing the various components of that human protection agenda. The discussion in the next section of China’s increasing material power over the post-Cold War era shows the extent to which that rise in power prompted a reconceptualization inside and outside of China of the role this new-found status in world politics had imposed upon it. As noted earlier, social theorists in IR ask important questions about the relationship between material power, norms, and a state’s expected role in the global system. They point to the dilemmas faced by a state such as China that, if it wishes to attract followers, must first show itself to be a member of international society and respectful of its extant norms, while seeking to be an innovative force in norm creation and implementation.8 While the debate over Beijing’s appropriate international role has taken some time to move towards resolution inside China itself (and it is still not fully resolved), outside of China actors that Beijing deems authoritative (such as some members of the Global South, UN Secretaries-General, and other permanent members of the UN Security Council) have offered varying degrees of praise or blame for the stances it has taken. These reactions indicate some agreement at the international level about the need to shift the social expectations that surround the behaviour of a rising state that is a permanent member of the Security Council, even if there is an absence of consensus among the constituent audiences about those expectations. This section of the chapter also contains some discussion of why China’s positions represent a potentially important shaping force that can affect both the

28  China, the UN, and Human Protection development as well as any consolidation of the human protection agenda. It argues that the shaping role that China can play has become steadily more apparent as we have moved through the post-Cold War era. This is because of the importance of the United Nations as a venue which, through its design and working practices, allows both for the expression of Chinese beliefs and the op­por­tun­ ity for China to demonstrate its growing great power image and growing influence in global politics. In sum, this initial scoping chapter provides a broad contextual framework for the specific policy areas that are to be investigated in the following chapters. It also is designed to encourage contemplation of the wider consequences, actual and potential, of China’s policy initiatives and responses.

The UN in the Post-Cold War Era Although the UN predominantly remains an inter-governmental body with some (limited) opportunity for the UN Secretariat to act with a high degree of autonomy, most analysts of the organization would agree that the ending of the Cold War elevated its status and role as an authoritative force in world politics. The Cold War’s end also elevated the organization’s normative ambitions and changed its institutional structure, spending patterns, and focus of attention. Michael Barnett has labelled the period one of ‘liberal humanitarianism’ and the UN as the site for the legitimization of a new order that held the ambition to shape state practices through defining what was to be regarded as ‘acceptable and proper state behaviour’.9 That designation of what was ‘acceptable and proper’ included adoption of market-based economies, democratic methods of governing, and the promotion and protection of human rights. Protecting the individual rather than the state became regarded as more important to the creation not only of domestic social peace, but also of international peace and security. UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros Ghali’s An Agenda for Peace, published in 1992, embodied many of these ideas.10 As Barnett has written, that report contained a broad conceptualization of security linking domestic insecurity with the potential undermining of regional and global security. Initially, the report’s influence derived in part from its argument that conflicts had to be thought of in terms of different components, and as containing different stages, from ‘preventive measures, to peacekeeping and peace enforcement, to post conflict nation building’. But, in addition, the report stated a need for ‘good internal governance’, as well as ‘commitment to human rights’, and ‘[r]espect for democratic principles at all levels’. Although a number of these ideas were not well received at the time, they came to be more firmly embedded in UN action once Kofi Annan became UN Secretary-General.11 With the rapid expansion of intra-state wars throughout the 1990s, mainly within poorer and less democratic countries, there was much

Defining the Scope  29 consideration of the role of liberal democratic values as palliatives or panaceas for all elements of a conflict’s life cycle. Organizational and budgetary changes accompanied these conceptual developments, including the simultaneous establishment in 1992 of the Department for Peacekeeping Operations and the Department for Political Affairs. The General Assembly in 1991 mandated the setting up within the UN Secretariat of an Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, tasked to bring together the wide range of humanitarian actors involved in responding to natural disasters and other emergencies. The year 1993 saw the creation of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. In consequence, the humanitarian as­sist­ ance budget nearly tripled from US$2.1 billion to US$5.9 billion between 1990 and 2000, and the UN peace operations budget expanded more than ten times over the period from 1989 to 2013–14.12 Notable too was the vast expansion in NGOs devoted to advocacy and action as a result of the UN’s growing focus on human protection.13

The Human Protection Agenda Consolidates The early 1990s, thus, proved to be important in the evolution over the next decade or so of a protection agenda that focused on human security and well-being. Beyond the institutional developments already noted, others came swiftly behind. In 1998, for example, 120 countries signed onto the Rome Statute that established an International Criminal Court to prosecute genocide and similarly grave crimes. Those initial signatures quickly led to the Statute’s entry into force on 1 July 2002 after ratification by sixty countries and despite the Court’s application in cases where a state was unwilling or unable to investigate evidence of war crimes or genocide within its own territory. The year 1999 saw the UN commit to protecting civilians in armed conflict, and in 2000 established the Women, Peace and Security agenda, both complicating the nature, scope, and feasibility of UN peace operations as well as ideas on when force could legitimately be used. In 2006, a new and more geographically representative Human Rights Council replaced the UN Commission on Human Rights in the expectation that the new body would be able to leave behind some of the pathologies associated with the discredited Commission.14 That decision came in the wake of the largest meeting to date of Heads of State and Government at the UN General Assembly, where state parties in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document agreed, among other weighty matters, to endorse a ‘Responsibility to Protect’ populations from war crimes, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity, together with their incitement.15 Undeniably, there were important historical antecedents to many of these moves.16 There were, in addition, regional developments that reinforced this agenda. For example, as the Organization of African Unity re-established itself in

30  China, the UN, and Human Protection 2002 as the African Union (AU), it embraced a Constitutive Act, article 4(h) of which recorded the ‘right of the Union to intervene in a Member State pursuant to a decision of the Assembly in respect to grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity’. The AU also developed a peace and security architecture that replaced the notion of non-interference in internal affairs with the idea of ‘non-indifference’ when member states were confronted with evidence of ethnic cleansing, genocide, or other forms of widespread violence against citizens.17 Ad hoc courts, created by the UN Security Council, dealt with atrocities inflicted in such cases as the break-up of the former Yugoslavia as well as in Rwanda. Indeed, a number of officials and scholars began to provide a label for these gathering trends, even in one case suggesting they constituted a regime in the making. For example, in a speech at the University of Oxford in February 2011, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon used the term human protection and described it as ‘a subset of the more encompassing concept of human security’ that ‘addresses more immediate threats to the survival of individuals and groups’.18 Alex Bellamy, more than any other scholar, has worked to delineate the major components of what he sees as an ‘emerging normative architecture’. Bellamy considers the following as representative and includes within this architecture ‘the Responsibility to Protect (R2P); the UN Security Council’s protection of civilians agenda and changing peacekeeping practices; the development of the International Criminal Court; discrete agendas focusing on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) and Children in Armed Conflict; the further entrenchment of human rights law and international humanitarian law; and the adoption of protection as a core mandate of a variety of international organizations and NGOs’.19 In later work, Bellamy has spelled out why he perceives these various elements to be a regime, using Steven Krasner’s definition of ‘principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures’ governing state behaviour in particular issue areas.20 In the chapters that follow, I take up a representative sample of some elem­ents within this idea of human protection, selecting those that highlight threats or actual uses of violence against the person as well as the denial of legallyguaranteed personal liberties, and that, given China’s official beliefs, are likely to pose a major challenge to PRC decision-making. Of course, none of this activity has ensured that timely and effective action has been taken to advance human protection. One distressing paradox of this enhanced institutional activity has been the continuing inability or unwillingness of the ‘international community’ to find the collective means to respond to some of the most egregious cases of human suffering. This raises the question of whether much of the apparent progress may simply be ‘cheap talk’ amid overwhelming structural and geo-political impediments that block advancement of a progressive and properly institutionalized protection agenda. In the case of Syria, for example (see chapter 5), since 2011 more than 500,000 people have

Defining the Scope  31 been killed and more than 11 million displaced. The 1990s, identified above as an important turning point for the creation of this protection agenda, also contained several instances of egregious humanitarian failure—in Somalia, Rwanda, and the former Yugoslavia, for example—failures which led the United Nations into a period of introspection and an urgent search for explanations. In July 2016, near the end of his time in office, UN Secretary-General Ban ­Ki- moon lamented in a report to the General Assembly that the years of progress were under grave threat. As he put it, ‘[t]he frequency and scale of atrocity crimes have increased and will likely continue to do so unless the international community takes more determined and consistent action to fulfil its responsibility to protect.’ Using data from the Uppsala Conflict Data programme, he went on: ‘Research demonstrates that in 2014, the number of deaths caused by armed conflict and atrocity crimes exceeded 100,000—its highest level since 1994—driven in large measure by the increased targeting of civilians.’21 It is hardly surprising therefore that UN Secretary-General Guterres has placed renewed emphasis on conflict prevention, especially in the context of budgetary constraint and the recorded US hostility towards the UN’s multilateralist project, a government that still stands as the highest contributor to the UN’s budget. Neither have the institutions set up to advance human protection reliably been able to move beyond identification in a specific case of a serious situation of abuse to fulfil their mandates in ways that reduce the catalogue of wide-scale suffering.22 The UN Human Rights Council, for example, has moved to indict the North Korean government for ‘unspeakable atrocities’ committed in the country, but as yet UN Security Council members are unable to reach a consensus and impose penalties or refer the situation to the International Criminal Court.23 Nor do we witness anything but slow or even no movement at all to enforce accountability for past crimes, as in the case of Sri Lanka, where up to 40,000 Tamil civilians are suspected of perishing in 2009 in the final stages of the civil war. Nevertheless, despite these egregious failures, only the most obdurate of state governments find themselves able to ignore this growing sense of the unacceptability and illegitimacy of action that deliberately targets civilians. However inadequately, many governments are forced into a response to widespread evidence of human suffering, wherever it emerges. A motivating question for this study is: how do Chinese beliefs and concern about its international image interrelate and provide us with insight into the positions that it takes within an organization that Beijing often states it regards as the most authoritative multilateral body in world politics? The analysis here spends less effort trying to determine whether the response corresponds to the idea of ‘cheap talk’, focusing instead on what has determined the nature of the response in light of some sense, even an instrumental or strategic sense, of an obligation to respond. In particular, it focuses on the official response of Beijing, not least because it is the most power­ful of the so-called emerging powers to have made its presence felt globally since the early twenty-first

32  China, the UN, and Human Protection century.24 Over time, it has become the second largest contributor to the UN’s budget as well as to the peacekeeping budget, thus adding to its growing global influence in every region of the world and associated with its increased material power. As noted in the Introduction, China has the capacity to shape this humanitarian agenda as a result of its increased political and economic power, privileged position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and the potential for followership as it articulates its own world view. Beijing cannot claim that these norms have been forced upon it since it has been present as a Permanent 5 (P5) member since 1971 and actively involved in UN bodies during the postCold War era. That capacity for China to shape norms in this issue area is not unfettered, however, because international organizations, and the UN in particular, has a defining role to promote and protect sets of norms that help constitute state forms most likely to be protective of international peace and security. Thus, the Chinese leadership has felt obliged to interact at some level with this UN agenda, offering, for example, a generalized if somewhat anodyne comment on humanitarianism in its official 2005 statement on UN Security Council reform, to the effect that ‘when a massive humanitarian crisis occurs, it is the legitimate concern of the international community to ease and defuse the crisis’.25 During the period of the unfolding crisis in Libya in 2011, which threatened the perpetration of large-scale civilian massacres, Beijing reluctantly supported a Security Council resolution that among other things called for human rights monitors to be allowed into the country, as well as for the referral of the situation in Libya to the International Criminal Court.26 We witness too a China whose contribution to complex peace operations has increased twenty-fold since the start of the twenty-first century, even where these operations have a mandate that involves robust rules of engagement and the protection of civilians. These decisions cannot be dismissed simply as ‘cheap talk’ because each one has had notable resource and identity consequences. Often, these actions have been domestically controversial, especially as a result of the deaths of Chinese peacekeepers. Indeed, the Chinese decision to set up peacekeeping training schools within China provoked a domestic debate on the appropriateness of this use of Chinese resources, and on this expansion of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) mandate. These decisions are important to explore because they provide insight into Chinese ideological beliefs with regard to human protection and help elucidate what might be some of the world order consequences of China’s expanding role within the UN system. In this sense, the findings of this study may be of interest to those researching into other areas of China’s relationship with global governance mechanisms, as well as into the larger questions of how global order potentially can be reshaped as a direct result of a state operating from within a well-established international institution.

Defining the Scope  33 In what follows, I deal first with a growing sense in China of its status as a great power that carries with it certain responsibilities, before turning to the Chinese beliefs that can play a shaping role in relation to those responsibilities.

The China Case As suggested already, of the rising or so-called emerging powers, China is in many respects in a class of its own. Its resurgence has been particularly apparent since its membership of the World Trade Organization in 2001, a rise that in turn spawned the expectation that China should contribute more fully to the provision of global public goods.27 Moreover, since 2013, Beijing has had a President who appears more willing than his predecessors to accept and act upon the ex­pect­ ations that greater economic and political clout have placed upon the country. The most dramatic signals of China’s material rise have been the country’s passing of several significant economic milestones in the first two decades of the twenty-first century. China became the largest exporter in 2009, the second lar­ gest economy in the world in 2010, the largest trading nation in 2013, and in 2015 produced about a quarter of the world’s manufacturers. It also has the world’s second largest defence budget. In 2018, its citizens enjoyed middle-income status of about US$8,800 per capita, compared with US$275 per capita in 1979. Goals for China’s current five-year plan include the total removal of absolute poverty by 2020. Though China’s real GDP growth rates have declined from 10.4 per cent in 2010 to 6.2 per cent in 2019, and there are many weaknesses in its economy still to be confronted, let alone overcome, its economic successes in macro terms are apparent and have attracted much international attention. The World Bank estimates that since the start of ‘Reform and Opening’ in late 1978, China has lifted more than 800 million people out of poverty. The PRC also reached almost all the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, and of all UN member states it made the most significant contribution to the successful completion of those ob­ject­ ives.28 UN officials also accept that Beijing will play a large part in ensuring the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), led by a Chinese national at the level of Under Secretary-General, is well-positioned to ensure engagement between China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the UN’s SDGs. Chinese officials as well as some scholars often point to the country’s domestic economic successes when advocating the important lessons that can be learned from China’s own developmental experience, as chapter 7 outlines in greater detail.29 One consequence of China’s rising gross national income has been that China’s contributions to the overall UN budget have swiftly advanced, from about 2 per cent in 2004 to close to 8 per cent for 2016–18. Beijing’s assessed contributions stand at 12 per cent for 2019–20. This makes China the second largest contributor

34  China, the UN, and Human Protection to the UN’s regular budget, after the United States and just above Japan. It became the second largest contributor to the UN’s peace operations budget in 2016 with its share rising dramatically from 3.94 per cent in 2009 to 10.24 per cent for 2016–18, to 15.22 per cent of that part of the budget for 2019–21.30 Beijing also fits quite neatly with Ramesh Thakur’s point that emerging powers potentially can play a bridging role between the Global North and the developing world and act either as ‘mediators’ or as ‘swing states’ between the Global South and Global North.31 China has often aligned itself with the emerging powers and has become increasingly influential within the Group of 77 developing countries (G77). At the UN Human Rights Council, for example, China voted with Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa—the BRICS grouping—in the period from 2006 to 2010 nearly 90 per cent of the time, with the most coincident being Russia.32 Beijing has also made positive reference to some of the BRICS members’ policy initiatives, including to Brazil’s furtherance of the idea of ‘Responsibility while Protecting’, formulated in reaction to the way that the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ was enacted during the Libyan operation in 2011 (see chapter 4). Yet despite these alignments with the Global South and the BRICS grouping, as we have seen from a brief cataloguing of its macro-economic changes, China’s great power identity, in many respects, is now outstripping that of developing country and certainly that of emerging power. These dramatic material changes inevitably have sparked a scholarly and policy debate in China over the last few years about whether the government should start to play a more active global role. For those who decided in the affirmative, the next question was: how could Beijing best give expression to its more prominent global position?33 As will be shown in subsequent chapters, the United Nations has figured prominently in this expression of its global influence. This debate over China’s global role has been lengthy among Chinese elites, not least because the revered former leader and architect of the ‘Reform and Opening’ policy, Deng Xiaoping, was associated with the taoguang yanghui formulation. This formulation advocated that China should stand back internationally— should ‘bide its time’ and ‘hide its brightness’—when dealing with international matters in order to maintain a sharp focus on its paramount domestic economic development agenda. Scholarly debates on the non-interference principle—a well-established part of the Chinese diplomatic discourse on state-to-state relations since the 1950s and referenced regularly in China’s official contributions to UN debates—have been a central part of this discussion.34 But so too, from the 2010s, have considerations about the extent to which other countries should adopt the Chinese politico-economic model, as well as the viability of the Belt and Road Initiative when China’s own needs remain great, and especially at a time of domestic economic slowdown.35 Hoo Tiang Boon identifies three schools of thought among Chinese intellectuals in the debate over China’s responsibilities

Defining the Scope  35 in world politics. He labels these internationalists, developmentalists, and sceptics, with various subgroups within each position.36 Arguments in this debate favouring a modest global role have included fears that greater global activism would reinvigorate the notion that China’s rise represents a threat rather than opportunity, suggest that Beijing was betraying its claimed solidarity with the developing world, and encourage other states to make demands of China that it was neither able nor willing to fulfil. The idea of great power obligation or responsibility had not yet firmly raised its head for this grouping.37 However, on the other side of the argument were points that related directly to increases in China’s relative power, particularly after the global financial crisis of 2007–8. Some scholars argued that this increase in power should be translated into better protection of China’s core interests. Others added that since China had emerged as a state with global interests, it should also be prepared to act to protect those wider interests. Still others argued that, even when Beijing’s interests were not directly engaged, China should take on global roles that reflected its new responsible great power status, taking the opportunity at the same time to promote its own values rather than acquiescing in or adopting those prominent in the West. Relevant to chapters 2 and 3 of this study, for example, Wang Yizhou has advocated a relaxation of the strict principle China had erstwhile adopted of noninterference in a country’s internal affairs, in favour of what he has termed ‘cre­ ative involvement’: that is, China should ‘proactively and voluntarily participate in the discussion and resolution of regional and international issues’, as well as provide the ‘institutions, assistance and global public goods that can benefit ­people throughout the world’.38 Shen Dingli has proposed the idea of ‘con­struct­ ive intervention’ advocating its application, for example, to the North Korean nuclear weapons issue and instabilities on the Korean peninsula.39 Li Li has linked the need for more flexible interpretations of non-interference to China’s image concerns. As she has put it: ‘China should not always and repeatedly emphasize the noninterference principle. This would make China look like an irresponsible country in front of the international audience.’40 And, more directly critical still, other scholars have suggested that China’s ‘assistance with no political conditions’ is only benefiting ‘the rulers of pariah countries’, rather than ‘common civilians, and that Beijing’s maintenance of its “unconditional” aid policy might thus be interpreted as implicit moral endorsement of their wrongdoings’.41 China’s prominence in Africa has provided further impetus to this more ambitious foreign policy. Beijing’s growing involvement in many countries in the region, predominantly in commercial areas, began to expose China to a range of risks—to its reputation, its business interests, and to the lives of its citizens present in the continent.42 Realization of those risks has resulted in a China that increasingly sponsors and directly participates in UN peacekeeping missions in

36  China, the UN, and Human Protection unstable African states, as chapter 2 elaborates. In 2015, President Xi announced a US$100 million military assistance grant to the African Union over five years to support the establishment of an African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis unit.43 Several of the developments associated with the UN’s evolving human protection agenda occurred when Presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao were in power. While they maintained rather close adherence to Deng’s admonition that Beijing should remain chary of assuming prominent global leadership positions, they also recognized China’s role in the UN Security Council as ‘an important responsibility for safeguarding world peace and stability’.44 However, and as noted already, far greater ambition has been a marked feature of the Xi Jinping era, and he has undoubtedly shaped the direction of this more recent scholarly debate about China’s world role. As Ren Xiao, an international relations specialist at Fudan University, has put it, Xi ‘demonstrated a proactive posture and quickly emerged as a powerful leader who had a vision for the country’.45 Notable too is a greater emphasis under President Xi than in the past on China’s domestic successes and strengths as the source of Beijing’s great power identity, underlining the need to emphasize in its external relations China’s own experiences as the main source of those successes.46 Once Xi assumed the reins of the Chinese presidency in 2013, a number of the questions at the heart of China’s international position appeared to be resolved. At the 4th Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee meeting in October 2014, unusually devoted entirely to the promotion of the rule of law, delegates agreed to participate actively in the formulation of international norms and to perfect the country’s externally oriented legal and regulatory frameworks.47 In addition, also around this time, Beijing appeared to take more seriously its special status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Decisions left in abeyance from earlier years were resolved, such as the agreement to add combat troops to its contingents sent to UN peacekeeping operations where once its en­gin­eer­ing troops, medical personnel, and police units made up the bulk of its contribution. Beijing also added to the number of its peacekeeping training ­centres, available for its own use as well as use by other countries.48 The country additionally started to act as mediator in war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Syria. Not only in its UN behaviour but also within the Group of Twenty (G20), the BRICS group, and with the African Union we see a more active Chinese involvement. Beijing’s assistance with economic development beyond its shores has been cemented by the successful establishment in 2015 of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (apparently first mooted in 200249), and from 2013 it vigorously promoted its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), designed to tie its economy more closely with those of its neighbours and to those beyond in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. Parts of the UN have seemingly warmly embraced the BRI,

Defining the Scope  37 allowing it to be described as a major contribution to the future success of the SDGs. This embrace has included the signing of Memoranda of Understanding that, in the case of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), later included a concrete Action Plan establishing a framework for cooperation. In April 2018, the UNDP-China Joint Working Group on BRI met to update a list of projects that were presented as the fruits of this collaboration at the Belt and Road Forum meeting held in Beijing in April 2019.50 The year 2015 was also important to the UN-China relationship because of Xi’s pledge, given before the UN General Assembly, of US$1billion for a ten-year China-UN Peace and Development Trust Fund, the creation of a permanent Chinese peacekeeping police squad, and a standby force of 8,000 troops—all discussed in more detail in chapter 2.51 Xi also offered US$10 million in support of the organization, UN-Women, to facilitate the organization’s efforts in the field of gender empowerment (see chapter 3). Adding to the impact of these pledges, the Chinese government points regularly and proudly to the fact that it has offered more peacekeeping troops to the UN than all other P5 members combined. Many among China’s political elite have stressed the wider, sometimes uncomfortable, implications of this greater activism that they see as deriving from its increased power. As Ruan Zongze of the Foreign Ministry-related think tank, the China Institute of International Studies, put it in June 2012, a few months before the formal ascent to power of President Xi: ‘Today, China has become a leading actor on the international stage thanks to the fast growth of its strength. China needs to get acclimatized to the new environment of being under the spotlight and likewise the international community has to familiarize with this new actor of China.’ He went on: ‘China must have the courage to speak out and contribute its ideas to the world even though it means China will face more difficult and complicated options.’52 In conversation with then UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in June 2013 President Xi promised more Chinese effort to promote the ‘peaceful settlement of international disputes, support the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, work with other parties to tackle climate change and make more contributions toward world peace and human development’.53 Notably, he made a deliberate link between Chinese power and the obligations that came with that power, informing the Secretary-General that he understood that China, ‘[a]s a permanent member of the UN Security Council’, had ‘heavy responsibilities to assume’, adding that Beijing had ‘the capability to assume them’.54 Statements such as these have led Hoo Tiang Boon to argue that Beijing’s promotion of its responsible great power image intensified under Xi.55 Nevertheless, this positive global picture stressing the PRC’s positive contribution often comes into conflict with China’s Asia-Pacific and domestic behaviour, setting up tension in terms of the image that it wishes to portray. With regard to its territorial disputes in the Asia-Pacific region, China demonstrates a strong attachment to a more traditional, narrow, domestically driven, and state-centric

38  China, the UN, and Human Protection conception of security stressing territorial integrity and national unity. The Chinese leadership aims to make a more determined effort to defend what Beijing calls its ‘core interests’, especially those involving its sovereignty claims in the East and South China seas. As State Councillor Yang Jiechi put it in September 2013: ‘President Xi has stressed that while firmly committed to peaceful development, we definitely must not forsake our legitimate interests or compromise our core national interests.’ He went on: ‘No country should expect us to swallow the bitter fruit that undermines our sovereignty, security and development interests.’56 Thus, China’s official statements about its regional intentions point more obviously than some of its statements directed primarily at global audiences to a tension at the heart of China’s normative preferences on questions of sovereignty and security. These tensions are likely to spill over into international interpretations of the social meaning of its growing power, and of its discourse and behaviour related to the human protection norm. Indeed, one Chinese interviewee stressed that China’s positions on human protection, notably R2P, reflects not so much its obligations as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, but primarily its own immediate concerns about national unity and territorial integrity.57 Moreover, China’s regional and domestic policies show the strains generated when Beijing attempts to transform its material power into that of legitimate authority. Unsubtle uses of the former are capable of undermining Beijing’s prospects for converting its impressive increases in material power into a recognizably distinctive UN-based global order that attracts followers through consent rather than through leverage or coercion.58 The Chinese leadership’s domestic policies also point up potential and actual contradictions between the normative intent of the international human protection regime and domestic human protective elements, as chapter 6 illustrates. Beijing remains an authoritarian, one-party state with strict controls over dissent. Moreover, most analysts would agree that there has been a rise in domestic repression inside China during President Xi’s time in office, including a significant tightening of domestic restrictions in human rights-related areas. Alongside China’s stated intention to play a larger role in shaping global order has come yet another phase in the smothering of domestic dissent, and especially constraints on the actions of human rights lawyers and activists who have been accused of the ‘subversion of state power’. That accusation represents one of the most serious to be levelled against any individual in China, because it implies an intent to organize a challenge to one-party rule. It was also the prompt for a Joint Statement issued at the Human Rights Council in 2016 condemning China’s domestic legal changes and action. Two years later, in 2018, the Chinese government stood accused of establishing what have been described as mass internment camps in Xinjiang, affecting some 1 million or more of the Muslim Uighur population and attracting a strong rebuke from the Chair of the UN Committee on the

Defining the Scope  39 Elimination of Racial Discrimination, among other UN-related officials, and from a number of mainly Western governments, media, and human rights ­non-governmental organizations.59 In terms of wider societal restrictions, the Chinese government has embraced new laws on internet governance, has restricted the role of foreign supported non-governmental organizations, and has precluded from debate among intellectuals certain subject areas—such as constitutionalism and democracy. The independence of the media has also been curtailed, most blatantly when in February 2016 President Xi ‘ordered news media run by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government to strictly follow the Party’s leadership and focus on “positive reporting” ’.60 This latest domestic crackdown invites consideration of what spillovers, if any, exist between evidence of a rise in domestic illiberalism and the creation of a humanitarian order at the global level. Indeed, in line with previous findings that have emphasized the porousness between the global and domestic levels of ana­ lysis,61 these developments allow us to assess how the Beijing government is dealing with what appears to be a distancing between the global normative characteristics associated with the idea of human protection and its own domestic normative preferences. Is there an attempt to introduce its newly restrictive ideo­ logic­al beliefs operating in the domestic area in ways that can reshape inter­ nation­ al understandings of how human protection can best be guaranteed? Striking in this regard is a Chinese official’s statement in December 2017 at a human rights gathering that Beijing now perceives such meetings as platforms for ‘translating domestic governance philosophies into international consensus’.62 The challenge for China is how to match its good record of signature to human rights treaties with domestic practices that dramatically undermine the moral force of that record. Certainly, China is in a more powerful position to advance its world view in this policy area of human protection, as will be indicated in a number of the chapters that flow from this one. However, global norms also retain the ability to constrain, and particularly to constrain those states that care about image in global politics.63 According to Yong Deng, China’s sensitivity to matters of status is ‘unparalleled’ in the global system.64 Pichamon Yeophantong has helpfully shown how concern with appearing ‘responsible’ has a long and deep tradition in Chinese statecraft.65 Hoo Tiang Boon has argued powerfully about the origins and evolution of China’s ‘responsible great power identity’—not an identity foisted upon it solely by external others, he argues, but one that Chinese elites have explored and formulated in the context of China’s role in the world.66 This results in a paradox that confronts the Chinese leadership. As Ian Clark has rightly noted, if China seeks recognition as a responsible great power that is deserving of a role in creating or shaping global norms, it must first show itself to be a willing and constructive participant in the extant global order.67 That

40  China, the UN, and Human Protection requirement in itself may restrict China’s policy options, influence external perceptions of its social status, and potentially realign its domestic beliefs with those present in the UN. Ways have to be found to reconcile the requirements of domestic ideol­ogy and external expectations. I argue next that the UN to some degree helps China to resolve these tensions, particularly as a result of its design and universal membership. The United Nations has proven to be a key venue for Beijing to advance a positive image, as well as being an important vehicle for it to transmit its beliefs on questions of world order, two arguments illustrated in what follows.

The UN as Site for Image Construction and the Transmission of Ideas The United Nations and its related agencies have figured prominently in Beijing’s more activist stance in global politics in part because of the image benefits that such a venue confers on China. Through the UN’s institutional and normative design, it allows China to highlight its contributions to global order. As Bukovansky et al. have argued, permanent membership of the Security Council carries with it ‘certain positive special responsibilities, but also status and rights’.68 As well as conferring status and rights, however, UN design also provides opportunities for interpreting the organization’s activities through the lens of China’s beliefs about how best to protect world order. Beijing is able to find and exploit strong complementarities in parts of the organization between its normative beliefs and certain of the UN’s norms and principles (see chapters 6 and 7 in particular). The UN has also focused on reforming its practices and bureaucratic make-up, been disturbed by various of its failures to effect peaceful change, and been in search of solutions to the complex emergencies that take up so many of its resources. In responding to these reform efforts, Beijing to an extent can work to multilaterize what might otherwise be seen as its own self-regarding action. No wonder, then, that Beijing has a long-standing refrain that the UN ‘plays an indispensable role in international affairs’, is the ‘most universal, representative, authoritative inter-governmental international organization’, and is the ‘best venue to practice multilateralism, and an effective platform for collective actions to cope with various threats and challenges’.69 In many areas, the UN’s increased activism has borne out these Chinese statements. Over the period of Beijing’s membership of the United Nations, from 1971 to the current day, the numbers of states represented has increased from 132 to 193. The Security Council in the period from 1990 to 2011 met at least three times as often as during the Cold War, and in the same period passed 511 resolutions under Chapter VII auspices that mandate measures to ‘maintain or restore international peace and security’— measures that can include various forms of coercion. The numbers of

Defining the Scope  41 peace­keepers increased seven times between 1991 and 2007, with some 114 countries contributing troops to UN peace operations by 2007, compared with thirty-five countries in 1988.70 As at 2018, there were 102,483 personnel from 125 countries contributing to peacekeeping, with around 5 per cent of these participants made up of women.

The UN and Institutional Design Overall, the UN’s design encapsulates the notion that we live in a state-based order and that some states bear greater responsibilities for international order than others. At the same time, its universal membership as reflected in the General Assembly can be understood as a potent recognition of the legal sovereign equality of states. The UN Charter has, then, globalized the sovereign state system.71 Universality examined through this lens implies compatibility with plur­al­ism and similarly puts the accent on international rather than simply Western normative consensus. The Security Council, on the other hand, resembles a concert system, one where China’s anticipated or actual use of the veto provides it, and other of the P5 members, the procedurally equal opportunity to influence what comes onto the agenda, and the terms of any resolution that results from major state deliberation. Ultimately, the veto gives any member of the P5 the ability to stop a course of action regarded as undesirable. Thus, the Council expresses a form of legal equality that reflects China’s claimed preference for a multipolar distribution of power in global politics, and the veto protects that distribution. Politically, of course, hierarchies still exist within the Council, illustrated graphically by the P3 (that is Britain, France, and the United States) operating most frequently as the ‘pen-holders’ that craft UN Security Council resolutions to which other members must then react (if they are given the time to do so).72 However, when a P5 member decides to bypass the UN because of an anticipated or actual Security Council veto, the loss of legitimacy that results may serve to diminish the effectiveness and standing of the state in question and the subsequent action it undertakes. Similarly, vetoes that fail to attract followers also can result in a loss of status. Recent examples of such a loss include the US intervention in Iraq in 2003 without an enabling UN resolution, an outcome that had some influence on the Obama administration’s reluctance to become more deeply involved in the Syrian civil war, knowing that such advocacy would also attract a UN veto. China’s and Russia’s use of the veto on resolutions relating to Syria at the earliest stages of that conflict also attracted widespread disapproval (see chapter 5). Even when states abstain on a resolution that otherwise carries, this can indicate a weak global consensus on an issue that relates to international peace and security, thereby diminishing the authority and legitimacy of the Security Council member or members that had initiated the action.

42  China, the UN, and Human Protection The UN also allows for the expression of two major identities that the Chinese leadership has attached to itself, and that others also have recognized in relation to China. Membership of the UN General Assembly helps Beijing to cope with and leaven the elite nature of its status as a permanent member of the Security Council, and provides it with a venue to demonstrate a form of leadership of the developing world. In the General Assembly, its voting patterns afford it the opportunity to demonstrate its alignments with many developing and emerging states, and give some substance to its stated preference for the ‘democratization of international relations’. Within the Security Council, it can project itself not only as a great power with commensurate obligations and responsibilities, but also as a bridge between northern and southern countries within the UN system, or as a representative of developing countries. Thus, while from the mid-1990s to the mid2000s, Beijing has voted identically in the Security Council with the United States and other P5 members about 95 per cent of the time, in the General Assembly, it has voted with Brazil, India, and Iran more than 80 per cent of the time, but only 11.7 per cent with the United States and 44 per cent with Britain and France.73

The UN and China’s Normative Preferences When Chinese officials reflect on the General Assembly, they do not prioritize global solidarism but draw attention to member state diversity. In their writings and speeches, they note that legal sovereign equality not only underpins the concepts of territorial integrity and non-interference in internal affairs—values that the Chinese government views as crucial to support—but they emphasize that Beijing also cherishes sovereign equality as a means of ensuring acceptance of difference. As President Xi put it in 2017, ‘[s]overeign equality is the most im­port­ ant norm governing state-to-state relations over the past centuries and the car­ dinal principle observed by the United Nations and all other international organizations’. Its essence is that the ‘sovereignty and dignity of all countries, whether big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, must be respected, their in­tern­al affairs allow no interference and they have the right to independently choose their social system and development path’. In his view, civilizational differences need to be respected, understood, and promoted as a route to peaceful coexistence.74 He Yafei, Vice Minister of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the PRC’s State Council, has put it more bluntly, arguing that a successful system of global governance requires acknowledgement that universal values are a chimera, and that what we need is to find solutions based on a more circumscribed global or regional consensus built up in relation to specific challenges as and when they arise.75 These broad ideas apparently leave little room for more cosmopolitan ideas associated with individual protection and an obligation to hold individuals or

Defining the Scope  43 groups accountable for acts of mass killing or egregious violations of human rights. Classical humanitarian ideas place the emphasis on ‘humanity, impartiality, and universality’, on a ‘world of equal human beings of inherent moral worth bound by universal and reciprocal moral obligations’.76 In this respect, this requires that all humans be treated humanely ‘simply by virtue of being human’.77 Solidarist ideas related to humanitarianism seem rather far from the beliefs expressed in the Chinese statements quoted earlier and which emphasize plurality.78 Yet, as noted already, China has become more active within a UN system of protection at precisely the time that UN bodies have expanded their mandates in the areas of civilian protection. Moreover, Beijing has referenced the need for the international community to respond to humanitarian crises. How, then, does Beijing reduce the distance between its beliefs in pluralism and a state-based order and those beliefs expressed in UN promotion of human protection for all in the face of wide-scale violence or mass atrocities? How does it show its reverence for the UN—a body whose Charter it claims to support, which figures prom­in­ ent­ly in its enhanced global governance efforts, and which includes several references to the need to protect human rights?79 As the Chinese analyst Li Li has argued, China’s attachment to the five principles of peaceful coexistence and its preference to interpret the UN Charter through these principles fails to ‘reflect the full spirit of the Charter’,80 thus raising the prospects that these five principles need to be applied more flexibly. These puzzles are fleshed out in later chapters; here I explore some of the potential tensions that are contained within them if we consider in more detail China’s official world view.

China’s Ideological Beliefs and Implications for Human Protection The discussion so far in relation to the United Nations has emphasized China’s search for an alignment between China’s normative preference for a pluralist state-based order, as well as respect for difference, and for privileging the creation of a circumscribed consensus over an assumption of already assumed universality. As stated earlier, these normative preferences may well be viewed in Beijing in narrow terms as helping to protect the longevity of single-party rule in China, but that mono-causal explanation does not help us to understand why certain specific policy directions are chosen. Neither does it allow us to explore whether certain forms of international action are viewed as capable of strengthening the le­git­im­ acy of the party-state at home. For that, we need some better understanding of China’s ideological beliefs. Four dimensions of China’s understanding of the humanitarian demands that arise from the UN’s human protection agenda are likely to have shaped its responses and singly or in combination may form the underlying explanation for

44  China, the UN, and Human Protection the positions that China has adopted in the issue areas that are explored in the chapters that follow this contextual chapter. These are classical Chinese political thought including Confucian ideas of statecraft; China’s experience as semi-colony including during the post-1911 Republican order; the Maoist or Marxistinfluenced political system established in 1949; and finally the developmental model put in place since ‘Reform and Opening’ in late 1978 and celebrated at its fortieth anniversary in 2018 not only in China’s discourse but also at major Chinese-sponsored exhibitions around the world. Culture, historical experience, and ideology are reflected in these four dimensions. However, importantly, as will be shown, they each underline how ideas associated with human welfare and which emphasize the value of strong centralizing political institutions, social harmony, and the larger social value of economic development point in a similar direction, despite the very different historical epochs that have brought them forth. Certainly, the idea of the strong state is important in this mix, as William Callahan has argued. In Callahan’s view, whether elites are discussing ‘Socialism with Chinese characteristics’ or Confucian values that stress the import of the imperial ‘Under-Heaven system’ or the ‘World of Great Harmony’, these each require China to have a strong state in a world of ‘strong world-state institutions’. He goes on, ‘[f]or many, the China dream thus involves tight state control of pol­ it­ics, economy, and society to promote the key values of stability, unity, and statism.’81 However, it is necessary to uncover more about official China’s sequencing of these various values, and to highlight rather more the oft-repeated argument in China that to become resilient the central authority relies on the development of a powerful economy in order to give effect to desired outcomes. A more syncretic approach may be required to capture the beliefs at the heart of China’s preferred discourse and behaviour. To elaborate first on classical ideas: these ideas stress the unity and harmony of interests between state and society, privileging the collective over the individual, thus allowing the instinct for social cooperation to emerge or to be nurtured through education.82 They also emphasize the role of the emperor in providing for the people’s livelihood in order fully to earn social cooperation. Mencius, in particular, stressed welfare as a responsibility that a ruler should fulfil as a primary goal and vital if the emperor wanted to hold onto power. As Mencius put it: ‘An intelligent ruler will regulate the livelihood of the people, so as to make sure that . . . in good years they shall always be abundantly satisfied, and that in bad years they shall escape the danger of perishing.’ Elizabeth Perry notes that this statement made ‘protecting and promoting the people’s livelihood the cornerstone of statecraft’.83 China’s government may indeed use classical thought stra­ tegic­ al­ ly in the contemporary era, but Confucian and other traditional philosophical ideas may well resonate with the Chinese populace in ways that reduce any tension between instrumentalism and belief.

Defining the Scope  45 The traditional belief that the people’s livelihood should be the central goal of statecraft contained within it certain other implications that help us to flesh out these Chinese preferences: that it is the ‘state rather than the individual that is the locus of moral agency and the subject of moral duty’ and thus an official belief that it is the state itself that needs to be protected in order that it can provide for its citizenry in time of need.84 Imperial tradition dictated the prime goals of the emperor to be ‘to preside over a stable and harmonious order’.85 If the emperor was deemed responsible for his people’s well-being, the converse was also true: were the people to fall into peril, then the mandate of heaven needed to be removed and the emperor replaced. As Pichamon Yeophantong puts it, ‘[t]he ruler’s capability to cater to the interests of the people, in other words, became a tangible measure of that ruler’s legitimacy, with the building of society’s material foundations proving important in this regard.’86 A well-ordered and stable state was viewed as critical to establish, and would guarantee harmony between the centre and its people, as well as between the centre and its ‘peripheral neighbours’ (to use a Chinese depiction). Modern-day reiterations and extensions of the domestically focused aspects of the argument appear frequently in Chinese official discourse, as will be discussed later in this chapter. To give one example at this point, Liu Tiewa and Zhang Haibin note the former Foreign Minister (later State Councillor) Yang Jiechi’s view that the ‘healthy and powerful and sovereign state’ is not only ‘beneficial to the stability, good governance and balanced development of a country’ but also vital to the health of international society.87 A further corollary to this notion of state responsibility for a citizen’s welfare is the belief that state involvement in such humanitarian work ‘furnishes the action with legitimacy’ in a way that other actors, who may be involved in such work, cannot.88 Thus, we are more likely to see the modern Chinese state give the Chinese armed forces rather than non-governmental organizations (NGOs) specific roles to play in external or internal humanitarian crises. At best, the latter will have a subsidiary position, or find themselves under close governmental supervision.89 A second source of China’s ideological beliefs derives from the country’s ex­peri­ence of imperial exploitation and encroachment. As with most other former colonies, this has spurred Beijing’s support for a Westphalian interpretation of state sovereignty and the legal sovereign equality of states, its reluctance to move, rhetorically at least, from a strict interpretation of article 2(7) of the UN Charter that stresses non-intervention in the domestic jurisdiction of states, and a scepticism with regard to the presumed impartiality of international law. As the historian Rana Mitter has put it: ‘It is understandable why sovereignty looms so large: after all, almost every incursion onto Chinese soil between 1839 and 1945 was based on some interpretation of international law, however dubious: the opium wars, the refusal to return German colonies to Chinese sovereignty at the Paris peace conference, the Japanese occupation of Manchuria.’90 In a

46  China, the UN, and Human Protection con­tem­por­ary international system that some Chinese commentators, such as Sheng Hongsheng, describe as emphasizing coercive rather than consensus-based relationships, the fear is that the ‘ “sovereignty priority” ’ will be replaced with a ‘ “human rights priority” ’ under which ‘international criminal law uses its sharp swords to pierce through the “last layer of armor” that is state sovereignty’.91 When UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 1999 proffered his redefinition of sovereignty, China’s then Foreign Minister, Tang Jiaxuan, stated that while it is a ‘sacred duty of all governments to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms . . . [s]overeignty of a country is a prerequisite for and the basis of human rights that the people of that country can enjoy. When the sovereignty of a country is put in jeopardy, its human rights can hardly be protected effectively.’92 Liang Qichao, a nineteenth-century political writer and journalist, who Mao Zedong claimed to worship and whose writings Mao is said to have committed to memory, put it similarly: a conquered state could provide no freedom to individuals, and no opportunity to participate in the life and development of a state.93 Many scholars of China would not be surprised by this finding of strong attachment to state sovereignty over human rights, and neither would many other states that have been subjected to colonial exploitation—an obvious source of support for China as it advances its arguments at the UN. Jennifer Welsh has noted the importance to many former colonies of the protective element that underpins the idea of sovereign equality. As she puts it, ‘the effort to preserve legal egalitarianism – even if an empirical fiction – flows from a deeper desire to maintain diversity and pluralism within the international system.’94 The Chinese government’s position supports these arguments, and is better able to give effect to them in an era where increased Chinese power is married to a more globalized form of world politics.95 While associated particularly with contemporary China, the attachment to sovereignty, a strong anti-colonialist stance, together with a vigorous commitment to the development of a modern, industrialized state nevertheless were also marks of the Chinese Nationalist movement’s, and later government’s, world view. The Republican leader Sun Yatsen, for example, developed the concept of the ‘People’s Livelihood’ and argued for the provision of the ‘Four Great Necessities’ of food, clothing, shelter, and means of travel with the help of both state and international capital. Sun deemed state-led economic development coupled with international capital as the answer to China’s vast post-imperial needs. The only way that China could ‘leapfrog into the modern age’, he argued, was via the deployment of international assistance in the development of his country’s modern industry and infrastructure.96 The scale of ambition was enormous: Sun planned to industrialize the cities, electrify the countryside, and join up the provinces through networks of railways, motor roads, and air routes, and all preferably under the supreme leadership of a Leninist party-state with a powerful military at its centre.97

Defining the Scope  47 Maoist beliefs similarly reinforced the kinds of ideas that stress the value of state sovereignty, in the People’s Republic’s case particularly through the promotion in the 1950s of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Mao also viewed economic development as a transformatory force, notably as shown in the Chairman’s unsuccessful attempt at initiating a ‘Great Leap Forward’ in 1958 to catch up with the West. Maoist China additionally promulgated the idea that normative ideas or legal rules, like human rights, have a class character. Human rights or humanitarian action were essentially depicted as tools of the bourgeoisie and designed to ‘cover up class contradictions, and to deceive the proletariat and the working people’.98 Rights were not to be claimed against the state, but were granted by it. As Red Flag, the Chinese Communist Party journal, put it, ‘human rights are not “heaven given,” they are given and regulated by the state and by law; they are not universal, but have a clear class nature; they are not abstract or concrete; they are not absolute but limited by law and morality.’ And importantly for China’s current position on human rights, ‘[rights] are not eternally fixed and unchanging but change their nature and proper scope in accordance with changes in the functions and position of people in the midst of shifting conditions of material production.’99 There is little or no room for a private sphere here; instead the embrace between state and society is tight and perceived as mutually beneficial in a truly socialist country.100 Moreover, these ideas were to be found in political eras over many decades. Perusing eleven constitutional texts from four different political regimes, Andrew Nathan has noted that in ‘no constitution were rights considered to be derived from human personhood but from citizenship in the state, or in the communist period, from membership in progressive classes’. Rights were something to be granted or withdrawn by the state, some rights were offered as ‘goals to be realized’, and all regimes had the mostly unfettered power to use legislation to limit rights.101 These ideological beliefs set out in telegraph form in the paragraphs above have been powerfully held and relatively consistent over many decades. Not surprisingly, many of them were taken into the era of ‘Reform and Opening’. Despite the eventual dramatic changes in China’s world role beginning from late 1978 under Deng Xiaoping and taken further by subsequent leaders, the party-state has shown fealty to a similar set of beliefs. Beijing has given priority to economic development and articulated the idea of a socialist humanitarianism. It has generally elevated the idea of subsistence rights above those of civil and political rights, and seen successful application of that focus as vital to maintaining the right to rule. As Elizabeth Perry has reminded us, all post-Mao leaders have ‘emphasized economic development, and specifically poverty alleviation for the hard-pressed peasantry, as a cornerstone of their claim to political legitimacy’. Deng himself began his reforms by introducing the ‘household responsibility system for peasants in poorer parts of the countryside’. He talked repeatedly about the political

48  China, the UN, and Human Protection goal of raising China’s per capita GDP, as leaders do now, outlining his desire to establish an ‘economically comfortable society’.102 President Xi’s approach is similar: by 2020, he wants to have a doubling of China’s GDP per capita over that of 2010 and to eliminate poverty. Deng, of course, like Sun before him, was open to receiving foreign investment, aid, and trade. In 1980, China joined the previously reviled World Bank and International Monetary Fund. In second place to the loan arrangements that Beijing established with Tokyo, the World Bank soon became China’s most important source of multilateral funding, approving between 1980 and 1989 some US$7.4 billion in loans covering sixty-nine projects primarily in the areas of education, energy, transportation, and agriculture.103 The post-Deng leadership continued the emphasis on economic development and poverty alleviation with Jiang Zemin, among other policies, launching the ‘Great Western Development Strategy’ in 1999, involving state investment, foreign loans, and the diversion of private capital from the steadily advancing coastal areas to China’s relatively neglected interior.104 As some of the drawbacks of the China model became plain, especially with respect to its appalling environmental consequences alongside evidence of societal disharmony, the next generation of leaders began to look back several millennia for inspiration and to link the search for ‘sustainable development’ and humanitarian outcomes to Confucian ideas. President Hu Jintao’s aim to build a ‘harmonious society’ was projected as a response to some of the social ills that China’s development model had generated. The next Chinese President, Xi Jinping, downplayed the societal harmony formulation, but he too has emphasized social stability and sustainable development. However, his central discursive shift has been to resurrect the notion of the ‘China dream’ and the ‘great re­ju­ven­ation of the Chinese nation’, using these slogans as the potential source for domestic unity and regime legitimacy. These formulations are associated with making China an all-round developed and prosperous society by 2049 under the guidance of a revitalized and purified Communist Party. Realization of the China dream requires the party-state to work to spread China’s development successes across the country, especially to China’s western regions,105 to bring the remaining tens of millions or so out of absolute poverty, and to reinforce their bonds with the party-led political system. A unified, stable, prosperous, and advanced state are the end goals, and the domestic sphere is inevitably given priority. However, these domestic ordering formulations also have important external dimensions.

China, Humanitarianism, and the International Image of a Responsible State The nexus between the internal and external realms can confer on China certain benefits with respect to its international image, provided its levels and types

Defining the Scope  49 of  participation are perceived by significant others as appropriate to a role as responsible great power.106 And indeed in a search for this positive confluence, there have been several occasions when China’s leaders have tried to stress the inter­depend­ence between a set of beliefs about domestic order and humanitarian outcomes with positive international outcomes. Unsurprisingly, there is little or no attention in these statements to the domestic repression that has accompanied the enactment of China’s domestic beliefs. For example, the Deng-influenced idea of ‘peaceful development’ was tied explicitly to the argument that China would adhere to a diplomatic approach that would foster a peaceful regional and global environment in order that Beijing’s leaders could concentrate on their domestic development goals. China’s rise would not be a challenge to global order. President Hu’s ‘harmonious society’ was linked to the idea of a ‘harmonious world’ and enunciated largely as a possible alternative to the negative world that the US administration under George W. Bush had brought into being through its intervention in Iraq in 2003. As it was put in the December 2005 ‘White Paper on Peaceful Development’, which outlined China’s ‘peaceful development road’, China’s own growth was a source of world peace and development. The White Paper averred that ‘China’s sustained economic growth and social stability and its people’s peaceful life’ had benefited its neighbouring countries as well as the wider world.107 William Callahan rightly notes that Hu’s and Deng’s formulations both suggested that China would contribute responsibly by ‘not trying to disorder the world’. Xi, already having been anointed as Hu’s successor, put it somewhat more brusquely in 2009 while on a visit to Mexico: ‘First, China does not export revolution; second, it does not export famine and poverty; and third, it does not mess around with you. So what else is there to say?’108 This particular approach to linking the domestic with the external is a deeply entrenched perspective in China. In the Republican era, for example, the leader of the Chinese delegation at the Bretton Woods conference stated as his ‘firm conviction that an economically strong China is an indispensable condition to the maintenance of peace and the improvement of well-being of the world’.109 The scholar Ren Xiao based at Fudan University in Shanghai put it similarly more than sixty years later: China’s well-being at home is of ‘international significance. It is the greatest contribution that China makes to humankind by working out solutions to internal problems such as development and stability.’110 However, Xi’s ‘China dream’ and ‘rejuvenation’—while it certainly accepts that China does not disorder the world—adds something to the mix and is more ambitious. Those terms have come to imply that China’s re-emergence as a great power deserving of respect by other great powers legitimates its role as a model for others. It suggests an aim to seek acknowledgement of the success that its politico-economic ideas have brought forth, and to promote these more widely, particularly in the developing world.111 As He Yafei has argued in a formulation of this idea of China as model for others that reflects other such statements made

50  China, the UN, and Human Protection in the Xi era, the Chinese development path ought to be emulated: Beijing’s success in reducing poverty implies that ‘China has a great deal to offer in regard to its development experiences’. It can provide ‘roadmaps for other developing nations engaged in the same endeavor’.112 Xi has said many of the same things, arguing in Geneva before an audience at the Palais des Nations (see chapter 6) that ‘[d]evelopment is the top priority for all countries’, adding later in the speech: ‘We Chinese firmly believe that peace and stability is the only way to development and prosperity.’ In one of the rare direct references to rights (collective rather than individual) in this speech, Xi stated: ‘We always put people’s rights and interests above everything else and have worked hard to advance and uphold human rights.’ However, his focus was on the Chinese people’s material gains, perceiving those gains as key not only to domestic progress but also to global progress on human rights: ‘China has met the basic living needs of its 1.3 billion-plus people and lifted over 700 million people out of poverty.’ He added that this represented ‘a significant contribution to the global cause of human rights’.113 More obviously, since the global financial crisis of 2008, Beijing has coupled the perceived need to spread what it depicts as the human benefits of its development model114 with the provision of what Xi and his officials refer to as global and regional public goods. China’s overseas development assistance and its role in UN peace operations and vital contributions to the UN budget for peace op­er­ ations are projected as major contributions to humanitarian work in other countries and have steadily expanded over this period. As noted earlier, Beijing proudly repeats that it provides more peacekeeping troops than all the other P5 members combined, and regularly references UN Secretaries-General’s comments that praise this ‘solidarity’ with the UN.115 Similarly, the Belt and Road Initiative, with its emphasis on building infrastructure and enhancing connectivity, and the creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank both represent major vehicles for China to cement the linkages between its deeply rooted if particular concept of human protection and state-led development. Both policy initiatives have been linked to the UN-promoted SDGs and the BRI has been embraced strongly by the current UN Secretary-General. As Guterres put it at the Belt and Road Forum meeting in Beijing in 2017, the BRI is ‘rooted in a shared vision for global development’ with both it and the SDG 2030 Agenda striving to ‘create opportunities, global public goods and win-win cooperation’.116 However, below the levels of the top leadership and within the Chinese scholarly community, we see some critical engagement with the ideas promoted by China’s core leadership. As a number of the Chinese scholars have argued (though they are minority voices), a China that is inflexible on the concept of non-interference risks being associated with pariah governments, and neglects the need to associate with a wide range of social forces in countries experiencing conflict. Other scholars working on China’s UN peacekeeping policy advocate a broader approach going beyond the overall focus on economic development as

Defining the Scope  51 the solution to many of the world’s most intractable conflicts (see chapter 7 in particular). These scholars also point to ways in which China’s international image can attract critical scrutiny because of the repetitive nature and rigidity of its discursive formulations in UN debate. Moreover, international criticisms of particular Chinese actions in reference to humanitarian disasters, such as in the case of Syria (see chapter 5) when China used its veto seven times in sometimes controversial circumstances, have forced Chinese officials into a justification of their actions. These criticisms raise the possibility of moving China beyond the ideo­logic­al beliefs that have been set out so far, though it is no more than a possibility. This limitation on change is so in part because, as will also be argued, China has moved into an enabling environment—one that is more receptive to its ideas given its increased material contributions to the UN, the reduction in US support and respect for the UN in the era of the Trump presidency, as well as the introspection that parts of the UN has undergone as a result of the complexities of dealing with its ambitious post-Cold War agenda. These complex interplays are at the core of this study—between the Chinese leadership’s views and those of significant others elsewhere in the international community, and between the Beijing leadership and parts of domestic society that are attentive to con­sid­er­ ations of China’s international image.

Conclusion The chapters that follow are designed to chart the development of key aspects of the UN’s role in human protection and to examine Beijing’s positions with respect to this norm since the early 1990s. In particular, the study aims to test how the beliefs embedded within the UN’s human protection agenda themselves fit with, or can be made to fit with, a Chinese belief system that posits the need for a strong and guiding relationship between the economically developed, stable, state and its people in order to ensure both domestic and international security. At the same time, the analysis attempts to show how China’s concerns with image as a responsible great power intersect with its beliefs in the creation, elaboration, and implementation of the UN’s human protection agenda. Is China finding a way to reconcile its own beliefs with those perspectives dominant in the UN structure? Is the relationship being reversed as Beijing finds ways to shape directly the path on which the UN has embarked, particularly since the early 1990s? Or is something more nuanced taking place—a mutually constitutive outcome, that links growing Chinese power with a reconstituted meaning of responsible great power behaviour within an evolving United Nations? As noted earlier, six topic areas have been chosen in response to these research questions. The first five involve areas of activity and normative development that have some longevity associated with them (such as UN

52  China, the UN, and Human Protection peacekeeping, as well as action within the UN’s human rights bodies), as well as those that are of relatively more recent origin (such as the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the Women, Peace and Security agenda, as well as the Responsibility to Protect). A final substantive chapter (chapter 7) places the focus on Chinese scholarly and official arguments in support of the pattern of behaviour and articulated position that emerge from the examination of the topic areas contained within chapters 2 to 6. A more globally influential and ambitious Chinese leadership has come more overtly to promote a triadic model linking economic development, social stability, and the strong state with a positive outcome for the UN’s human protection agenda. However, the persuasiveness of that argument and any positive image consequences associated with its promotion depend on the coherence of China’s approach as well as its effectiveness in comparison with what has gone before in terms of UN norms and action. There is no automatic entitlement associated with increased material power; that form of power, to be persuasive, requires legitimation.117

Notes 1. A useful discussion of the UN’s legitimacy and authority is contained in Ian Hurd, After Anarchy: Legitimacy and Power in the United Nations Security Council (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008). 2. See, for example, John Searle, The Construction of Social Reality (New York: the Free Press, 1995). 3. For some representative writing, see, for example, Robert Dahl, ‘The Concept of Power’, Behavioral Science, 2(3), 1957: 201–15; Michael Barnett and Raymond Duvall (eds), Power in Global Governance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005); Steven Lukes, Power: A Radical View (Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2nd edn. 2005); David A Baldwin, ‘Power and International Relations’, Walter Carlsnaes, Thomas Risse, and Beth  A.  Simmons (eds), Handbook of International Relations (London: Sage Publications, 2002), 177–91. See also Rosemary Foot and Rana Siu Inboden ‘China’s Influence on Asian States during the Creation of the UN Human Rights Council: 2005–2007’, in Evelyn Goh (ed.), Rising China’s Influence in Developing Asia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 237–55, for an application of these forms of power in the case of China. 4. This now vast literature, drawn on here, includes Amitav Acharya, ‘The R2P and Norm Diffusion: Towards a Framework of Norm Circulation’, Global Responsibility to Protect, 5(4), 2013: 466–79; Jochen Prantl and Rieko Katano, ‘The Politics of Norm Glocalization: Limits in Applying R2P to Protecting Children’, Global Responsibility to Protect, 10(1), 2018: 97–120; Rosemary Foot and Andrew Walter, China, the United States and Global Order (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011); Jennifer Dixon, ‘Rhetorical Adaptation and Resistance to International Norms’, Perspectives on Politics, 15(1), 2017: 83–99.

Defining the Scope  53 5. I am grateful to Jonathan Leader Maynard for insights into this turn in writing and see, for example, his ‘A Map of the Field of Ideological Analysis’, Journal of Political Ideologies, 18(3), 2013: 299–327. 6. Michael Freeden, Ideologies and Political Theory: A Conceptual Approach (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), 3. See too Janka Oertel, China and the United Nations (London: Nomos/Bloomsbury, 2015), 43–4. 7. See Rosemary Foot and Amy King, ‘China’s World View in the Xi Jinping Era: where do Japan, Russia, and the USA fit?’ (forthcoming). 8. Ian Clark, ‘International Society and China: the Power of Norms and the Norms of Power’, The Chinese Journal of International Politics, 7(3), 2014: 315–40; Shogo Suzuki, ‘Seeking Legitimate Great Power Status in Post-Cold War International Society: China’s and Japan’s Participation in UNPKO’, International Relations, 22(1), 2008: 45–63. 9. Michael Barnett, Empire of Humanity: A History of Humanitarianism (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011); Barnett, The International Humanitarian Order (London: Routledge, 2010), 23. Michael Lipson in his article ‘A “Garbage Can Model” of UN Peacekeeping’, Global Governance, 13(1), 2007: 79–97, invites attention instead to the ‘simultaneity’ among ‘the rise of the problem of intrastate conflict and the availability of complex peacekeeping as a solution’ corresponding with ‘the end of the Cold War policy window’ (at 92). 10. ‘An Agenda for Peace: Preventive Diplomacy, Peacemaking and Peace-keeping, Report of the Secretary-General’, 17 June 1992, at https://www.un.org/ruleoflaw/ files/A_47_277.pdf. 11. Louise Riis Andersen, ‘The HIPPO in the Room: The Pragmatic Push-back from the UN Peace Bureaucracy against the Militarization of UN Peacekeeping’, International Affairs, 94(2), 2018: 348; Michael Barnett, The International Humanitarian Order, 23–4. 12. Andrew Mack, ‘Conflicts and Security’, in Amitav Acharya (ed.), Why Govern? Rethinking Demand and Progress in Global Governance (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 97–8. 13. Margaret Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998). 14. An important discussion of pathologies in international organizations is contained in Michael Barnett and Martha Finnemore, Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2004). 15. United Nations General Assembly, World Summit Outcome Document, adopted by UN General Assembly Resolution, A/RES/60/1, 24 October 2005. 16. Luke Glanville, Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect: A New History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014). 17. Chris Alden, ‘Seeking Security in Africa: China’s Evolving Approach to the African Peace and Security Architecture’, Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre Report, March 2014. The work of Francis Deng on responsible sovereignty will be discussed in chapter 4, and see too Amitav Acharya, ‘The R2P and Norm Diffusion: Towards a Framework of Norm Circulation’, Global Responsibility to Protect, 5(4), 2013 and his recovery of the statements of key African leaders about responsible sovereignty, and accountability for those guilty of ‘monumental crimes’. See in particular 474–6.

54  China, the UN, and Human Protection 18. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, ‘Human Protection and the 21st Century United Nations’, 2 February 2011, at http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocus/ sgspeeches/search_full.asp?statID=1064. This definition is narrower than that adopted by Bellamy. 19. Alex  J.  Bellamy, ‘The Changing Face of Humanitarian Intervention’, St Antony’s International Review, 11(1), 2015: 16. The refugee regime could also be added to this list. 20. Alex  J.  Bellamy, ‘The Humanisation of Security? Towards an International Human Protection Regime’, European Journal of International Security, 1(1), 2016, esp. 119–26. See also Steven D. Krasner, ‘Structural Causes and Regime Consequences: Regimes as Intervening Variables’, in Krasner (ed.), International Regimes (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1983). 21. ‘Mobilizing collective action: the next decade of the responsibility to protect, Report of the Secretary-General’, A/70/999-S/2016/620, 22 July 2016. 22. Though it is important to remember Kathryn Sikkink’s point that measurement of failure and growing atrocity numbers is tricky and it may be that we ‘think the world is worse off because we care more and know more about human rights than ever before’. Evidence for Hope: Making Human Rights Work in the 21st Century (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017), 14. 23. ‘UN-mandated human rights inquiry on DPR Korea documents “widespread, systematic abuses” ’, 17 February 2014, at http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47160#. VrHi2-mlluO. The Commission of Inquiry report noted: ‘The gravity, scale and nature of these violations reveal a State that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world.’ 24. A point also made in Janka Oertel, China and the United Nations, 15. 25. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China: ‘Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China on the United Nations Reforms’, 7 June 2005. 26. UN SC Resolution 1970 (2011), adopted 26 February, S/RES/1970 (2011). See also UN Doc. S/PV/6491, 26 February 2011, where the Chinese representative states that his government is taking account of Arab and African opinion in its decision to vote in favour of the Resolution. 27. As President Obama put it in November 2009, he welcomed China’s greater role, ‘a role in which a growing economy is joined by growing responsibilities’. Quoted in Bukovansky et al., Special Responsibilities, 1. For the most frequently referenced American statement on China’s need to become a ‘responsible stakeholder’, see Robert B. Zoellick, Deputy Secretary of State, ‘Whither China: From Membership to Responsibility?’, New York, 21 September 2005, https://2001-2009.state.gov/s/d/former/ zoellick/rem/53682.htm. 28. See World Bank, at http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/china/overview, updated 26 September 2018. 29. See e.g. He Yafei (Vice-Minister of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of the State Council), ‘A Proactive Approach to Global Governance is China’s Historic Choice’, China Quarterly of International Strategic Studies, 1(2), 2015: 197. 30. Overtaking Japan to become second largest contributor seems to have been of satisfaction to China. See http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018–12/24/c_137695776. htm for one example of this sentiment, together with figures on Chinese contributions. More statistics are contained in https://undocs.org/en/ST/ADM/SER.B/612.

Defining the Scope  55 31. Ramesh Thakur, ‘R2P and the interplay between policy and norms in a shifting global order’, in Kai Michael Kenkel and Philip Cunliffe (eds), Brazil as a Rising Power: Intervention Norms and the Contestation of Global Order (London: Routledge, 2016), 173. 32. Sonya Sceats with Shaun Breslin, China and the International Human Rights System (London: Chatham House, 2012), 22. 33. Shaun Breslin, ‘China and the Global Order: Signaling Threat or Friendship?’, International Affairs, 89(3), May 2013, esp. 619–24; David Shambaugh, China Goes Global: the Partial Power (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 18–20; Pichamon Yeophantong, ‘Governing the World: China’s Evolving Conceptions of Responsibility’, Chinese Journal of International Politics, 6(4), 2013: 329–64; Wang Yizhou, ‘China’s New Foreign Policy: Transformations and Challenges Reflected in Changing Discourse’, The Asan Forum, 2(2), March–April 2014, at http://www.theasanforum. org/archives/march-april-2014. 34. Chen Zheng, ‘China Debates the Non-Interference Principle’, Chinese Journal of International Politics, 9(3), 2016: 349–74; Camilla  T.N.  Sørensen, ‘That is Not Intervention’, The China Quarterly, March 2019, esp. 7–13. 35. For one pertinent example, see Shi Yinhong, ‘Amid Western Uncertainties, China Mustn’t Spread Too Thin’, Global Times, 26 October 2016, at http://www.globaltimes. cn/content/1013884.shtml. 36. Hoo Tiang Boon, China’s Global Identity: Considering the Responsibilities of Great Power (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2018), esp. 110–15. 37. A useful overview of some of this thinking is contained in Xiaoyu Pu and Chengli Wang, ‘Rethinking China’s Rise: Chinese Scholars Debate Strategic Overstretch’, International Affairs, 94(5), 2018: 1019–35. 38. ‘New Direction for China’s Diplomacy’, interview with Wang Yizhou, BeijingReview. com.cn, 8 March 2012, http://www.bjreview.com.cn/world/txt/2012–03/05/content_439626.htm#. See also his A Wise and Benevolent Power: Creative Involvement in a Nutshell [Renzhi Daguo: ‘Chuangzaoxing Jieru’ Gaishuo] (Beijing: Peking University Press, 2018). 39. As discussed in Li Li, ‘Current Criticisms and Reframing of the Noninterference Principle of China’, The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, 28(4), December 2016: 568. 40. Li, ‘Current Criticisms’, 576. 41. Zheng Chen quoting Xie Yiqiu in ‘China Debates the Non-Interference Principle’, 353. Pan Yaling, as detailed in later chapters, has argued that such changes have already occurred, as have other Chinese and non-Chinese scholars. See chapter 2 in particular. Pan Yaling, ‘Cong hanwei shi changdao dao canyu shi changdao’ [From Defensive Advocacy to Participatory Advocacy], Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi [World Economics and Politics], 9, 2012. 42. Alden, ‘Seeking Security in Africa’. Chen refers to Chinese having suffered ‘kidnappings, killings, and/or evacuations’. In ‘China Debates the Non-interference Principle’, 351. 43. Statement by H.E.  Xi Jinping, ‘Working Together to Forge a New Partnership of Win-win Cooperation and Create a Community of Shared Future for Mankind’, New York, 28 September 2015 at http://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/ 70/70_ZH_en.pdf. 44. Yeophantong, ‘Governing the World’, 331, quoting President Jiang Zemin.

56  China, the UN, and Human Protection 45. Ren Xiao, ‘China as an Institution-Builder: The Case of the AIIB’, The Pacific Review, 29(3), 2016: 435. 46. See, for example, Xi’s speech at the 19th Party Congress, 3 November 2017 at http:// www.xinhuanet.com/english/special/2017–11/03/c_136725942.htm. 47. ‘CCP Central Committee Decision Concerning Some Major Questions in Comprehensively Governing the Country According to the Law’, translated version at https://chinacopyrightandmediawordpress.com, posted 28 October 2014. 48. Alden, ‘Seeking Security in Africa’; Bates Gill and Chin-Hao Huang, ‘The People’s Republic of China’, in Alex  J.  Bellamy and Paul  D.  Williams (eds), Providing Peacekeepers: the Politics, Challenges, and Future of United Nations Peacekeeping Contributions (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). 49. According to a Chinese scholar based at CASS in Beijing (in conversation with author February 2017). See also Elizabeth C. Economy, The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), who writes at 197, ‘Xi Jinping did not conceive of the AIIB. A number of scholars and officials, including the eventual head of the AIIB, Jin Liqun, had floated the idea . . . for several years without success.’ 50. ‘Belt and Road Initiative: Financing for Sustainable Development Goals’, UNDP website, http://www.cn.undp.org/content/china/en/home/belt-and-road.html. 51. Xi Jinping, ‘Working Together to Forge a New Partnership of Win-win Cooperation’. 52. Ruan Zongze, ‘Responsible Protection: Building a Safer World’, 34, 15 June 2012, China International Studies, http://www.csis.org.cn/english/2012–06/15/content_ 5090912.htm. 53. Xinhua, ‘Chinese President meets UN Chief ’, 20 June 2013. 54. Xinhua, ‘Chinese President Meets UN Chief ’, 20 June 2013. Notably, Xi’s speech at Davos in 2017 (the first time a Chinese President had attended the gathering) pointed up China’s responsibility in keeping open the global economy and in promoting economic globalization. Xinhua, 6 April 2017, at http://www.china.org.cn/node_7247529/ content_40569136.htm. Also relevant to this discussion is Vincent Pouliot’s work on the UN contained in International Pecking Orders: the Politics and Practice of Multilateral Diplomacy (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016). 55. Hoo, China’s Global Identity, 130–1. 56. Yang Jiechi, ‘Implementing the Chinese Dream’, The National Interest, 10 September 2013, http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/implementing-the-chinese-dream-9026. 57. Interview in Shanghai, October 2018. 58. Relevant to this discussion of consent rather than coercive means is Ian Clark’s work. See, in particular, Ian Clark, Hegemony in International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). See also Shaun Breslin, ‘Leadership and Followership in Postunipolar World: Towards Selective Global Leadership and a New Functionalism?’, Chinese Political Science Review, 2(4), 2017: 494–511. 59. Chapter 6 expands this discussion. 60. Xinhua, ‘China’s Xi underscores CPC’s leadership in news reporting’, 19 February 2016. 61. Rosemary Foot (ed.), China Across the Divide: The Domestic and Global in Politics and Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).

Defining the Scope  57 62. Quoted in Louise Riis Andersen, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm: Middle-power Liberal Internationalism and the Future of the United Nations’, International Journal, 74(1), 2019: 62, note 58. The full statement is available at ‘Writing a New Chapter of International Human Rights Exchanges and Cooperation’, China Daily, 8 December 2017, at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201712/08/WS5a29e8a2a3101a51ddf8da09. html. 63. Alastair Iain Johnston, Social States: China in International Institutions, 1980–2000 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008). 64. Deng, China’s Struggle for Status, 9. Note, however, the growing body of work on India and its concerns with international status. For a comparative analysis, see Kate Sullivan de Estrada and Rosemary Foot, ‘China’s and India’s Search for International Status through the UN System: Competition and Complementarity’, Contemporary Politics, 2019, at https://doi.org/10.1080/13569775.2019.1621718. 65. Yeophantong, ‘Governing the World’. 66. Hoo, China’s Global Identity, though Hoo does give a considerable role to the United States in this matter. 67. Clark, ‘International Society and China’. 68. Bukovansky et al., Special Responsibilities, 58. 69. ‘Position Paper on UN Reform’, 7 June 2005, http://www.china-un-org/eng/hyyfy/ t199101.htm. Xi Jinping repeated this view of the UN as the ‘most representative and authoritative international organization’ in his speech to the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly in September 2015. See ‘Working Together to Forge a New Partnership of Win-win Cooperation and Create a Community of Shared Future for Mankind’, New York, 28 September 2015, at http://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/ gastatements/70/70_ZH_en.pdf. 70. Mack, ‘Conflicts and Security’, 11; Joel Wuthnow, Chinese Diplomacy and the UN Security Council: Beyond the Veto (London: Routledge, 2013), 4. 71. Andersen, ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’, 51. 72. For a useful introduction and critique, see ‘The Penholder System’, Security Council Report, December 2018, at https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/research-reports/ the-penholder-system.php. 73. David Shambaugh, China Goes Global: The Partial Power (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 140–1. These figures cover the years 1994–2006 for the Security Council and 1996–2007 for the General Assembly. 74. Xi Jinping, ‘Work Together to Build a Community of Shared Future for Mankind, Speech by H.E.  Xi Jinping’, United Nations Office at Geneva, 18 January 2017, at http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2017–01/19/c_135994707.htm, 19 January. 75. He Yafei, ‘A Proactive Approach to Global Governance is China’s Historic Choice’, China Quarterly of International Strategic Studies, 1(2), 2015: 189. 76. Sarah Teitt, ‘China and the International Humanitarian Order’, R2P IDEAS in Brief, 4: 8, 2014. 77. Miriam Bradley, Protecting Civilians in War: The ICRC, UNHCR, and their Limitations in Internal Armed Conflicts (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 40. 78. And China is not alone in this view, of course, as lengthy discourses on the acceptance of the idea of natural rights outside of a social context show. As Craig Calhoun has

58  China, the UN, and Human Protection argued, ‘to imagine human beings in the abstract, as it were, in their mere humanity, disembodied from kinship, religion, nationality and other webs of identity is not universal.’ Quoted in Bradley, Protecting Civilians in War, 41. 79. The UN Charter refers to human rights in its preamble and in six of its articles. 80. Li Li, ‘Current Criticisms and Reframing of the Noninterference Principle of China’, The Korean Journal of Defense Analysis, 28(4), 2016: 565. 81. William  A.  Callahan, China Dreams: 20 Visions of the Future (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013), 149. 82. Andrew J. Nathan, Chinese Democracy (London: I.B. Tauris. 1986), 58, 127–8. 83. Elizabeth  J.  Perry, ‘Chinese Conceptions of “Rights” from Mencius to Mao—and Now’, Perspectives on Politics, 6(1), 2008: 39. 84. Miwa Hirono, ‘Three Legacies of Humanitarianism in China’, Disasters, 37(S2), 2013. 85. Vivienne Shue, ‘Legitimacy Crisis in China?’, in Peter Hays Gries and Stanley Rosen (eds), State and Society in 21st Century China: Crisis, Contention, and Legitimation (New York: RoutledgeCurzon, 2004), 31. 86. Yeophantong, ‘Governing the World’, 336–7. 87. Liu Tiewa and Zhang Haibin, ‘Debates in China about the Responsibility to Protect as a Developing International Norm: A General Assessment’, Conflict, Security and Development, 14(4), 2014: 411. 88. Hirono, ‘Three Legacies’, S206. 89. Jacinta O’Hagan and Miwa Hirono, ‘Fragmentation of the International Humanitarian Order? Understanding “Cultures of Humanitarianism” in East Asia’, Ethics and International Affairs, 28(4), 2014: 415–17. 90. Rana Mitter, ‘An Uneasy Engagement: Chinese Ideas of Global Order and Justice in Historical Perspective’, in Rosemary Foot, John Lewis Gaddis, and Andrew Hurrell (eds), Order and Justice in International Relations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 222. 91. Sheng Hongsheng, ‘China in the Post-World War II International Legal System’, China Quarterly of International Strategic Studies, 1(2), 2015: 209. 92. Kofi Annan’s remarks can be found in ‘Two Concepts of Sovereignty’, The Economist, 18 September 1999; Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan, ‘Statement at the 54th Session of the United Nations General Assembly’, 13 September 1999, at http://www.undp.org/ missions/china/unga.htm. 93. Nathan, Chinese Democracy, 56. 94. Jennifer Welsh, ‘Norm Contestation and the Responsibility to Protect’, Global Responsibility to Protect, 5(2), 2013: 394. 95. The complexities associated with this depiction of the contemporary world order are discussed in Andrew Hurrell, ‘Beyond the BRICS: Power, Pluralism, and the Future of Global Order’, Ethics and International Affairs, 32(1), 2018: 89–101. 96. See the discussion of Sun Yatsen in Eric Helleiner, Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods: International Development and the Making of the Postwar Order (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2014), 187–92. 97. William C. Kirby, ‘Engineering China: Birth of the Developmental State, 1928–1937’, in Wen-hsin Yeh (ed.), Becoming Chinese: Passages to Modernity and Beyond (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2000), esp. 137–9.

Defining the Scope  59 98. Wen Yi Bao, quoted in Hirono, ‘Three Legacies’, S208. 99. Andrew Nathan, Chinese Democracy (London: I.B.  Tauris, 1986), 115–16. See also Sarah Teitt, R2P IDEAS in brief, 3, and Kent, Between Freedom and Subsistence: China and Human Rights (Hong Kong: Oxford University Press, 1993). 100. Yeophantong also notes traditional attitudes that saw the public sphere as an extension of the private sphere, and where disorder in the home zone is equated with ‘disorder under heaven’. ‘Governing the World’, 360. 101. Nathan, Chinese Democracy, 111. 102. Perry, ‘Chinese Conceptions of “Rights” ’, 41–2. 103. Harold  K.  Jacobson and Michel Oksenberg, China’s Participation in the IMF, the World Bank, and GATT: Toward a Global Economic Order (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1990), 118. 104. Perry, ‘Chinese Conceptions of “Rights” ’, 42. 105. Hirono, ‘Three Legacies’, S208. 106. Wei Liu argues that China’s intended self-image was composed of three main elem­ ents in the Jiang Zemin-Hu Jintao eras: ‘a great power, a peace lover, and a co-operator’. China in the United Nations (Hackensack, NJ: World Century Publishing Corporation, 2014), 168–70. 107. State Council Information Office, China’s Peaceful Development Road, 2005, http:// www.china.org.cn/english/2005/Dec/152669.htm. 108. William  A.  Callahan, China Dreams: 20 Visions of the Future (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), 21, 41. 109. Eric Helleiner, Forgotten Foundations of Bretton Woods: International Development and the Making of the Postwar Order (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press), 192. 110. Ren Xiao quoted in Yeophantong, ‘Governing the World’, 357. 111. William  A.  Callahan, ‘China 2035: from the China Dream to the World Dream’, Global Affairs, 2016: 4–5, DOI: 10.1080/23340460.2016.1210240. 112. He, ‘A Proactive Approach’, 197; Hoo, China’s Global Identity, 100. 113. ‘Work Together to Build a Community of Shared Future for Mankind, Speech by H.E.  Xi Jinping’, United Nations Office at Geneva, 18 January 2017, http://www. xinhuanet.com/english/2017–01/19/c_135994707.htm, 19 January 2017. In an unusual if indirect reference to the time of Nationalist China, Xi also claimed a special status for China, noting that it was a ‘founding member of the United Nations and the first country to put its signature on the UN Charter’. The Chinese President also ranged beyond statements that related directly to China’s thinking on human rights when he called for ‘common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security’, claiming too that ‘peace has been in the blood of us Chinese and a part of our DNA’. See also Andrea Worden, ‘With its Latest Human Rights Council Resolution, China Continues its Assault on the UN Human Rights Framework’, China Change, 9 April 2018, https://chinachange.org/2018/04/09/ with-its-latest-human-rights-council-resolution-china-continues-its-assault-onthe-un-human-rights-framework. 114. Zhang Weiwei, The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State (Hackensack, NJ: World Century Publishing Corp., 2012); and his The China Horizon: Glory and Dream of a Civilizational State (Hackensack, NJ: World Century Publishing Corp., 2016).

60  China, the UN, and Human Protection 115. See, for example, Wang Linyan, ‘China’s Role in Peacekeeping Praised at UN’,  China Daily, 23 June 2018, at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201806/23/ WS5b300fe6a3103349141de73a.html; and see too a paid post from China Daily in the New York Times (which has no role in the writing or editing of the post): ‘Former UN Secretary-General [Ban Ki-moon] Urges China to Increase Presence on the World Stage’, at https://www.nytimes.com/paidpost/china-daily/formerun-secretary-general-urges-china-to-increase-presence-on-world-stage.html (no date). 116. António Guterres, ‘Remarks at the Opening of the Belt and Road Forum’, 14 May 2017, at https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/speeches/2017-05-14/secretarygeneral’s-belt-and-road-forum-remarks. 117. A point made succinctly and persuasively in Clark, ‘International Society and China’, 338.

2

UN Peace Operations This first substantive chapter begins with a remit somewhat broader than those that follow: it examines the nature of UN peace operations in the post-Cold War era, and notes the complex mandates these operations have been given, the weaknesses in implementation that have been exposed, and the various attempts at redress and improvement that have been made. In turning to the PRC’s role in these operations, it shows the opportunities that have been provided to a Beijing government steadily prompted by a number of external and internal factors to expand its contribution in this policy area. However, it also notes the dilemmas that have been posed to policymakers in Beijing as they have grappled with these opportunities, and the increased expectations on the part of domestic and inter­ nation­al actors. As such, this chapter offers a broad overview of UN peace op­er­ ations and China’s growing impact in this area of the UN’s human protection agenda, leaving it to later chapters to explore more specific topics within the UN’s humanitarian mandate. In what follows, I look first at the UN itself and the evolution in thinking and behaviour with respect to peace operations from the early 1990s to the mid-2010s. Next, I explain why and illustrate how China has deepened its involvement. A third section turns to considering China’s normative and cognitive beliefs with respect to peacekeeping, including discussion of how China has dealt with the challenges to these peacekeeping principles that it has encountered along the way. This is particularly the case in policy areas that are inherently to the fore when dealing with human protection, especially matters relating to non-interference in internal affairs, host state consent, and the use of force. A final section concentrates on China’s decision to augment the UN’s capacity to carry out peace operations, particularly in the period after 2015, before exploring some of the consequences that have come in the wake of that decision. Officially articulated beliefs, its growing power, and a generally positive image within the UN appear to be in closer alignment in this later period rather than in a more awkward juxtaposition as suggested from appraisal of the earlier years of China’s involvement in this area of UN activity.

UN Peace Operations in the Post-Cold War Era Over the last three decades or so, UN peace operations have become central to international society’s attempts to maintain international peace and security and China, the UN, and Human Protection: Beliefs, Power, Image. Rosemary Foot, Oxford University Press (2020). © Rosemary Foot. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198843733.001.0001

62  China, the UN, and Human Protection provide protection for humankind. The UN has engaged in these operations on the basis of a wider definition of what constitutes a threat to international peace and security, a perspective significantly aided by the end of a polarized form of UN politics associated strongly with the Cold War. Intra-state conflict in certain circumstances came to be seen as a threat to international peace and security. Wide-scale violence against civilians—as in Rwanda or Srebrenica in the 1990s— came to be regarded as no longer tolerable. Business as usual in the changed structural circumstances of the Cold War’s end would only serve to damage the legitimacy of the preeminent international organization set up, as the UN Charter puts it, ‘to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’. Particularly from the early 1990s and with the publication of Agenda for Peace in 1992 the United Nations operated on the belief that it now had the opportunity to act to prevent new conflicts from emerging, and to stop war-torn societies from engaging in cycles of destruction. As a result, the number and size of UN peace operations began to expand markedly. Out of a total of seventy-one peacekeeping missions deployed between 1948 and the end of August 2015, some fifty-six were mandated after 1988. Twenty-one new missions were mandated between 1999 and 2013 alone, with some fourteen of these in Africa. The numbers of troop and police contributing countries also increased. At its height, in 2016, there were more than 104,500 uniformed personnel from 123 contributing countries deployed in sixteen op­er­ations.1 The median size of these missions in the twenty-first century doubled over the size of operations in the 1990s. Not surprisingly, the peacekeeping budget was also affected, with about seventy-five per cent of that budget after 1948 being spent between 1999 and 2013. In 2016, the overall cost of peacekeeping was roughly double that of 1993—that is, US$8.27 billion, compared with about US$4 billion twenty-three years earlier. It has since retrenched to $6.69 billion for 2018–19.2 Even with that financial retrenchment, 2018 witnessed close to 100,000 peacekeepers operating in fourteen ongoing missions with Chinese personnel involved in eight of these.3 In many cases, a successful outcome to these operations has proven to be elusive, in part because the UN Security Council has constructed mandates that are complex and demanding. Inadvertently, they may have been set up for op­er­ ation­al failure; as Alex Bellamy and Charles  T.  Hunt describe matters, ‘United Nations peace operations are deployed in greater numbers to more difficult operating theatres in response to more complex conflict situations than ever before.’4 In the twenty-first century, these missions may frequently be mandated to ‘help rebuild state institutions, promote the rule of law, facilitate the delivery of hu­mani­tar­ian assistance, monitor and promote human rights, support national and local political processes, oversee ceasefires, manage the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants, promote security sector reform, and set in motion a range of early peacebuilding programmes in

UN Peace Operations  63 collaboration with other partners, all while paying particular attention to the needs and participation of women and children’.5 One of China’s leading scholars of UN peace operations, Li Dongyan, writing in 2012, has compiled a similar list of the peacekeeping tasks that missions are typically expected to fulfil: ‘Apart from peace and security, UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions are also charged . . . with issues such as initiating, organizing and supervising elections, building the rule of law, reforming the public security and police systems, protecting civilians, human rights, freedom of speech, media freedom, and fighting corruption’. Li adds, in something of an understatement, that ‘much of this goes beyond what China understands as the scope of multilateral international coop­ er­ation on peace and development’.6 Indeed, there is an apparent paradox of increasing Chinese support and involvement even as UN peace operations have become more complex, dangerous, and domestically intrusive. The so-called ‘liberal model of peace operations’ (as Chinese scholars typically label it—see ‘China’s Peacekeeping Principles and Practice’ below and in particular chapter 7) became dominant at precisely the time that Beijing has chosen to step up its involvement. The Protection of Civilians (POC) in armed conflict requirement, to be discussed in chapter 3, and in place in almost all new operations since 1999, has been particularly difficult to enact. POC has raised controversies about the level of military robustness required to fulfil this protection aim, the geographical extent of the protection requirement, and how best to find a balance between the expectations of local civilians and the capacities of UN forces.7 Peace operations have also been given controversial counter-terrorism mandates, as in the case of the stabilization mission in Mali, which the Security Council authorized in June 2016 to undertake a ‘more proactive and robust posture’ in part at the behest of the host government.8 Thus, many current operations complicate the traditional peacekeeping prin­ ciples of consent, impartiality, and the limited use of force, as inherently does the idea of a stabilization mission. Consent to UN involvement may now be interpreted as consent given by all parties to the conflict, but in practice it has mostly referred to the government in power particularly when stabilization is put forward as a key goal. Similarly, impartiality is unlikely to mean equal treatment of all conflicting parties and instead tends to imply the defence of the host government, the risk being that the UN becomes associated with one warring party to the neglect of the demands of other warring groups. Use of force now includes acceptance of the need to protect all elements of the mandate and not simply protection of the UN troops involved.9 Developments of these kinds have also increased tensions between troop and police contributing countries and UN Security Council permanent members, the latter of whom authorize the high-risk and complex operations typical of recent practice. Adding to the sense of division between those who create the mandates

64  China, the UN, and Human Protection and those who carry them out is the fact that most—with the important exception of China—are more likely to contribute financially rather than with the provision of significant numbers of personnel to these missions.10 Division among Council members has also been exacerbated as a result of the Security Council’s working methods with the P3 of Britain, France, and the United States drafting most of the Security Council Resolutions (the so-called ‘pen-holders’) before they attempt to forge an explicit consensus with China and Russia let alone with the elected members of the Council. One consequence of this process has been an even more truncated period of discussion with all remaining Security Council non-permanent members,11 leading to ever higher levels of ‘frustration’ with pen-holding. This process can appear to the non-permanent states as ‘symptomatic of the exclusionary hierarchies that are deeply ingrained within Security Council practices’.12 Further frustrations at Security Council level have developed particularly after the eruption of the war in Syria and the advent of a Trump administration bent on weakening the UN role in the promotion of global security. The deterioration in US relations with both Russia and China, unexpected tensions between the United States and its key Western allies, as well as more frequent Chinese and Russian use of or threat of veto, have stymied the work of the Security Council, with many resolutions that once would have passed by consensus now subject to more contentious negotiating procedures.13 The United Nations has come a long way then, and not all in a positive direction, from the position during the Cold War when peacekeepers occasionally were inserted as neutral parties between belligerents in order to help keep the peace. These UN forces were expected to adhere to the ‘Dag Hammarskjold prin­ ciples’ of host state consent, impartiality, and non-use of force except in selfdefence. Now, deployments are often made into dangerous terrains where there is no peace to keep. Indeed, between 1999 and 2013, more than 1,500 peacekeepers lost their lives, ‘that is, roughly one peacekeeper every three days and nearly half of all the UN peacekeepers killed since 1948’.14 The Mali mission (MINUSMA) has been a particularly deadly one with at least 188 casualties between 2013 and 2017, including one Chinese in the suicide bomb attack on the UN headquarters in Gao, plus some troops injured. Peacekeepers in Mali have increasingly become the target of hostile rebel and terrorist groups excluded from the 2015 peace agreement.15 Two Chinese peacekeepers that were part of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) also lost their lives, and several were injured, as a result of the intense fighting that took place in Juba, South Sudan, in July 2016. As He Yin, one of China’s leading scholars of China’s role in peace op­er­ ations confirms, these deaths ‘aroused heated discussion among the Chinese public’16 and a period of reflection among Chinese officials. This dramatic stepping up of UN involvement in war-prone societies, together with the obvious gaps between policy and performance, have sparked a number of detailed official reviews of peacekeeping doctrine, particularly since 2000.

UN Peace Operations  65 These multiple reviews have provided many opportunities for states to spell out their policy preferences with respect to peace operations and potentially to shape the future of this activity. In 2000, for example, the land-mark ‘Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations’, also known as the ‘Brahimi report’ (named after its chairperson, Lakhdar Brahimi), put forward eighty different re­com­ menda­tions designed to improve the effectiveness of peace operations.17 These recommendations included an improved flow of information between Security Council members and the UN Secretariat, and reform of UN Standby Arrangements to enhance the rapidity and effectiveness of deployment. Perhaps most important of all, the report sent the explicit message that the Secretariat must tell the Security Council what it needed to know rather than what it wanted to hear. Unrealistic mandates needed to be stopped, it averred, and operations only allowed to progress once the principles of consent, impartiality, and the minimum use of force had been agreed. Where such agreement was lacking, the UN should stand aside; where these principles were in place, the mandate had to be robust enough that the mission, as well as the civilians under its protection, could be defended.18 The ‘Capstone review’ of 2008 elaborated on the Brahimi recommendations, emphasizing that peacekeepers were to be deployed in ways that went beyond host state consent to include ‘the consent of the main parties to the conflict’. Missions should be impartial but not neutral, it stated, and could use force tac­tic­ al­ly in order to defend themselves as well as the mandate, provided the Security Council agreed.19 The New Horizon Initiative—a so-called ‘non-paper’ prepared by the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and Department of Field Support (DFS) in July 2009—also sought to reinforce Brahimi. Among other things, it stressed the need to strengthen capacities, appealing for an expanded base of police and troop-contributing countries, and capacity building support for regional organizations such as the African Union (AU).20 Not surprisingly, the recommendations of these various reports did not resolve the dilemmas of how best to bridge the obvious gaps between the directives and the resources pledged to enact the mandates. Thus, a further three major reviews were undertaken in 2015, fifteen years after the landmark Brahimi report and also the tenth anniversary of the World Summit Outcome Document that, among other things, set up the Peace Building Commission (PBC). These three reviews covered the peacebuilding architecture (PBA), the implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (WPS)—to be discussed in more detail in chapter 3—as well as a more general review of peace op­er­ations. With respect to the latter, SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon established a seventeen-member High Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) chaired by José Ramos Horta. It included among its membership Ambassador Wang Xuexian, formerly China’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN.21

66  China, the UN, and Human Protection The HIPPO report’s key recommendations included the notion that politics needed to shape the mission (‘the primacy of politics’) rather than focusing mostly on military or technical engagements. Given that the UN operated with a ‘uniquely broad spectrum’ of tools and approaches that it could draw upon, it re­com­mend­ed embrace of the term ‘ “peace operations” to denote the full spectrum of responses required’. The report also stressed that conflict prevention and mediation needed to be ‘brought back to the fore’. This would require the Security Council to ‘increase monitoring of emergent issues’ and for some members of the Security Council to become less resistant to the Secretary-General’s informal ‘horizon scanning’ briefings. Addressing the root causes of conflict, including prevention work, required acceptance of the need for inclusive and equitable development. In all these fields ‘women and youth’ needed to play ‘a prominent role’. Above all, engagement at the local level in the political, social, and economic aspects of the operation, going beyond engagement with the government in power, had to be sustained in order to ensure mission success. HIPPO also re­com­mend­ed intensified cooperation with the AU since the organization had become ‘increasingly operational’.22 This report and its recommendations were a major influence in shaping the discourse of reform in subsequent years including the current UN Secretary-General Guterres’ reform efforts, as shown later. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also appointed an Advisory Group of Experts (AGE) of seven, in 2014, to review the PBA—that is, the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF), and the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO). Many of its recommendations complemented and reinforced those in the HIPPO report. For example, the AGE report recommended de-emphasizing the association between post-conflict arrangements and peacebuilding. Instead, it advocated the need for integrating rather than staging or compartmentalizing prevention, peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding in order to address the UN’s core objectives of maintaining peace and security, protecting human rights, and contributing to economic development. AGE also focused on developing the concept of national ownership beyond the establishment of a relationship with the host government. It supported the inclusion of groups such as the ‘political opposition, labour organizations, political parties, civil society and minorities’ as well as women and youth. As with the HIPPO report, it noted the importance of working with regional and sub-regional organizations like the African Union.23 As Stamnes and Osland have pointed out, all of these reviews have had the central aim of trying to narrow the gap between policy and practice. The reports’ authors have also tried to ensure that the recommendations offered in each of the reviews do not contradict one another. Both the HIPPO and the AGE report highlighted the differential effects of conflict on women and children, and the need for greater female participation in all components of a peace operation. They also both recognized the need for the UN to pay more attention to conflict

UN Peace Operations  67 prevention. The reports additionally stressed the imperative of broadening the involvement of multiple local actors with the UN missions. Notably, all three reviews critiqued the ‘current privileging of huge, military-heavy peace op­er­ ations’.24 They additionally highlighted the need to consider regional organizations as force multipliers for UN efforts and to work more closely with them. With the advent of the UN Secretary-Generalship of António Guterres from 1 January 2017, the baton of reform has been taken up once again. These reforms have been made in the context of reduced financial resources, more contentious relations among P5 members, and the rise of violent non-state actors apparently uninterested in conflict mediation. Guterres has embarked on institutional reform—including reorganization of the UN’s management structures, as well as  the development, and peace and security architectures. He retains a strong focus on conflict prevention on the understanding that waiting until a conflict has ­broken out is both costly and vastly complicates any mediatory process. He has promoted Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) which contains a series of rather familiar laments and demands. Its associated ‘Declaration of Shared Commitments’ (presently endorsed by more than 150 member states) has been launched with the aim to reinvigorate support for peace operations, and to focus attention on a set of key priorities, such as the search for political solutions to conflict, and the pursuit of ‘clear, focused, sequenced, prioritized and achievable mandates by the Security Council matched by appropriate resources’.25 There has also been a turn under Guterres to consider, in light of the large numbers of casualties, how best to improve the protection of personnel operating in the field. The so-called ‘Cruz report’ (funded by Beijing from the UN’s Peace and Development Trust Fund) came out of this. The report had as lead author Lieutenant General Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz, a former force commander in a UN peace operation, since retired. Controversially, it recommended a far more robust posture on the part of peacekeepers because, in its view, ‘hostile forces do not understand a language other than force’. However, the UN and most member states shied away from this key recommendation, choosing to focus instead on some other less prominent parts of the report’s recommendations connected with improvements in training and hardening of missions.26 The importance of these reviews and reforms is obvious in this era of ambitious mandates for UN peace operations, though few analysts would claim they have resolved many of the issues. However, this nearly two-decade investigation of the challenges posed by UN peace operations is also of particular relevance to this study because it has provided ample room for UN member states as well as regional organizations to contribute ideas to the process, especially since wide consultation has been a typical part of the working methods of these expert bodies. China itself has been a central participant in these various processes. As a P5 UN Security Council member that contributes to several of the UN’s peace op­er­ ations, as well as expanding amounts to the budget for UN peace operations, and

68  China, the UN, and Human Protection that has guaranteed membership of the organizational committee of the Peacebuilding Commission, it has been expected to offer its perspectives and has had many opportunities to promote its preferences. Broadly, at the level of the Security Council, the PRC has chosen to adopt a mainly constraining role and is less outspoken when compared with its role in the General Assembly. Russia, on the other hand, tends to be perceived as a ‘spoiler’— as Russia’s behaviour typically has been described—a role that Beijing seems content for Russia to play.27 In the public setting of Security Council voting, China tends to vote in favour or abstain on resolutions (with some notable exceptions and an increased willingness to threaten veto use),28 and leaves it to the ex­plan­ ation of its vote to set out its objections to resolutions and preferred positions. However, in more private settings, as in its membership of C34 (the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations), as well as in the UN’s Fifth Committee, which deals with budgetary and administrative matters, Beijing has steadily increased its determination to use these opportunities to express its ideas and to shape processes. Notably, these forms of behaviour have been stepped up as it has become a more influential peacekeeping actor via increased budgetary contributions as well as in numbers and types of personnel, together with provision of a range of equipment, as a later section of this chapter shows.

The Evolution of China’s Role in UN Peace Operations Beijing’s early relationship with the United Nations was hardly conducive to a productive future. Zhang Yongjin’s analysis of PRC attitudes towards UN peacekeeping uses precise descriptive language. His article, written before China’s major advancements in the 2000s, divides China’s role into four periods.29 The first, from 1950 to 1971, he labels a period of ‘condemnation’. The second, from 1971 to 1981, he describes as one of ‘nondisruption’, a term adopted because, while China neither paid any dues for UN peacekeeping nor gave any rhetorical support for these operations, it did not participate in voting, thus allowing them to go ahead. The third, from 1981 to 1988, he terms a period of ‘cooperation’, stemming from China’s enunciation of its ‘independent foreign policy’ and a desire to ensure a peaceful international environment in order that it could concentrate on its domestic development goals. In these years, Beijing supported a UN Security Council role in authorizing peace operations—for example, it voted to extend the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), and agreed to pay its dues in support of these operations. The fourth and final period Zhang labels one of ‘participation’.30 China applied in 1988 for membership of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34), in 1989 it sent civilian observers to the UN Transition Assistance Group in Namibia, and then, at the end of the year, five military observers to the United

UN Peace Operations  69 Nations Truce Supervision Organization in the Middle East. In 1992, it sent a full engineering battalion to the UN operation in Cambodia (UNTAC). From the 1990s, China started to deploy regularly despite the growing complexity of the operations, which from 1999 included a civilian protection component. However, the numbers of Chinese peacekeepers remained very low: Beijing deployed around fifty to 100 personnel at any one time between 1993 and 2002. Evidence suggests strong lack of enthusiasm within high levels of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to participate more fully than this, with some perceiving the UN at that time as an instrument of US hegemony, and others convinced that China lacked both the financial and human resources to make a meaningful contribution.31 Nevertheless, in 2002 Beijing signed an agreement to join the UN Standby Arrangement System, which led China’s Ministry of Defence to place on standby a 525-person engineering battalion, a medical unit of twenty-five, and two transport companies of 160 personnel. The year 2002 also marked the first time that Chinese civilian police were sent to an operation—this one in East Timor.32 Chinese peacekeeping contributions quickly grew shortly thereafter from 358 in 2003, to 1,036 in 2004, and 1,666 in 2006, with steadily increasing numbers after that. To a degree, Chinese responsibilities also increased. August 2007, for ex­ample, saw the UN’s DPKO approving Major General Zhao Jingmin as force commander for the mission in Western Sahara, the highest position ever held at that point by a Chinese national in a UN operation.33 That same year, the Chinese Foreign Ministry created a Special Representative on African Affairs, tasked with persuading the government in Khartoum to agree to the deployment of a hybrid African Union and UN peacekeeping force. With Africa to the fore in its approach to UN peace operations, 2007 additionally resulted in the signature of a ChinaAfrica Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Security. Unsurprisingly, it was in Africa that China first deployed combat troops, with an infantry platoon being sent to South Sudan in 2012, prior to the deployment of 400 combat troops to Mali in 2013 under a UN mandate (MINUSMA), and an infantry battalion to South Sudan two years later (UNMISS).34 According to Andrea Ghiselli, the equipment provided in both operations has been superior to that issued to the standard Chinese infantryperson, and includes full body armour, plus drones, and modern armoured carriers.35 Up to this point, China had focused on the deployment of engineers, medical units, military observers, logistical support units, and civilian police. The addition of combat forces was seen at the United Nations and inside China itself as another major turning point in Beijing’s official attitudes towards UN peace operations.36 Over a similar period, China additionally set up three peacekeeping training centres, not only to train its own police and troops for UN missions but also those from other countries.37 In 2010 a Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Action Plan led China to pledge to ‘intensify cooperation with African countries

70  China, the UN, and Human Protection in peacekeeping theory research, peacekeeping training and exchanges and in supporting the building of peacekeeping capacity in Africa’,38 a pledge that has been backed financially not least during President Xi’s UN address in September 2015. That speech contained a number of other significant pledges of increased Chinese assistance—financial and material—to UN peacekeeping. The consequences of these pledges of assistance are discussed later on in this chapter. This greater Chinese activism as well as its financial commitments, have served to further and to legitimate its role as a stakeholder in this aspect of UN activity. Other states on the UN Security Council and particularly among the permanent members have come to accept that they need to anticipate the likely Chinese response to a resolution on peace operations in order to ensure its passage and broader legitimacy.

Explaining Deployment What then explains China’s steadily increasing commitment to UN peacekeeping? Why increase the numbers deployed from 2004, even though participation has created tensions between the PLA and civilian decision makers and has posed dilemmas for a Chinese government largely committed—at least at the rhetorical level—to a 1950s view of UN peacekeeping? And how do the explanations for deployment have a bearing on one of the central concerns of this book, which is to examine the interaction between Chinese beliefs and its concerns with inter­ nation­al image in a body that has become central to its global diplomacy? There is a strong consensus among Chinese and non-Chinese scholars working on this topic as to the major reasons for deployment, with four main factors typ­ ic­al­ly being highlighted. These motives range from the more instrumental, interestbased explanations, to ones that emphasize China’s concern to project an image as a provider of security at the global level and a responsible major stage cognizant of its obligations as a P5 member. First, there were clear domestic prompts to this enhanced involvement, particularly evident after President Hu Jintao came to power in 2002. In Hu’s era, the emphasis shifted to ‘people-centred’ security, especially in the light of the rapid expansion of Chinese personnel operating overseas in unstable areas. As Ghiselli records, 70,000 Chinese working overseas in 2002 grew to almost 204,000 by 2010. Thus, in 2004 the Central Committee of the Party approved a document calling for an improvement in efforts to guard China’s economic development against traditional and non-traditional threats, leading to Hu’s arduous and eventually successful efforts (see the 2013 Defence White Paper) to enshrine the concept of ‘Military Operations Other Than War’ (MOOTW) in China’s defence policy.39 China found it necessary to carry out more than a dozen non-combatant evacuation operations from 2004, with Libya in 2011 requiring the rapid

UN Peace Operations  71 evacu­ation of some 36,000 Chinese citizens.40 This was dramatic evidence of the need for the military to expand its conception of security, as was the order to send an infantry platoon to South Sudan in 2012 in order to protect the Chinese peacekeepers already there. Participation in UN peace operations also became of greater appeal to China’s armed forces once it was understood that involvement could satisfy both domestic and international security goals. In terms of international benefits, for ex­ample, participation could serve to expand China’s range of international experience and defuse the notion that China’s rise in military power represented a threat. As China’s Defence White Paper of 2011 noted, involvement was ‘conducive to promoting mutual trust and cooperation, drawing on useful lessons, and accelerating the PLA’s modernization’ as well as improving the PLA’s ‘capabilities in responding to humanitarian emergencies’.41 This latter benefit is a skill that is transferable to the domestic level, vitally important since the PLA as well as civilian police are expected to be the main responders to domestic disasters.42 Chin-Hao Huang has elaborated further on these practical benefits of taking part in peacekeeping missions noting improvements in Chinese troops’ ‘responsiveness, riot control cap­ abil­ities, coordination of emergency command systems and ability to carry out MOOTW more effectively’. This means, he states, that over time Chinese security forces will ‘modernize and professionalize’, and gain ‘greater operational know­ ledge of different operations environments, an advantage that few counterparts in other countries have’.43 The domestic-external nexus is also underlined by China’s decision to deploy almost entirely to African missions, where it not only can protect Chinese citizens but also the country’s commercial interests in a number of African states, as well as potentially helping to stabilize the continent at large. One particular instance of a direct interest relates to the mission in South Sudan where China has deployed the most troops by far of any of its deployments. At the time of South Sudan’s independence, ‘China held 75 per cent of the new state’s oil fields, with investments valued at more than $20 billion’. The National Petroleum Company of China alone has held a forty per cent stake in the country’s oil fields.44 Perhaps it is hardly surprising, therefore, that China apparently enquired whether its units operating under the UN flag could be used to guard its energy installations in the country. The Chinese government’s positive response to UN Security Council Resolution 2155 (2014) extending the mandate of the mission in South Sudan in ways designed to improve the civilian protection component was apparently garnered because paragraph 21 of the resolution condemned ‘attacks on oil installations, petroleum companies and their employees’ as well as urging ‘all parties to ensure the security of economic infrastructure’.45 While Courtney Fung rightly notes that there are a number of operations in Africa where the PRC deploys but has no significant direct economic or other interests, others note that participation may also be related to Beijing’s more

72  China, the UN, and Human Protection general concern with stabilization of a continent where its interests have expanded markedly over the last decade.46 In Mali, for example, while its economic interests are comparatively small, the presence of Chinese peacekeeping troops in northern Mali also helps to support stability in both Mali and Algeria, ‘where more than 90,000 Chinese citizens lived and worked in 2016’.47 Moreover, participation in UN operations not only aids these more general stabilization goals, but it also shows China’s responsiveness to African efforts to develop capacities in these areas. In turning to the social dimensions behind China’s decisions to deploy, there are three main angles to this. First, Beijing has often depicted these changes as responsible and altruistic responses to UN calls for it to ‘gradually step up its own participation in UN peacekeeping operations’. In this same statement, made in response to the Brahimi report, Beijing also noted the urgency of improving standby arrangements: ‘to strengthen the peacekeeping capacity of the United Nations, it brooks no delay to improve the standby arrangements system and enhance rapid deployment capacities’.48 As noted earlier, in 2002, China fulfilled that pledge and joined the standby arrangement. Secondly, Beijing has sought ways of boosting its image as a ‘responsible great power’, sometimes seeking to turn what might have been perceived as severe damage to its image into something more positive. With respect to Darfur, for example, Fung’s analysis shows that the shifts in the timings of China’s policy in support of the establishment of a hybrid UN-AU peacekeeping deployment related in part to the social praise it received from key state actors after its pressure on Khartoum, and reports from the US government that emphasized to Beijing Washington’s perceived link between a successful peacekeeping deployment to Sudan and China’s status. According to Washington, that deployment ‘would be a signal of China’s great power status as it regulates regional security’. Zheng Chen puts the concern more directly still, noting there were ‘domestic callings for policy adjustment to save the country’s international image’.49 Beyond the specific case of Darfur, we see the development of a sense among various Chinese agencies that participation provides Beijing with the opportunity to present a positive self-image to both domestic and international audiences. For example, and as Fung (née Richardson) notes, the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the PLA stated in 2006 in reference to China’s role in UN peace op­er­ ations: ‘China is a peace-loving country. In addressing grave issues involving peace and security, we are a responsible country . . . The quality of our troops is highly praised by international organizations and other countries [and] in the course of our peacekeeping activities under the UN Charter, China sets a glorious example.’50 Shogo Suzuki’s Chinese interviewees informed him that China’s growing involvement in UNPKOs allows Beijing ‘to cultivate the image of a responsible great power, and cultivate the image of [a] state which protects international peace’.51 A 2010 joint report from China’s Ministry of Defence and Ministry of

UN Peace Operations  73 Public Security highlighted the positive role that Chinese police officers had played in peace operations, noting they had had ‘no casualties, no discipline violations and never left in the middle of a mission’.52 Chinese media, as well as official publications reference regularly the numbers of roads and bridges that Chinese peacekeepers have built, and the numbers of medical interventions successfully effected.53 In a bid to show to both domestic and international audiences the serious intent with which this military contribution to the UN is taken, Chinese peacekeepers killed in action are hailed at home as heroes and martyrs. In at least one case, more than 500 officials gathered in a ceremony to mark the return of a peacekeeper’s body.54 President Xi has explained China’s peacekeeping contribution in terms of the country’s special status as a P5 member and the particular requirement this entails in the search for international peace. In conversation with UN SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon in June 2013, Xi ‘underscored’ the importance of the UN, and pledged to ‘firmly support’ it.55 Foreign Minister Wang Yi said much the same a few days later, stating that as a P5 member, Beijing is ‘always conscious of its international responsibilities and obligations and stands ready to offer more public products’.56 Indeed, China’s international image does seem to have been bolstered as a result of its participation. UN officials, including several UN Secretaries-General, have reciprocated these Chinese image-related statements and praised China’s contributions on multiple occasions. Ban Ki-moon, for example, in 2013 noted China’s solidarity with the UN, and mirroring Chinese statements underlined that it had provided more peacekeepers ‘than all of the four other permanent members combined’.57 Incoming Secretary-General António Guterres ‘praised China’s role in U.N. peacekeeping missions and hot spot diplomacy’, adding that ‘China can be a very important honest broker, trying to bring together some that are involved in conflict’. It ‘can play a very important role in the diplomacy for peace that the world badly needs today’.58 However, there are areas where image concerns are difficult to differentiate from, and can shade into, reputational benefits for China, as shown in part by China’s political desire to project its rise, as well as its armed forces, as supporting global peace. Zhao Lei, for example, focuses on the ‘soft power’ benefits from China’s participation in the UN’s peacekeeping efforts. As he explains the Chinese perspective, these operations are a ‘multilateral and effective way to enhance China’s soft power, by means of, or in the form of, its military (hard) power’. He goes on, ‘[t]hrough these efforts, China’s image as an aid donor, peace contributor, conflict mediator, emergency rescuer and even initiator of new institutions, coupled with the attractiveness of its development model, allows China to accelerate the pace of its “peaceful rise” ’.59 Beyond that, Beijing’s enhanced deployments in peace operations as well as its increased budgetary contributions—from about three per cent in 2008 to ten per

74  China, the UN, and Human Protection cent in 2016—offer the opportunity to present itself as a state committed to the provision of global security goods as befits a responsible great power. To the extent that it is successful in projecting this image as a provider of security, this may also allow Beijing to exert greater influence over the direction of principles and doctrine for UN peace operations. According to Zhao, writing before the major push of the Xi Jinping years, the Chinese government in fact does believe it has the ‘accountability and ability to set agendas to influence the focus’ of this UN activity.60 Chris Alden and Daniel Large, writing in 2015, argue that China has now gone from belief to action. As they put it in relation to China’s security engagement with Africa, ‘Chinese policymakers have begun a process of reframing established norms on security and development that are more in line with its principles and core interests.’61 He Yin argues, however, that Beijing is held back in exerting greater influence by its lack of ‘discursive power’ at the UN’s operational level—that is, within the UN Secretariat—a situation that he believes is detrimental not only to ‘China’s national interests, but is also not conducive to the long-term development of the UN and peacekeeping operations’.62 Using a complex measurement device, He Yin found a serious absence in 2015 of Chinese officials at high levels within the UN Secretariat: at that time only 1.12 per cent of the Secretariat’s staff were Chinese, he calculated, putting Beijing behind all other permanent Security Council members as well as states such as Canada, India, and Germany. Furthermore, of those Chinese in key departments relating to peacekeeping affairs, most were engaged in translation and secretarial work. China was also under-represented, he found, in the various advisory panels set up between 2000 and 2015. He Yin explains this ‘peacekeeping discourse deficit’ as deriving from various political, cultural and material features, including a Chinese failure to implement a strategy to deal with this absence, its relative ‘late-comer’ role as an active participant in UN affairs, and a continuing level of unfamiliarity with the UN culture of ‘interpersonal communication’ such as networking and information sharing. He points too to the difficulties of framing formal documents in English or French and operating at high levels in peace operations where proficiency in both European languages can be critical. He Yin looks to the UN itself as compounding the problem, given the barriers in place within the UN’s existing institutional structure, and the informal rules that have been created that have led, in his view, to Western dominance of rule-making and agenda-setting.63 However, as will be noted in the final section of this chapter, while it is the case that China is less well-represented in posts relating directly to international peace and security, it has acquired a commanding role in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and Chinese nationals have come to head UN Specialized Agencies such as the FAO, the ICAO, UNIDO, and the ITU. DESA itself has become less of a backwater as the UN discourse has shifted to embrace more prominently the role of development in helping to sustain peace and

UN Peace Operations  75 se­cur­ity, and the urgency of reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 has gained in strength. Indeed, the UN Secretariat and some member states have begun to accord the Belt and Road Initiative a primary place in reaching those goals. A Chinese national has also been appointed, for the first time, UnderSecretary-General in the peace and security field: Huang Xia from January 2019 became the UN Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region—probably an in­tim­ation of further such personnel changes to come and an enactment of Guterres’ point that Chinese nationals can act, perhaps more successfully than other nationals, as ‘honest brokers’ in the mediation of some of the African continent’s conflicts. Thus, having built its image as a responsible contributor to UN peace op­er­ ations, China is in a stronger position to deploy this status to promote its ideo­ logic­al beliefs. I turn next to a more detailed treatment of Beijing’s related policy initiatives in service of those beliefs, bearing in mind the difficulties of implementing those views within a multilateral inter-state organization that has its own operational culture, and in the demanding peacekeeping environments in which Chinese forces are engaged.

China’s Peacekeeping Principles and Practice The most well-known of Chinese positions on UN peacekeeping operations are its emphasis on host state consent to these operations, the non-use of force except in self-defence (subsequently expanded to include ‘in defence of the mandate’), and the need to retain impartiality. Chinese statements make frequent and positive reference to the ‘Dag Hammarskjold principles’ of peacekeeping, one 2009 statement, among many other similar ones, depicting these as ‘the basis of [member states’] trust and support for peacekeeping operations’.64 As summarized in a Chinese text on the United Nations published in 2008, ‘China believes that UNPKOs must adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. The Security Council should play a leading role. UNPKOs must strive to solve disputes through peaceful means such as mediation, peacemaking and negotiation rather than use of force.’ As the author put it, ‘China insists on the three basic principles’ referenced earlier. While acknowledging the increasing complexity of UN peace operations, this Chinese scholar also avowed that the three principles still retained their validity. He additionally cautioned that the UN needed to ensure it only ‘acted within its capability’.65 At the heart of that philosophy is a particular view of the state, or in this particular case, the relationship between the United Nations, its member states, and the government that is the focus of a peace operation. China’s regular references to ‘host state consent’ and the need to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the state in question are principles that are projected as the source of

76  China, the UN, and Human Protection international order. As Zhang Yongjin has put it, in an argument which in its references to the presumed assault on Westphalia is perhaps more suited to the 1990s and early 2000s than the period from the 2010s, Beijing ‘has mounted a vigorous defence of the Charter-based pluralist order as normatively sensible, morally defensible and politically viable, precisely at the moment when the Westphalian project as the central normative structure is under relentless assault, when pluralist international society is seen as morally failing, and when the United States’ support of the UN has become increasingly erratic and contingent’. In sum, Zhang avers that Beijing is unwilling to accept that the state-based ‘plur­al­ist order as embodied in the Westphalian project is a moral failure’.66 For China, the state is treated as equivalent to the government in power and the stability of that government is a highly valued goal for China. This translates into a project to support the incumbent government via development of that regime’s capacities to provide for the basic needs of its population as a result of which it is assumed that the domestic political support of that government will deepen. There is little room for an independent role for civil society in this formulation. As its UN statements often indicate, China’s definition of inclusiveness in relation to peace operations and particularly in reference to peacebuilding emphasizes the role of state-based organizations such as the AU, and in particular the developmentrelated institutions such as the Bretton Woods organizations.67 More latterly, Beijing has referenced the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Belt and Road Initiative as playing significant roles in state capacity-building. The capacities to be strengthened relate primarily to basic infrastructure, including roads, railways, ports, and bridges, as well as medical services that, over many years, have been the main focus of China’s contributions to UNPKOs. Thus, when China participates in debates on conflict prevention, peacekeeping, or peacebuilding it often argues that there is a direct relationship between poverty, underdevelopment, and conflict. Its Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN put it succinctly and clearly in 2001: ‘Poverty leads to social instability, which will in turn be a threat to peace and security at the national and even regional ­levels . . . In order to uproot the causes of conflicts, we must help developing countries, especially the least-developed countries, to seek economic development, eradicate poverty, curb diseases, improve the environment and fight against social injustice.’68 In a longer debate focusing on the root causes of conflict in November 2015, China offered a more expansive interpretation of how these problems of ‘poverty and underdevelopment’, particularly in African countries, could be addressed. Restating its boiler-plate commitment to state sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-interference, the statement went on to affirm that the Security Council should direct its attention to removing the root causes of conflicts, and that body should cooperate with other UN agencies together with regional organizations in conducting preventive diplomacy geared to development goals.69 A number of Chinese scholars have labelled this approach ‘developmental peace’,

UN Peace Operations  77 often contrasting that with the idea of ‘liberal peace’ which they claim is entrenched in UN approaches to peace operations.70 During various debates on peacebuilding, China has once again placed the state at the centre of its concerns. For example, in July 2009 in a statement on post conflict peacebuilding, Ambassador Liu Zhenmin proposed that the ‘primary task of post-conflict peacebuilding is to restore the administrative functions of state organs of the country concerned’. He went on to stress that the views of the ‘government and people’ needed to be heeded, that international assistance should follow the development priorities as identified by the country at the centre of the peace operation, thereby avoiding any effort to impose ‘a unified standard for peacebuilding endeavors’. China also advocated close coordination between the PBC and other international development organizations such as the World Bank and IMF.71 By 2013, Chinese statements had become more explicit in tone. First, ‘the ownership of relevant States’ had to be respected. Second, comprehensive peacebuilding strategies had to be devised ‘in accordance with [these countries’] own specificities’ because ‘[a]ll our histories are different; all our specific circumstances are different’ and ‘[t]here is no single model for peacebuilding’. Third, ‘socioeconomic development should be the main way to build peace’. In order to achieve desired outcomes this means that the PBC should improve its coordination with the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, among others, as well as involve the ‘international financial institutions [IFIs], such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund; and to fully listen to relevant regional organizations’.72 In a response to the review of the PBA, the Chinese representative in 2016 had upgraded Beijing’s approach to a ‘ “host-country-led and host-country-driven” principle’ (emphasis added) based on the consent of the host country with a focus on enhancing the capacity of that host country. Once again, the major actors were identified as the host government, the IFIs, and regional organizations, with the African Union being singled out as a primary organization able to provide ‘regional solutions for peacebuilding’.73 Miwa Hirono has summarized the underpinnings of Beijing’s position well, putting it thus: ‘Strengthening the state . . . [in China’s view] will inevitably enhance the degree of harmony between the state and its people. Infrastructure development is seen as an enduring contribution to people because it augments the capacity of the state . . . Furthermore, China assumes a “causal linkage between peace and development” .’74 Indeed, this latter assumption is also represented in a number of the Chinese scholarly contributions referenced earlier and whose work will be explained in more detail in chapter 7 of this book. The CCP’s approach since 1949, and more especially since ‘Reform and Opening’ in late 1978, has convinced Chinese leaders that ‘development is the most important task and development can bring about peace and stability’,75 for reasons that will be explored later on.

78  China, the UN, and Human Protection China’s rejection of the need for vulnerable states subject to UN peace ­p­er­ations to engage in domestic political reform also shapes its approach. o Chinese researchers Wang Xuejun, Zhao Lei, as well as Liu Hui, in arguments that represent a clear rejection of key aspects of liberal peacebuilding, all assert that development, stability, and peace are not reached, and indeed their prospects may well worsen, should there continue to be an emphasis in peace operations on the promotion of democracy and human rights.76 These scholars, at least in their published writings, align closely with official level perspectives. In the 2013 debate on peacebuilding referenced earlier, Beijing’s officials affirmed that the liberal template of democracy, human rights, and a market economy needed to be resisted. Instead, it was important to remember that ‘[t]here is no single model for peacebuilding; . . . socioeconomic development should be the main way to build peace’ and the ‘international community’ had to reduce its ‘focus on human rights, the rule of law and security sector reform’ and give more attention to economic and social development.77

Chinese Flexibility in Demanding Environments However, in line with the expansion of UN activity in support of human protection, together with China’s increased participation, Beijing has faced several challenges to its positions on consent, non-interference, and non-use of force, and has been required to be pragmatic and show some flexibility in order to fulfil its ambition of credible and stepped up involvement. Indeed, by 2016, Beijing had officially noted this requirement to be flexible in the Position Paper it produced that year, where it referred once again to the Hammarskjold principles, but added that ‘[i]n the meantime, we support UN peacekeeping operations in keeping pace with the times through reasonable and necessary reform and innovation’. China praised in passing the Secretary-General’s 2015 review of peacekeeping and promised to support the ‘progressive implementation of relevant proposals in his report’, but cautioned that this could only be on the basis of a ‘broad consensus among member states’.78 For example, Beijing has been confronted with the requirement to behave more flexibly with respect to host state consent in the face of deteriorating conflict situations, to redefine the use of force in peace operations, to consider the requirements of peacebuilding as well as peace enforcement, and to assess how best to respond to the demands made on the UN to protect civilians. This latter area includes acknowledgement of the differential impact that fighting has on women and children (both topics to be taken up in the next chapter). Indeed, one interviewee based in China argued forcefully that China’s rhetoric did not  yet match its behaviour and that this inconsistency was damaging its reputation.79

UN Peace Operations  79 However, many other Chinese and non-Chinese scholars see evidence of Chinese governmental tactical flexibility on these matters,80 a conclusion that arguably needs to be tempered by an understanding that there is still an overriding reluctance to change its fundamental strategic beliefs. For example, to start first with host state consent, from the start of the UN’s more ambitious agenda China has adopted several nuanced ways of dealing with the organization’s more expanded definition of the notion of consent. First, as in the case of Somalia in 1992, Beijing explained its decision to support a Chapter VII peace enforcement resolution because there was no government authority in power to give consent. In the case of the UN’s robust intervention in East Timor in 1999, it accepted the grudging consent of President Suharto as a sufficient signal to support and deploy, aided further by the fact that Beijing had not recognized Indonesia’s takeover of East Timor in 1975.81 Beijing went somewhat beyond this in the case of the crisis in Darfur, Sudan, in the mid-2000s, since in this instance it put considerable pressure on the government in Khartoum to accept a hybrid UN-AU peace operation. This pressure included a Chinese presidential visit to the country, as well as rebukes of the Sudanese government in front of UN and foreign officials. According to Ambassador Wang Guangya: ‘Usually China doesn’t send messages, but this time they did . . . It was a clear strong message the proposal from Kofi Annan is a good one and Sudan has to accept it.’ As Fung has argued, in this case, ‘China’s rhetoric transitioned from giving Sudan agency to give consent to saying that there was no choice for Khartoum’.82 Notably important to China in this and other similar instances has been the attitude of state-based regional organizations, particularly the AU. In the case of Darfur, the AU agreed that there should be a peacekeeping presence and this gave some cover to Beijing and helped to shift its stance. In the case of the Libyan intervention in 2011, discussed in chapter 4, China voted in favour of Resolution 1970 referring head of state Colonel Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court and abstained on the UN Chapter VII Resolution 1973 to establish sanctions as well as a no-fly zone in the country without the consent of the government in power. The vote in favour of Resolution 1970 was largely because all regional organizations supported it, but in the case of Resolution 1973 these groups were divided, leading China to decide upon an abstention.83 In general, according to one interlocutor in Shanghai, if a country’s ‘domestic affairs have significant international (external) spillover, then China will step in with invitation of related parties’ (emphasis added), noting that China and the AU had reached a private understanding on this. One example concerns South Sudan, where China has played a role in inducing mediation while giving primacy and support to IGAD (the Intergovernmental Authority on Development) as the actual regional mediator.84 However, as we shall see in chapters 4 and 5, the Libyan outcome has led to a tightening of Chinese perspectives on this matter and made host state consent an

80  China, the UN, and Human Protection even more vital component for China. Libya remains the exception, therefore, and China’s UN diplomats search for some level of consent in all aspects of peace operations extending even to the circumstance where host state consent, once given, is withdrawn. In this instance, Beijing argues, the UN Secretariat should itself start to construct a specific timetable for withdrawal. After all, in China’s view, ‘the purpose of deploying peacekeeping operations is to help host countries establish and maintain a sustainable environment of peace so as to create conditions for the political settlement of disputes. Adequate cooperation on the part of the host country Governments is an important prerequisite in ensuring that peacekeeping operations achieve their goals.’85 The UN’s original formulation on the non-use of force except in self-defence has also expanded in line with the expansion of mandate tasks. Thus, the idea that force can be used ‘in defence of the mandate’ requires much of troop contributing countries like China, not least because those mandates regularly include the need to protect civilians, especially women and children. Once Beijing had added combat troops to its force commitments, it faced this issue head on. There are occasions when Chinese scholarly analysis or official statements appear to accept this wider understanding of when force can be used. For ex­ample, Zhang Luo appears to take the use of force almost as a given in the context of the UN’s POC mandate, focusing his argument not on whether force should be used but on the obstacles to its use that have been thrown up. In his view, these obstacles lie less with the Security Council and Force Commanders, and more with the DPKO, which he avers tends to prevent field units from taking the initiative.86 Andrea Ghiselli argues that China has become more willing to authorize force in UN operations because of the killings of Chinese citizens, including a hostage in Syria, with the Chinese ambassador alluding to these deaths as ‘among the motivations behind China’s UN vote in favor of allowing the use of force against the terrorists in Syria and Iraq’.87 Similarly, China voted in March 2013 for the creation of the UN’s ‘first-ever “offensive” combat force’ for use in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for one year. Known as the Force Intervention Brigade, its role was to ‘carry out targeted operations’ to ‘neutralize and disarm’ various Congolese rebel forces (including the notorious M23) and foreign armed groups.88 These moves required the Chinese government to find a justification for the expansion in use of force principles. Thus, Beijing’s UN representative explained that his country had voted in favour of the resolution because it was ‘seriously concerned about the worsening humanitarian situation in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as its impact on the wider region . . . [and] because [the resolution] stated clearly that the creation of the specialized intervention brigade would not create a precedent or undercut traditional peacekeeping principles’.89 It helped too that the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the DRC described the situation in the east of his country as ‘an exceptional situation that requires exceptional measures’.90

UN Peace Operations  81 However, Chinese official statements also demonstrate a continuing ambivalence on this question, or more precisely reflect its preference for the UN Security Council only to construct a robust resolution that sanctions the use of force once all other methods have been tried and seen to fail. What China wants is a focus on political dialogue, mediation, and conflict resolution. As China put it in a long statement in response to the New Horizon report of 2009, the UN ‘should focus particular attention on formulating an integrated conflict prevention and reso­lution strategy’. It should pay ‘equal attention . . . to the deployment of peacekeeping operations and the promotion of political negotiations’. Indeed, the UN should ‘focus more on promoting political dialogue and reconciliation so that there is a peace to keep’.91 In this respect, Beijing demonstrated its support for an idea later prominent in the 2015 HIPPO report and thereafter with the emphasis on the ‘primacy of politics’. This position also helps to explain why Chinese official statements have not moved from describing these UN missions as ‘peacekeeping operations’ rather than as ‘peace operations’ as HIPPO recommended. Similarly, in the case of Mali, while China’s decision to deploy combat troops to that UN operation represented a notable change in stance, it chose to emphasize the limited role that Chinese forces would play in the country. A Chinese Ministry of Defence spokesperson was careful to describe these troops as ‘guard teams’, reminding his audience that the UN did not engage in combat and did not have combat forces. These guard teams were in place, he stated, to help guarantee the security of UN headquarters and the living quarters of the peacekeepers.92 Indeed, that limited role has been illustrated only too well in its camp in Gao, Mali. Despite those Chinese troops being ‘impressively equipped’, they have not been encouraged to meet the challenge directly; instead, they ‘rarely venture outside their base’.93 Similar caution has had disastrous consequences in South Sudan when particular crises have developed. In this instance, China’s Ministry of National Defence described the battalion-level forces deployed there as ‘security troops . . . tasked to implement security and protection, rather than to carry out traditional combat tasks’. The spokesperson confirmed that ‘the UN peacekeeping troops will not get directly involved in the armed conflicts of the mission country’.94 Indeed, the independent investigation of the violence that occurred in Juba in July 2016 found several examples where UN force and police contingents failed in their duty to protect civilians, including ‘at least two instances in which the Chinese battalion abandoned some of its defensive positions’ at one of the protection of civilians’ site for which they had responsibility.95 This report blemished what had otherwise been a positive record—albeit in the past in mostly less demanding environments—with respect to China’s contributions over the years. It also temporarily reopened a debate in Beijing’s Ministry of National Defence about the viability of such deployments.96

82  China, the UN, and Human Protection If peace enforcement measures have raised serious dilemmas for China’s ­ eacekeeping principles, this has also been largely true when it has debated the p ideas of conflict prevention, which can be operationalized in ways that breach the concept of non-interference in internal affairs. Beijing’s positions on conflict prevention provide further illustration of its bifurcated approach in its Security Council behaviour where it often signs onto or abstains on resolutions of which it is wary, leaving it to its statement in the debate itself to indicate its points of disagreement. For example, in Security Council Resolution 2171 on conflict prevention, which passed unanimously in 2014, China found itself signing up to an ambitious reso­lution that supported a determination to make more effective use of ‘negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement and resort to regional and sub-regional organizations and arrangements as well as the good offices of the Secretary-General’—all elements that it could support. However, that resolution also affirmed the ‘preventive value of sanctions, special political missions, peacekeeping operations and human rights mechanisms’. In the debate itself, China displayed its continuing ambivalence and retreated to a very narrow interpretation of this resolution, emphasizing international community support for the sovereign state’s own efforts to maintain peace and stability, and pointing to ‘dialogue’ as the most promising route to promoting reconciliation and thereby preventing conflict.97 Thus, some flexibility is evident from this examination of Chinese action, but so too is its preference for a constrained UN role in the maintenance of inter­ nation­al peace and security. This emphasis on constraint raises questions as to the extent to which its ideas complement or differ from those outlined in the various reports and official reviews referenced earlier. Its preferences also suggest the need to contemplate the impact that China’s more prominent place in UN peace operations may have on future mandate design. As in other issue areas where ideas undergo some evolution, there may be multiple layers to these new official UN policy prescriptions, which can be cherry-picked in the search for some level of compliance, exploited to mask a compliance failure, or modified to enhance levels of behavioural consistency with the policies in question. On balance, China has tended to use its rhetoric to cherry-pick among the recommendations of these official reviews. There are, in fact, many suggestions in these UN-authorized reports that China can support, notably the avoidance of overly ambitious ‘Christmas tree’ UN mandates, and support for new and strengthened standby arrangements. Beijing has also used new funding pledges to aid the rapid deployment of regionally based units, such as for the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis unit. In addition, frequently the UN reports discussed earlier pay close attention to the African Union as a regional organization able, through its deployments, to aid the UN as it engages in mediation and various other aspects of a peace operation.98 The UN reform proposals also stress the

UN Peace Operations  83 rejection of ‘template’ missions, preferring instead missions be developed in response to local conditions, and to show due regard for the sovereignty prerogatives of the host state, especially for its development plans. The HIPPO and AGE reports, as well as Secretary-General Guterres’ emphasis on the primacy of pol­it­ ics in his A4P, have all expressed disquiet about the prevalence of militarily heavy UN operations. Beijing, too, has constantly insisted on mediation and dialogue rather than military solutions. Where Beijing most differs from Brahimi and the various subsequent reviews of peace operations is in the attention that these reports give to human rights, inclusiveness, and the need for early warning. This is apparent in the discussions of conflict prevention, but could equally be illustrated beyond the prevention focus. As the 2000 Brahimi report noted in its section on preventive action, ‘every step taken towards reducing poverty and achieving broad-based economic growth is a step towards conflict prevention’—a sentiment that the Chinese government would wholeheartedly applaud. But the report does not leave it there and points to the indivisibility of the relationship between poverty, dis­crim­in­ ation, and human rights violations. Long term preventive strategies, the Brahimi report affirmed, needed to include the protection and promotion of human rights, and the development of representative political institutions. ‘Every group,’ it stated, ‘needs to become convinced that the state belongs to all the people.’99 The HIPPO report in its section on prevention stresses the need to continue the promotion and protection of rights as a means for conflict prevention and to prevent relapse. It points to the UN’s efforts in this regard including the development of national capacities to ‘prevent human rights violation, as well as to strengthen the capacities of civil society and communities to carry out early warning and response’.100 As noted earlier and as is illustrated in these last two quotations, inclusiveness for the UN means broad representation from civil society and other local groups, whereas Beijing defines inclusiveness in a more limited way involving the government in power, regional state-based organizations, as well as the IFIs. Conflict prevention in these UN reports also references the need for early warning and early action. This might involve using UN country teams, backed up where necessary by additional advisers and experts, including non-governmental organizations that monitor the potential for a societal breakdown, or the growth in threats to human rights. The Secretariat argues that Security Council members themselves should be more prepared to visit turbulent areas and to receive information that indicates a need to step in early to prevent an escalation in violence.101 However, China’s statements on conflict prevention say little about early warning, most probably because it perceives that sovereignty concerns are raised by this form of ‘intrusiveness’. Instead, Beijing places more emphasis on the longer-term development needs of states caught up in violence and avoids reference to the indivisibility of the UN’s three-pillar approach, which stresses peace and security,

84  China, the UN, and Human Protection economic and social development, together with the protection of human rights. In what follows, I argue that some of these differences in ideas have come into sharper focus following Beijing’s decision to step up its material contribution to UN peacekeeping.

Building UN Capacity and Chinese Power: China’s 2015 Pledges Chapter 1 made the argument that the advent of the Xi Jinping presidency, starting in late 2012, made a difference in foreign policy terms. Xi has been a more decisive leader, has garnered more power into his own hands, is more confident of the value of the Chinese contribution to world order, and more willing to unleash bold foreign policy initiatives. However, 2015 is a critical year for this study not only because of Xi’s commitment to build UN and AU capacity in particular areas of activity, but also because of the reactions of some senior-level UN officials as well as state representatives to these new initiatives. These reactions demonstrate an apparent enhancement of Chinese influence at the United Nations. Increased power and a more positive image in the UN context appear to have developed in tandem in this more recent period of China’s UN policy, although revelations about the high levels of repression in Xinjiang have dismayed many in the UN Secretariat (see chapter 6). China’s contributions to the overall UN budget as well as the peace operations budget had expanded markedly by 2015. In 2016, it overtook Japan to become the second largest contributor to the peacekeeping budget (rising from 10.24 per cent then, to 15.22 per cent for 2019–21) and in 2019 it became the second largest contributor to the UN budget as a whole, also knocking Japan back into third place.102 Beijing makes frequent reference to this enhancement of its status, not least because it can contrast its largesse with the diminution in resources that the Trump administration is offering the UN. However, budgetary power also stands as a potential source of leverage, as well as a boost to its image of responsible great power, able and willing to offer global security goods. Turning to President Xi’s landmark speech to the UN General Assembly in September 2015, he not only claimed a special status for China as the ‘first country to put its signature on the Charter of the United Nations’ (at the time it was the Republic of China led by the Chinese Nationalists) but also made a number of bold pledges. Xi announced the establishment of a ten-year US$1 billion China-UN Peace and Development Trust Fund, that it would join the new UN Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System—and to this end would establish a Chinese peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops—and would offer a grant of US$100 million to the African Union over five years to support the establishment of the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response

UN Peace Operations  85 to Crisis unit.103 Further commitments of funding for African security have come at subsequent FOCAC summits, including the 2018 forum meeting where China pledged to channel funds into a China-Africa Peace and Security arrangement, and to give support for fifty programmes in ‘law and order, peacekeeping, antipiracy, and counter-terrorism’.104 All of these 2015 pledges either have been fulfilled, are en route to fulfilment, or have been surpassed by other additional commitments. The UN has formally registered the 8,000-strong troop contingent, and 800 of these are to be made part of a UN ‘vanguard’ rapid response unit. Zürcher records that the 8,000 strong contingent includes ‘six infantry battalions, three companies of engineers, two transport companies, four second-grade hospitals, four security companies, three fast-reaction companies, two-medium-sized multipurpose helicopter units, two transport aircraft units, one UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle] unit, and one surface naval ship’. Additionally, China has committed to provide police units, a helicopter squad, and de-mining equipment. Beijing also pledged to train an additional 2,000 non-Chinese peacekeepers by 2020.105 China’s military base in Djibouti (termed in its parlance a ‘logistical support facility’) officially opened in 2017. It is the country’s first overseas facility of this kind. Among other things, it is in place to provide support for China’s role in Africa’s UN peace operations.106 The China-UN Peace and Development Trust Fund (PDTF) has developed a bureaucratic profile and agreed a series of programmes since its inauguration. Chinese nationals mainly staff its steering committee, and it has two sub-funds: the Peace and Security Sub-Fund, which is managed by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development SubFund, managed by the Department for Economic and Social Affairs. DESA has been described privately by many UN officials and UN-country delegations as a ‘Chinese fiefdom’ since former Chinese governmental officials have been appointed Under-Secretaries-General of this Department since 2007. The PDTF approved some 13 projects during its first year including those related to peacekeeping, counterterrorism, rapid response, and education and health care for refugees.107 DESA’s central role has helped to facilitate the relationship between the Belt and Road Initiative and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, which has the ambition to reach the SDG target by 2030. However, it is Secretary-General Guterres who has been particularly solicitous of forging this connection, either because of a fear of SDG failure in the absence of strong Chinese political and financial support, or because of a genuine belief that the BRI can be made compatible with the SDGs. Thus, in speeches at the Belt and Road Forum meetings held in Beijing, Guterres has stressed in 2017 that the BRI is ‘rooted in a shared vision for global development’ with both it and the SDG 2030 Agenda striving to ‘create opportunities, global public goods and win-win cooperation’. In 2019, he alluded to the potential failure of the SDGs to reach its targets—‘on current trends

86  China, the UN, and Human Protection [the plan] will only be halfway towards achieving’ its target by 2030—and he held up the BRI as a means of helping close significant financing gaps related to achieving the SDGs. The ‘five pillars of the Belt and Road’, he stated, ‘are intrinsically linked to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals’. However, that 2019 speech also gave prominence to climate change, as the ‘defining issue our time’. In pointed remarks presumably intended to improve the Chinese government’s approach to implementation of the BRI, Guterres added that countries not only required ‘physical roads and bridges to connect people and markets; they need roads and bridges from the unsustainable, fossil-fuelled grey economy to a clean, green, low-carbon energy future’.108 More elaborate praise for the BRI has come from the President of the UN General Assembly as well as the UN’s Deputy Secretary-General when on a trip to Africa in 2017.109 Even the Security Council has provided some endorsement of the BRI’s contribution to international security via the wording of resolutions, as well as inclusion of the stock phrase associated with the Xi Jinping era and BRI, the ‘shared community of humankind’, rhetorical references the US administration decided to try to stop in 2019. Geopolitical rivalry between the United States and China over the incorporation of Chinese official phrases in earlier resolutions affected the later drafting of Security Council resolutions: for example, disagreement in March 2019 over the phrasing in a resolution designed to renew the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) resulted in only a technical six-month renewal. Six months later, in September 2019, Beijing put forward a draft resolution on Afghanistan, supported by Russia, which demanded—unsuccessfully—that reference to the BRI be included in the text of a resolution that co-penholders Germany and Indonesia had tabled.110 The Chinese government financed the Cruz report, set up to formulate a response to the increase in numbers of fatalities of UN peacekeepers. This funding came from the PDTF, on this occasion from the Peace and Security Sub-fund. As noted earlier, the Cruz report’s recommendations were for a more robust response to military attacks on UN troops and contained expressions of a willingness to take the fight to those who deliberately set out to kill UN forces. However, the UN response, in line with Chinese preferences (as well as those of a number of other UN troop contributing countries), was not to change doctrine but to find better ways of protecting those in the field. Zürcher has recorded strongly negative reactions to the Cruz report’s ‘emphasis on the proactive use of force during his interviews with Chinese scholars and practitioners’.111 Instead, Chinese officials have apparently shown interest in taking part in simulation exercises that might help better protect those UN troops deployed in crisis situations, as well as hardening the protections it offers to its own forces and the camps that they occupy.112 China’s statement at the Security Council debate on peacekeeping reforms, held in September 2018, emphasized the importance of ensuring the

UN Peace Operations  87 safety and medical security of peacekeeping personnel, as well as that adequate resources be in place, and emergency response capacities strengthened,113 an emphasis that it is likely to continue to promote. Guterres’ ‘Declaration of Shared Commitments’ associated with A4P has prompted China once again to lay out its ideological beliefs in this area of UN activity. Beijing has also worked to establish a particular interpretation of the ‘Shared Commitments’ as well as to ensure rewording of some of them (as have other states of course). For example, point 17 of the Declaration in its original formulation in one sentence gave an implied parity of status to the need to engage host governments, as well as civil society and other parts of the local population. However, the final wording divided this commitment into two sentences, the first referencing the host government, with a second offering further support for ‘the inclusion and engagement of civil society and all segments of the local population in peacekeeping mandate implementation’—a downgrading of civil society in this reformulation, which Beijing and some other UN member states could more easily accept. With regard to Guterres’ list of bullet-points outlining in summary form the main elements of A4P, the PRC indicated that it viewed these bullet points as reflecting a hierarchy of concerns, rather than as points of equal standing. Thus, for Beijing, the ‘primacy of politics’ had to come first. As Foreign Minister Wang Yi put it, and in a statement reminiscent of how the ill-fated ‘Human Rights Upfront’ initiative was first presented, ‘the primacy of politics should be reflected in every aspect of the peacekeeping operations’. More privately, China’s officials additionally stated their preference that the ‘protection of civilians’ be pushed further down the list.114 Probably the most controversial of China’s initiatives in this period of increased activism relates to China’s proposals within the Fifth Committee to cut back the budget for human rights posts and human rights funding related to UN peace operations. China, in the past and as quoted earlier, made clear its view that the ‘liberal elements’ of UN peace operations had been given too high a priority, to the neglect of socio-economic imperatives such as the building of the capacity of governments in power. However, its actions have now gone beyond that. During budget negotiations in 2018, the Secretary-General proposed a total of 471 human rights posts, of which China wanted to abolish or not fill vacancies that would have affected thirty-five positions. This was to include posts in the Mali and DRC operations (Russia wanted to go much further, calling for a fifty per cent cut to the human rights budget). In the end, only six human rights posts failed to gain approval,115 indicating some of the difficulties in effecting change in multilateral settings and weakening norms that have become entrenched. However, in the Fifth Committee and elsewhere, and against the background of reductions in the UN’s overall operating budget, particularly as a result of a drop in US contributions, UN officials are braced for a continuing Chinese-Russian onslaught on human rights related activities. It is in these private locations that

88  China, the UN, and Human Protection the Chinese government is showing a more overt willingness to exercise its leverage, with less damage to its image than would occur in more public settings.

Conclusion In the last five or so years, China has undoubtedly made some progress in promoting its vision for the United Nations. Its discourse power has undoubtedly increased, and in this regard it has attempted to downgrade the role of civil society in UN peace operations, and to put its weight firmly behind the ‘primacy of politics’ over that of peace enforcement. In addition, it has raised the profile of DESA in part because the UN Secretariat, and most notably the UN SecretaryGeneral, have given support for a relationship between the BRI and the SDGs. The significance of that latter development relates to the greater prominence that China is giving to its belief in what Chinese scholars label ‘developmental peace’— that is, development as the basis for building state capacity, thereby better maintaining international peace and security. While China does not want to see the development arm of the UN securitized, with an explicit bringing together of security and development goals, it does wish a central place to be accorded to the belief that development is the solution to all ills, including peace and security, as President Xi put it in a major speech in Beijing in 2017.116 Those ideas of developmental peace have begun to spill over into its approach to UN peace operations as China has moved from a passive stance in relation to that area of UN activity to something more active and involved. Through the course of the 2000s, Beijing made clearer its reluctance to embrace robust forms of peace operations, or to maintain the more liberal elements of the mandates— especially in the area of human rights—even though it could not easily implement its preferences. Undoubtedly, there have been varying degrees of flexibility in Beijing’s approach to host state consent, non-use of force, and impartiality, sometimes because of concerns for its image (Darfur being a case in point), acceptance of regional organizational preferences, or the use of ‘exceptional case’ arguments as in the instance of the DRC. Nevertheless, its basic commitment to these three principles, and therefore to state primacy, still continues to dominate its rhetoric and remains its preferred approach. Given the complexity and demanding nature of ongoing conflict situations, China’s positions may not be perceived as sufficiently responsive to the current needs by constituencies of importance to China, such as some states within the AU. Beijing often has little to say about the protection of civilians. It has little to offer when there is an urgent need to prevent conflict—notable absences given the Secretary-General’s as well as the UN’s focus on these matters. Instead, Beijing places emphasis on political dialogue, conflict mediation, long-term development strategies, and a larger role for the host state in determining priorities.

UN Peace Operations  89 Beijing’s caution potentially could have the unintended consequence of damaging the image gains that it has made through its valuable participation in UN peace operations. However, that potential damage is mitigated by several factors: the UN’s desperate need for resources, the quality of the Chinese troop and police contributions, as well as the budgetary contributions Beijing is able to make. The assumption is that Beijing is on the brink of acquiring several higherlevel positions within the UN Secretariat as one result of these contributions.117 There is also a recognition at the highest levels of the UN that its presence—as a P5 member, a presumed friend of the developing world, and a government associated strongly with the foundational norm of non-interference in internal affairs—have all added to Beijing’s influence in what has become the UN’s most significant activity in response to breakdowns in international peace and security. Thus, those ‘pen-holders’ constructing UN peace operation resolutions, where they do not accept or encourage a direct Chinese role in crafting those resolutions, in most cases allow Beijing to exercise its power indirectly. Otherwise, they face the prospect of a Chinese abstention, or even threat of a Chinese veto with consequences for the perceived legitimacy of UN action. Thus, Chinese power, its ideo­logic­al beliefs, and international image interact in complex ways, raising the prospects that these social forces can come into closer alignment. This is one major result of its success in constructing a greater role for itself within the United Nations. The study now turns to explore some of the specific elements of UN peace operations. Detailed treatment of the POC and WPS agendas, the subjects of the next chapter, allows for further insight into Beijing’s positions on human protection, the ‘core obligation’ of UN peace operations.

Notes 1. Security Council Research Report, ‘The Security Council and UN Peace Operations: Reform and Deliver’, New York, May 2016, at https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/ research-reports/the-security-council-and-peace-operations-reform-and-deliver.php. 2. Alex J. Bellamy and Paul D. Williams, ‘Trends in Peace Operations, 1947–2013’, in The Oxford Handbook of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, Joachim A Koops, Norrie Macqueen, Thierry Tardy, and Paul  D.  Williams (eds) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 30; Koops et al. ‘Introduction’, 607 and 613; ‘Fifth Committee Approves $6.69 billion for 13 Peacekeeping Operations, 2018/19’, at https://www.un.org/press/ en/2018/gaab4287.doc.htm, 5 July 2018. 3. See https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/3_country_and_mission_10.pdf. 4. Alex J. Bellamy and Charles T. Hunt, ‘Twenty-first century UN Peace Operations: protection, force and the changing security environment’, International Affairs, 91(6), 2015: 1277. UN Secretary-General António Guterres noted in 2018 the foolishness of mandating more than 200 tasks to some missions. See https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/unnews/unrealistic-demands-un-peacekeeping-costing-lives-and-credibility-guterres.

90  China, the UN, and Human Protection 5. Bellamy and Hunt, ‘Twenty-first Century’, 1279. The two authors point to UNSC Resolution 2086 (2013), S/RES/2086, pp. 3–4, para 8 as a pertinent example. 6. Li Dongyan, ‘Zhongguo canyu lianheguo weihe jian he de qianjing yu lujing’ [China’s Participation in UN Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding: Prospects and Ways Forward], Waijiao pinglun [Foreign Affairs Review], 3, 2012: 6. 7. The demands are often overwhelming: for example, in early September 2015, some 186,000 civilians in South Sudan sought the protection of the UN’s military and police peacekeepers inside a POC site. Bellamy and Hunt, ‘Twenty-first century UN peace operations’, 1291. 8. UN Security Council Resolution 2295(2016), SC/12426, 29 June 2016. 9. Cedric de Coning, Chiyuki Aoi, and John Karlsud (eds), UN Peacekeeping Doctrine in a New Era (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017), especially Introduction and Conclusion. 10. For example, as at 28 February 2017, China had 2,567 police and troops on mission compared with 1,563 for the P4 combined. 11. Eli Stamnes and Kari M. Osland, ‘Synthesis Report: Reviewing UN Peace Operations, the UN Peacebuilding Architecture and the Implementation of UNSCR 1325’, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, NUPI Report, No, 2, 2016: 10; Security Council Report, ‘Can the Security Council Prevent Conflict?’, Research Report, February 2017: 3, at https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/research-reports/canthe-security-council-prevent-conflict.php. See also Security Council Report, ‘The Penholder System’, Research Report, 21 December 2018: 2, which notes that beyond drafting and chairing subsequent negotiations, with ‘rare exceptions, the penholder takes the initiative on all Council activities concerning that situation’. At https://www. securitycouncilreport.org/research-reports/the-penholder-system.php. 12. Jason Ralph and Jess Gifkins, ‘The Purpose of United Nations Security Council Practice: Contesting Competence Claims in the Normative Context Created by the  Responsibility to Protect’, European Journal of International Relations, 23(3), 2017: 643. 13. International Crisis Group, ‘Council of Despair? The Fragmentation of UN Diplomacy’, Special Briefing No. 1, Global, 30 April 2019 at https://www.crisisgroup. org/global/b001-council-despair-fragmentation-un-diplomacy? 14. Joachim  A.  Koops, Norrie Macqueen, Thierry Tardy, and Paul  D.  Williams (eds) ‘Introduction: Peacekeeping in the Twenty-First Century’, The Oxford Handbook of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations, 607. But note SIPRI findings that on a relative basis, the annual fatality ratio has actually fallen between 1990 and 2016. See https://www.sipri.org/commentar y/topical-backgrounder/2017/trendsmultilateral-peace-operations-new-sipri-data. 15. Colum Lynch and Ty McCormick, ‘To Save Peacekeeping from Trump’s Budget Ax, Will the U.N. Embrace Fighting Terrorism?’ Foreign Policy, 29 March 2017. 16. He Yin, ‘China’s Doctrine on UN Peacekeeping’, in de Coning et al. (eds), UN Peacekeeping Doctrine, 126. 17. Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, New York: General Assembly, A/55/305S/2000/809, 21 August 2000. 18. Koops et al. ‘Introduction’, 608–9. 19. Koops et al. ‘Introduction’, 611. The formal title of the Capstone review became ‘United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Principles and Guidelines’.

UN Peace Operations  91 20. DPKO and DFS Report, ‘A New Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon for UN Peacekeeping’, July 2009: vi. 21. As it was explained in an interview with a former UN official in London in February 2019, Wang had his ‘red lines’ but was generally a supportive and active participant. The HIPPO report can be found at ‘Report of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations’, A/70/95—S/2015/446, 17 June 2015. 22. See in particular paragraphs 37 and 38 (pp. 24–5), para 57, p. 29, paras. 72 and 73, p. 33, as well as the summary p. 10 of ‘Report of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations’, A/70/95—S/2015/446, 17 June 2015. 23. A useful analysis of the AGE report, together with the 1235 review process and HIPPO report is contained in Stamnes and Osland, ‘Synthesis Report’. 24. Stamnes and Osland, ‘Synthesis Report’, 21–3. 25. ‘Declaration of Shared Commitments to UN Peacekeeping Operations’, at https:// peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/a4p-declaration-en.pdf, [no date]. 26. ‘Improving Security of United Nations Peacekeepers’, 19 December 2017, at https:// peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/improving_security_of_united_nations_ peacekeepers_report.pdf. 27. Numerous interviewees in London, New York, and Geneva made this distinction between China and Russia, at least with respect to Security Council behaviour. When it comes to more private venues, the distinction apparently is less in evidence. 28. Chapter 5, dealing with the Syrian crisis, discusses China’s persistent and unusual use of its veto power during this conflict. Veto issues are also covered in chapter 3. For valuable discussion of China’s earlier patterns of voting within the UN Security Council, see Joel Wuthnow, Chinese Diplomacy and the UN Security Council (London: Routledge, 2013), esp. 15–23. 29. Yongjin Zhang, ‘China and UN Peacekeeping: from Condemnation to Participation’, International Peacekeeping, 3(3), Autumn 1996: 1–15. Note that He Yin divides it differently, with China depicted first in the 1970s as a ‘revolutionary state’ rejecting the extant international order; the 1980s–1990s where it integrates with international society; and the period after the 2000s where its identity as a rising and stronger power is of necessity, he argues, reflected in an enhanced role in UN peacekeeping. See ‘China Rising and its Changing Policy on UN Peacekeeping’, in Cedric de Coning and Mateja Peter (eds), United Nations Peace Operations in a Changing Global Order (London: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2019,) 253–76. Wei Liu regards the period of most significant involvement to be after 1997 with both Presidents Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao making important changes in approach. See China in the United Nations (Hackensack, NJ: World Century Publishing Corporation, 2014). See also the report by Christoph Zürcher, ‘30 Years of Chinese Peacekeeping’, January 2019, Ottawa: Centre for International Policy Studies, University of Ottawa. 30. Zhang, ‘China and UN Peacekeeping’, 2. 31. Andrea Ghiselli, ‘Civil-military relations and organisational preferences regarding the use of the military in Chinese foreign policy: insights from the debate on MOOTW’, Journal of Strategic Studies, 2018: 7, at DOI: 10.1080/01402390.2018.1438892. 32. Liu, China in the United Nations, 194. 33. Gill and Huang, ‘The People’s Republic of China’, 145, and 150. In 2011, a Chinese force commander was appointed to the operation in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

92  China, the UN, and Human Protection 34. Zhang Yixiao, ‘Cong guanli chongtu dao guanli heping: Lianheguo weihe xingdong yu chongtu hou guojia de anquan zhili’ [From Conflict Management to Peace Management: United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and Security Governance in Post-Conflict Countries], Guoji zhengzhi yanjiu [International Political Studies], 1, 2015: 136–53; Jean-Pierre Cabestan, ‘China’s Involvement in Africa’s Security: the Case of China’s Participation in the UN Mission to Stabilize Mali’, China Quarterly, 235, September 2018: 713–34. 35. Andrea Ghiselli, ‘Diplomatic Opportunities and Rising Threats: the Expanding Role of Non-Traditional Security in Chinese Foreign and Security Policy’, Journal of Contemporary China, 2018: 13, DOI:10.1080/10670564.2018.1433584. See also Courtney J.  Fung, ‘What Explains China’s Deployment to UN Peacekeeping Operations?’, International Relations of the Asia Pacific, 2015: 7, DOI:10.1093/irap/ lcv020; and see Mathieu Duchatel, Richard Gowan, and Manual Lafont Rapnouil, ‘Into Africa: China’s Global Security Shift’, European Council on Foreign Relations Policy Brief, June 2016, at https://www.ecfr.eu/publications/summary/into_africa_ chinas_global_security_shift; Frans Paul van der Putten, ‘China’s Evolving Role in Peacekeeping and African Security: the Deployment of Chinese Troops for UN Force Protection in Mali’, Clingendael Report, September 2015 (The Hague: Netherlands Institute of International Relations). The second highest military officer in that op­er­ ation was a Chinese national. 36. See relevant quotes in Rosemary Foot, ‘ “Doing Some Things” in the Xi Jinping era: the United Nations as China’s Venue of Choice’, International Affairs, 90(5), 2014: 1087–8. 37. He Yin, ‘Fazhan heping: Lianheguo weihe jian he zhong de zhongguo fang’an’ [Developmental Peace: China’s Approach to United Nations Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding], Guoji Zhengzhi Yanjiu [International Political Studies], 4, 2017. 38. Adam Moscoe, ‘Crouching Tiger, Blue Helmet: Chinese Combat Troops in UN Peace Operations’, E-International Relations, 3 October 2015, at https://www.e-ir. info/2015/10/03/crouching-tiger-blue-helmet-chinese-combat-troops-in-unpeace-operations/. 39. Ghiselli, Civil-Military Relations’, 9. 40. Matthieu Duchatel, Richard Gowan and Manuel Lafont Rapnouil, ‘Into Africa’, 5. 41. Gill and Huang, ‘The People’s Republic of China’ 150. See also, Hirono and Lanteigne, ‘China and UN Peacekeeping’, 249; Rosemary Foot, ‘ “Doing Some Things” ’, 1093–4. 42. Stefan Stahle helpfully draws attention to some of the scholarly analysis in Chinese that shows how valuable this experience is perceived to be in the training of China’s civilian police units. See his ‘China’s Shifting Attitude Towards United Nations Peacekeeping Operations’, China Quarterly, 195, 2008: 632, note 4. 43. Chin-Hao Huang, ‘Principles and Praxis of China’s Peacekeeping’, International Peacekeeping, 18(3), 2011: 261. A report by the Chinese Academy of Military Science also pointed to the political or image benefits of participation in UNPKOs since they allow the PLA to portray itself as a ‘force for peace’. Duchatel, Gowan, and Rapnouil, ‘Into Africa’, 10. 44. Elor Nkereuwem, ‘Nontraditional Actors: China and Russia in African Peace Operations’, Stimson Organization Policy Brief, March 2017, at https://www.stimson.

UN Peace Operations  93 org/sites/default/files/file-attachments/Nontraditional-Actors-China-Russia-AfricaPeace-Operations.pdf. 45. SC/11414, 27 May 2014. See also Duchatel et al., ‘Into Africa’, 10, and van der Putten, ‘China’s Evolving Role’, 22. Note that condemnation of attacks on oil installations and urging protection of infrastructure does not mandate the mission to provide actual protection for these installations, only the civilians attached to them. See also ChinHao Huang for remarks of a UNMISS spokesperson reinforcing this point: ‘Contributor Profile: the People’s Republic of China’, at http://www.providingforpeacekeeping.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/china-chin-hao-27Apr2017_FINAL.pdf, 4. 46. Fung, ‘What Explains China’s Deployment’, 7–8. 47. Andrea Ghiselli, ‘Market Opportunities and Political Responsibilities: the Difficult Development of Chinese Private Security Companies Abroad’, Armed Forces and Society, 2018: 7, DOI: 10.1177/0095327X18806517. 48. ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Yingfan, Permanent Representative of China to the UN, at the General Debate of the 2001 Meeting of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations of the 55th Session of the UN General Assembly’, 18 June, 2001, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/chinaandun/securitycouncil.thematicissues/ peacekeeping/t26878. I am grateful to Professor Chin-Hao Huang for directing me to this statement and also pointing out that ‘the Chinese ambassador also referenced the importance of civilian police training, professionalization, and deployment’ as Brahimi had suggested. ‘This occurred around the same time as the establishment of China’s Civilian Peacekeeping Police Training Center (in Langfang, about 40km southeast of Beijing). The training facilities there were meant to train Chinese police officers that will deploy for UN peacekeeping missions and also over time to train police forces from other UN peacekeeping troop contributing countries as well.’ Email communication 16 April 2017. 49. Fung, ‘What Explains China’s Deployment’, 10, 16. See also 16–21. Courtney J. Fung also discusses this in her China and Intervention at the UN Security Council: Reconciling Status (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), esp. chap.  4. See also Zheng Chen ‘China and the Responsibility to Protect’, Journal of Contemporary China, 25(101), 2016: 691. 50. Quoted in Richardson, ‘A Responsible Power?’ 288. 51. Shogo Suzuki, ‘Seeking “legitimate” Great Power status in post-Cold War International Society: China’s and Japan’s participation in UNPKO’, International Relations, 22(1), 2008: 56. 52. Zhao Lei, ‘China’s Influence on the Future of UN Peacekeeping’, in Cedric de Coning, Andreas Oien Stensland, and Thierry Tardy (eds), Beyond the ‘New Horizon’: Proceedings from the UN Peacekeeping Future Challenges Seminar, Geneva, 23–4 June 2010, 87. (Oslo: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, 2010). 53. For example, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China, ‘Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly’, 7 September 2016, http://www.fmprc/gov.en/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1395489.shtml; Zhao Lei, ‘Two Pillars of China’s Global Peace Engagement Strategy: UN Peacekeeping and International Peacebuilding’, International Peacekeeping 18(3), 2011: 346; ‘Chinese peacekeeping forces signifies China’s contribution to world peace and

94  China, the UN, and Human Protection development’, People’s Daily, 25 December 2018, at http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/1225/ c90000-9531720.html. 54. Marc Lanteigne, ‘China’s UN Peacekeeping in Mali and Comprehensive Diplomacy’, China Quarterly, March 2019: 12, DOI:10.1017/S030574101800173X; Duchatel, Gowan, and Rapnouil, ‘Into Africa’, 1. 55. Xinhua, ‘Chinese President meets UN Chief ’, 20 June 2013. See also Foot, ‘ “Doing Some Things” ’. 56. Wang Yi, ‘Exploring the path of major-country diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics’, remarks at the luncheon of the World Peace Forum, Tsinghua University, 27 June 2013, at http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/wjb_663304/wjbz_ 663308/2461_663310/t1053908.shtml, accessed 6 August 2014. 57. Ban’s statement in Beijing, ‘Remarks at the China Peacekeeping Military Training Centre’, 19 June 2013, at https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/speeches/2013-06-19/ remarks-china-peacekeeping-military-training-centre. 58. ‘New U.N. Chief, in China, Calls for Human Rights Respect’, Reuters, 28 November 2016, at https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-china-un/new-u-n-chief-in-china-calls-forhuman-rights-respect-idUKKBN13N0XQ. 59. Zhao Lei, ‘China’s Global Peace Engagement Strategy’, 352. 60. Zhao, ‘China’s Global Peace Engagement Strategy’, 358. 61. Chris Alden and Daniel Large, ‘On Becoming a Norms Maker: Chinese Foreign Policy, Norms Evolution and the Challenges of Security in Africa’, The China Quarterly, 221, 2015: 123–42. 62. He Yin, ‘Lianheguo weihe shiwu yu zhongguo weihe huayu quan jianshe’ [United Nations Peacekeeping Affairs and China’s Discursive Power], Shijie Jingji yu Zhengzhi, [World Economics and Politics], 11, 2016: 61. 63. He Yin, ‘United Nations Peacekeeping Affairs’, 40–61. 64. ‘Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin, “Comprehensive Review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects” ’, 27 October 2009, at http://www. china-un.org/eng/chinaandun/securitycouncil/thematicissues/peacekeeping/ t623231.htm. 65. Jiang Zhenxi, ‘UN Peacekeeping Operations’, in United Nations: Towards a Harmonious World, edited by the UN Association of China (Sichuan People’s Publishing House, 2008), 65. 66. Zhang Yongjin, ‘China and liberal hierarchies in global international society: power and negotiation for normative change’, International Affairs, 92(4), 2016: 801 and 807. In an era that has seen a rise in populist sentiment, and attacks on multilateralism, it has become more difficult to argue that the pluralist state-based order is under assault. 67. ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Security Council Open debate on the Post-Conflict Peacebuilding’, 30 April 2013, http://www.china-un.org/eng/chinaandun/securitycouncil/thematicissues/peacebuilding/t1036388.htm. 68. Statement made 5 February 2001, and quoted in Zhao Lei, ‘China’s Global Peace Engagement Strategy’, 353. Chinese officials have often described Darfur’s problems as less a human rights issue and more related to poverty and a lack of development. See also China’s statement at the UN debate on ‘the role of the Security Council in humanitarian crises’, S/PV.5225, 12 July 2005: 20, where the Chinese representative

UN Peace Operations  95 stated, ‘most humanitarian crises take place in less-developed areas and are closely linked with poverty and underdevelopment’. 69. S/PV.7561, 17 November 2015. 70. See for example, He Yin, ‘Fazhan heping’ [Developmental Peace], and his ‘Guifan mian zheng yu hubu’ [Norms Competition and Complementation: Peacebuilding as Case Study], Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi, [World Economics and Politics] 4, 2014: 105–21; Zhang Yixiao, ‘Cong guanli chongtu dao guanli heping: Lianheguo weihe xingdong yu chongtu hou guojia de anquan zhili’ [From Conflict Management to Peace Management: United Nations Peacekeeping Operations and Security Governance in Post-Conflict Countries], Guoji Zhengzhi Yanjiu [International Political Studies], 1, 2015; Wang Xuejun, ‘Developmental Peace: Understanding China’s Africa Policy in Peace and Security’, Chris Alden, Abiodun Alao, Zhang Chun, and Laura Barber (eds) China and Africa: Building Peace and Security Cooperation on the Continent (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018); Xue Lei, ‘China’s Development-Oriented Peacekeeping Strategy in Africa’, in Alden et al., China and Africa. 71. ‘Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin at Security Council Open Debate on Postconflict Peacebuilding’, 22 July 2009, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/hyyfy/t575181. htm. 72. ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Security Council Open Debate on the Post-Conflict Peacebuilding’, 30 April 2013, http://www.china-un.org/eng/chinaandun/securitycouncil/thematicissues/peacebuilding/t1036388.htm. 73. S/PV.7629, 23 February 2016. 74. Miwa Hirono, ‘Three Legacies of Humanitarianism in China’, Disasters, 37(S2), 2013: S210 (London: Overseas Development Institute). 75. Wang Xuejun, ‘Developmental Peace’. 76. Wang Xuejun, ‘Developmental Peace’; Zhao Lei, ‘China’s Global Peace Engagement Strategy’, 353. Liu Hui has asserted that ‘development, stability, and harmony is more attractive’ for Africa than ‘democracy, freedom plus market economics’. Liu is quoted in Alden and Large, ‘On Becoming a Norms Maker’, 134. Notably, these Chinese authors often draw on the work of Western sceptics of some of the practices associated with UN peace operations, such as Roland Paris, At War’s End: Building Peace after Civil Conflict (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004); Oliver P. Richmond, Failed Statebuilding: Intervention and the Dynamics of Peace Formation (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2014), among others. 77. ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Security Council Open debate on the Post-Conflict Peacebuilding’, 30 April 2013, http://www.china-un.org/eng/chinaandun/ securitycouncil/thematicissues/peacebuilding/t1036388.htm. 78. ‘Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China at the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly’, 7 September 2016, at https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/ wjdt_665385/2649_665393/t1395489.shtml. 79. Interview in Shanghai, October 2018. 80. For three among several possible references see He Yin, ‘China Rising and its Changing Policy’, 265–7; Pan Yaling, ‘Cong hanwei shi changdao dao canyu shi changdao’ [From Defensive Advocacy to Participatory Advocacy], Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi [World Economics and Politics], 9, 2012; and Miwa Hirono, Yang Jiang, and Marc

96  China, the UN, and Human Protection Lanteigne, ‘China’s New Roles and Behaviour in Conflict-Affected Regions: Reconsidering Non-Interference and Non-Intervention’, Introduction to Special Issue, China Quarterly, March 2019, DOI:10.1017/S0305741018001741. This issue also contains a valuable survey of an intense debate in China about these matters: see Camilla T. N. Sørensen, ‘That is Not Intervention; That Is Interference with Chinese Characteristics’, China Quarterly, March 2019, DOI:10.1017/S0305741018001728. 81. Rosemary Foot and Andrew Walter, China, the United States and Global Order (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 47–50. Courtney  J.  Fung also discusses these two cases, among others, in similar terms in her China and Intervention, 19–21. 82. Courtney  J.  Fung, ‘What Explains China’s Deployment’, 16, and more generally see 12–18, and her China and Intervention, chap.  4. See also ‘China’s Foreign Policy Experiment in South Sudan’, International Crisis Group, Report no. 288, Brussels, 10 July2017,athttps://www.crisisgroup.org/africa/horn-africa/south-sudan/288-china-sforeign-policy-experiment-south-sudan. 83. Fung, China and Intervention, chap. 5. 84. Email communication with scholar in Shanghai, October 2018. See also Pang Zhongying’s references to non-indifference in ‘China’s Non-Intervention Question’, Global Responsibility to Protect, 1(2), 2009: 237–52. 85. ‘Peace Operations Facing Asymmetrical Threats’, S/PV.7802, 7 November 2016: 24. 86. Zhang Luo, ‘Guize zhiding yu lianheguo weihe budui wuli shiyong’ [Rulemaking and the Use of Force by United Nations Peacekeeping Forces], Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi [World Economics and Politics], 3, 2015. See also Peiran Wang, ‘China and the Third Pillar’, David Fiott and Joachim Koops (eds) The Responsibility to Protect and the Third Pillar (London: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2015), 79–96. 87. Ghiselli, ‘Diplomatic Opportunities and Rising Threats’, 13. 88. ‘ “Intervention Brigade” Authorized as Security Council grants Mandate Renewal for United Nations Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo’, SC/10964, 28 March 2013. 89. SC/10964, 28 March 2013. 90. SC/10964, 28 March 2013. 91. S/PV/6178, 5 August 2009. 92. Xinhua, ‘China to send security forces for peacekeeping mission in Mali’, 28 June 2013. Courtney Fung has argued that this is part of a ‘learning time lag’ and that Beijing had not anticipated the pressures its troops would come under, and had made adjustments by the time it deployed in South Sudan. See ‘Providing for Global Security: Implications of China’s Combat Troop Deployment to UN Peacekeeping’ (forthcoming). 93. Duchatel, Gowan et al. ‘Into Africa’, 7. 94. Quoted in He Yin, ‘China’s Doctrine on UN Peacekeeping’, in de Coning et. al. (eds) UN Peacekeeping Doctrine in a New Era, 125. 95. ‘Executive Summary of the Independent Special Investigation into the violence which occurred in Juba in 2016 and UNMISS response’, S/2016/924, 1 November 2016. 96. Fung, ‘Providing for Global Security’ (forthcoming); and my interview with UN official, New York, 20 March 2019. 97. ‘Security Council, Adopting Resolution 2171 (2014) pledges better use of system-wide approach to conflict prevention’, SC/11528, 21 August 2014.

UN Peace Operations  97 98. See too Chinese remarks in response to the Secretary-General’s report on UN peace operations and the UN’s relationship with the AU. China’s representative emphasized the need for the Security Council to take measures to help build up the AU’s capacities in alignment with the expressed concerns of AU member countries. China’s statement also referenced the $100 million in Chinese military aid in support of the AU’s standby and rapid reaction forces, as well as the establishment of the China-UN Peace and Development Trust Fund which will ‘help the United Nations focus on peace and development projects in Africa’. S/PV.7971, 15 June 2017. 99. Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, A/55/305S/2000/809, 21  August 2000 at p.5. Note that the report is quoting here from the SecretaryGeneral’s Millennium Report, A/54/2000. 100. HIPPO report, A/70/95-S/2015/446, at 34. 101. See for example the HIPPO report, A/70/95-S/2015/446 at 32–3. 102. ‘China rises to 2nd largest contributor to UN budget’, Xinhua, 24 December 2018. 103. ‘Working Together to Forge a New Partnership of Win-Win Cooperation and Create a Community of Shared Future for Mankind’, 28 September 2015, at https://gadebate. un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/70/70_ZH_en.pdf. Subsequently, China and the UN signed an agreement to pay $20 million annually for 10 years into the PDTF, divided equally among the two Sub-Funds that are within the PDTF. Reuters, 6 May, 2016. 104. ‘China Expands its Peace and Security Footprint in Africa’, International Crisis Group Report, [ICG] 24 October 2018, at https://www.crisisgroup.org/asia/north-east-asia/ china/china-expands-its-peace-and-security-footprint-africa. 105. ICG, ‘China Expands’; Zürcher, ‘30 Years of Chinese Peacekeeping’, Table 2, 34. At 58, Zürcher provides a more detailed list of Chinese-supplied equipment and has suggested that the UN ‘will increasingly buy Chinese technology and equipment’. See also Paul Nantulya, ‘Chinese Hard Power Supports its Growing Strategic Interests in Africa’, Africa Center for Strategic Studies, Washington DC: US National Defense University, 17 January 2019, at https://africacenter.org/spotlight/chinese-hardpower-supports-its-growing-strategic-interests-in-africa/. Chinese statements at the UN also list some of these commitments. See for example Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu’s remarks, S/PV.8218, 28 March 2018. 106. Tyler Headley, ‘China’s Djibouti Base: a One Year Update’, The Diplomat, 4 December 2018, at https://thediplomat.com/2018/12/chinas-djibouti-base-a-one-year-update/. 107. ‘Steering Committee of the Peace and Development Trust Fund discuss the future of the Fund’, 3 February 2017, at https://www.un.org/en/unpdf/stories.shtml; Interviews in New York, March 2019. The current head of DESA is Liu Zhenmin, former Chinese Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, New York, 2006–2009, and Permanent Representative at Geneva, 2011–2013. 108. António Guterres, ‘Remarks at the opening of the Belt and Road Forum’, 14 May 2017, at https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/speeches/2017-05-14/secretary-general’sbelt-and-road-forum-remarks; ‘Secretary-General’s remarks at the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation’, 26 April 2019, at https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2019-04-26/secretary-generalsremarks-the-opening-ceremony-of-the-belt-and-road-forum-for-internationalcooperation.

98  China, the UN, and Human Protection 109. Colum Lynch, ‘China Enlists UN to Promote its Belt and Road Project’, Foreign Policy, 10 May 2018, at https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/05/10/china-enlists-u-n-topromote-its-belt-and-road-project/. 110. See chapter 6 for further instances of the UN’s adoption of Chinese discourse. In S/RES/2405, 8 March 2018, the Council unanimously agreed to extend the mandate for another year; but see also ‘UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Mandate Renewal’, 15 March 2019, at https://www.whatsinblue.org/2019/03/unassistance-mission-in-afghanistan-unama-mandate-renewal.php. It took five rounds of negotiations of the full Security Council alongside several bilateral meetings to agree this technical, six month, rollover resolution. For the September 2019 controversies see, What’s in Blue, ‘Afghanistan: Council to Vote on UNAMA Mandate’, 16 September 2019, at https://www.whatsinblue.org/2019/09/afghanistan-council-tovote-on-unama-mandate.php. See also the earlier UN Resolution 2344, 17 March 2017, for adoption of ‘win-win cooperation’ language as well as ‘shared community of mankind’. 111. Zürcher, ‘30 Years of Chinese Peacekeeping’, 53. 112. Interview with UN official, New York, 27 March 2019. 113. Statement at https://www.china-un.org/chn/lhghywj/fyywj/123sdaf32/t1595415.htm, 13 September 2018. 114. ‘Opening a New Chapter of UN Peacekeeping to Honor our Shared Commitments to Peace’, 26 September 2018, at https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/a4pevent-china-statement_en.pdf, accessed 30 April 2019; Interview with representative from country mission to the UN, New York, 27 March 2019; email communication with UN official, April 2019. 115. Zürcher, ‘30 Years of Chinese Peacekeeping’, 60; Jake Sherman, ‘With Peacekeeping Budget Approved, More Contentious Negotiations Lie Ahead’, 13 July 2018, New York: IPI/Global Observatory, at https://theglobalobservatory.org/2018/07/peacekeepingbudget-approved-contentious-negotiations-ahead/, accessed 30 April 2019. This Chinese hostility towards these positions predates the debates over the 2018–2019 budget. See Colum Lynch, ‘China Eyes Ending Western Grip on Top U.N. Jobs with Greater Control over Blue Helmets’, 2 October 2016, http://foreignpolicy.com/ 2016/10/02/china-eyes-ending-western-grip-on-top-u-n-jobs-with-greater-controlover-blue-helmets/, accessed 6 March 2017. Samantha Power, former US ambassador to the United Nations during the Obama presidency, described some of what she had experienced in her response to a question at the John F. Kennedy, jr. forum, Harvard Kennedy School, ‘Destined for War: Can America and China Escape the Thucydides trap?’ 22 March 2017. 116. ‘Full text of President Xi’s Speech at Opening of Belt and Road Forum’, Xinhua, 14  May 2017. Chapter  7 also explores Chinese voices on human security, which unsurprisingly mostly emphasize freedom from want rather than freedom from fear. 117. An assumption stressed in my several interviews with UN officials in New York in March 2019.

3

The Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda The protection of civilians in armed conflict (POC) has been recognized since the late 1990s as a core obligation of UN peace operations and vital to the le­git­im­ ation of the Security Council’s efforts to control and confront large-scale violence. This protection requirement has come to pervade all such operations, and is an explicit focus of the majority of them. For example, in May 2016 some ten out of sixteen UN peace operations had unambiguous POC mandates. As UN SecretaryGeneral Kofi Annan put it in 2000, the introduction of POC onto the Security Council agenda reflected a ‘growing recognition that our first duty in any conflict is to protect innocent civilians . . . [This] is our most important obligation under the Charter.’1 Ban Ki-moon reiterated this pledge in 2012, describing POC as the ‘defining principle’ of the UN.2 Shortly after the commencement of António Guterres’ period as Secretary-General, he similarly acknowledged that the protec­ tion of civilians had to be ‘a key priority’ throughout the lifetime of a peace mis­ sion.3 In this regard, POC has taken on the status of a norm—a standard of appropriate behaviour associated with UN peace operations—though behav­ ioural consistency with this norm has turned out to be singularly problematic. Over the course of this same period, and with the passage in 2000 of Security Council Resolution 1325, the women, peace and security (WPS) agenda has in tandem become a prominent part of the discussion associated with the protection of civilians.4 Widespread agreement that women and children suffer dispropor­ tionately in conflict, and that sexual violence too often is used as a weapon of war or is a pronounced by-product of conflict, has resulted in several resolutions intended to increase the security of women and girls. The resolutions are also designed to punish and deter those involved in egregious violations of their human rights. To give effect to these prescriptions, the resolutions promote the idea that women should play a more prominent role in all aspects of UN peace operations: contributing to troop, police, and civilian contingents; becoming involved in preventive strategies; and participating in peace negotiations. The resolutions additionally stress accountability for those engaged in conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV). Indeed, with evidence that UN peacekeepers themselves China, the UN, and Human Protection: Beliefs, Power, Image. Rosemary Foot, Oxford University Press (2020). © Rosemary Foot. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198843733.001.0001

100  China, the UN, and Human Protection have been involved in ‘appalling cases of sexual exploitation and abuse [which] had tarnished [the UN’s] reputation across the board’,5 this revelation further underlined how urgent it had become to address and reduce this form of violence as a part of the WPS agenda. Thus, since 2000 the POC and WPS mandates have become intimately linked in the language of UN Security Council resolutions and in the design of peace operations. In focusing on these components of the UN’s human protection agenda, the first section of this chapter provides a discussion of some of the steps that have led to the prominence of these issues, noting the difficulties and controversies sur­ rounding the implementation of the POC and WPS mandates. Next, it turns to the official Chinese response to these core areas of UN activity. Beijing has mostly voted in favour of Security Council resolutions in these policy areas, and it has been directly involved in peace operations with explicit POC and WPS dimen­ sions, notably Mali and South Sudan. Moreover, it was with respect to these two operations that China chose to introduce combat troops into its force contingents, thus requiring it to consider directly how force can be deployed in the protection of civilians and women in particular. Moreover, in practical terms, it has made some effort to facilitate training for women peacekeepers. Nevertheless, even as non-combatants become caught up in large-scale vio­ lence, Beijing’s discourse shows its desire to constrain these agendas and to give a more prominent place to long-term solutions that argue for the links between economic development and reductions in conflict. Beijing reiterates its view that civilian protection can best be ensured through the economic development of the states in which they reside. China also accords the government in power the pri­ mary role in providing for non-combatant security in situations of armed con­ flict. In responding to the WPS agenda, Beijing points frequently to what it regards as its own positive record in guaranteeing Chinese women’s rights, and by implication that national level decisions are key to positive outcomes in this issue area. Here too it argues for the role of economic development in facilitating wom­ en’s empowerment. This response, while hardly dismissive, nevertheless is inadequate given the imperative of countering the seriously unequal representation of women in peace operations—including in Chinese force contingents—and the daily acts of vio­ lence with which women are faced. It raises the question directly, as pragmatic constructivists have argued, of how useful Beijing’s official positions are in advancing a norm of protection compared with the alternative perspectives that are on offer.6 However, as with POC, it is a reaction that garners the support of significant parts of the G77 as well as Russia, particularly from the time that Vladimir Putin had consolidated his hold on power. The PRC’s responses illustrate once again the complex interplay between its understanding that it must be responsive in a policy area relating to the ‘freedom

POC AND WPS   101 from fear’ aspects of human security, while continuing to adhere to its belief in the value of highlighting ‘freedom from want’ in a state-based international order. That belief includes a restrained but dominant role for a UN Security Council that Beijing regards as the most legitimate inter-state governance mechanism dealing with the management of international peace and security; but it continues to define what constitutes a threat to international peace and security in a restricted way. With a steadily firmer Chinese official position on these questions, other states are in a position to evaluate the adequacy of Beijing’s responses. However, the constraints that China seeks to impose on the POC and WPS agendas should also be assessed against the background of the challenges that accompany these aspects of human protection. Thus, alongside those states that similarly support a constrained role for the UN in these areas of activity, there are additional prac­ tical challenges that help to garner support and sympathy for Beijing’s positions. I turn first to a more detailed consideration of how these issues emerged onto the Security Council’s agenda, and the complexities that have arisen from the attempts at their implementation. The main section of the chapter examines China’s positions, noting both the positive contributions it has made but also the ways in which it stops short of fully embracing either of these two areas of human protection.

The Protection of Civilians The antecedents of this move towards civilian protection are well known. If we focus on the twentieth century, the idea found expression in the Fourth Geneva Convention adopted in 1949 together with the 1977 Additional Protocols.7 In more recent times, undoubtedly the failures of protection in Somalia in 1992, Rwanda in 1994, and Srebrenica in 1995 prompted several global actors and not­ ably UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to highlight the urgent necessity of pre­ venting such atrocities against civilians and women in particular. As Annan put it in his 1998 report on the causes of conflict in Africa, ‘the main aim’ of many intra-state conflicts in the region was ‘the destruction not just of armies but of civilians and entire ethnic groups’. No longer should we think of civilians as ‘in­dir­ect victims of fighting between hostile armies’. Instead, they had become the main targets ‘with women suffering in disproportionate numbers while often also being subjected to atrocities that include organized rape and sexual exploitation’. Neither were relief workers nor UN staff protected as a result of the roles they were playing. They too were being ‘directly targeted’. In a call to action, he stated that the UN needed to engage in ‘defending humanity itself ’.8 Canada’s elected membership of the Security Council in 1999 came with a determination to make POC the central theme of its two-year term of office, and

102  China, the UN, and Human Protection it initiated an open meeting to discuss the issue in February that year.9 That meeting requested the Secretary-General to deliver a report outlining the actions that needed to be taken to provide protection, which he produced in September. In response to that report, the UN Security Council showed itself willing to coun­ ten­ance a role in protecting civilians caught up in armed conflict, in addition to delivering improved security for those forces in place to provide that shield.10 The Security Council mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), authorized by Security Council Resolution 1270, swiftly adopted the new terms of engagement, deciding under a Chapter VII mandate that in the discharge of the mission it ‘may take the necessary action to ensure the security and freedom of movement of its personnel and, within its capabilities and areas of deployment, to afford protection to civil­ ians under imminent threat of physical violence’.11 Attacks on civilians had become recognized therefore as posing a threat to international peace and se­cur­ ity—a signal expansion of the human security agenda that itself was being reenergized under the Secretary-Generalship of Kofi Annan, alongside the efforts he was making to develop a more contingent notion of state sovereignty.12 The Brahimi report produced in 2000 further legitimated the Council’s deter­ mination that UN peace operations should protect civilians, describing that obli­ gation not only as being justified operationally, but also as a moral compulsion.13 The later 2009 New Horizon report underlined how complex and all-embracing the POC requirement in peace operations was expected to be: all parts of the mis­ sion, it stated, had a role to play including the police contingents, the human rights actors, those engaging in security sector reform as well as the military per­ sonnel.14 The year 2009 was important in other ways to the advancement of this agenda: the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) worked alongside the Security Council and agreed to adopt an updated version of a 2002 aide-mémoire which had identified POC concerns in armed conflict. As described by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, John Holmes, that 2009 document raised the important issue of accountability: it ‘included a range of additional measures that could be taken by the Council, such as impos­ ing targeted sanctions against the perpetrators of serious violations against civil­ ians and the referral of situations to the International Criminal Court’.15 From 2010, the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and Department of Field Support (DFS) developed conceptual and operational guidance on POC and offered ‘three tiers of protection’, covering political action such as mediation and good offices (tier one), protection from physical violence (tier two), and building the protective and preventive capacities of states, including rule of law (tier three).16 HIPPO in 2015 similarly reinforced the view that POC had become a core obligation of the United Nations, and that while the UN should adhere to the three underlying principles associated with UN peacekeeping—consent,

POC AND WPS   103 impartiality, and restrictions on the use of force—this trinity of principles should not be ‘an excuse for failure to protect civilians or defend the mission proactively’. Instead, these principles needed to be interpreted flexibly, though the report pru­ dently added that the interpretation needed to be cognizant of the capabilities and resources that the UN had been able to make available.17 July 2015 saw the DFS and DPKO issue further guidance: UN peacekeeping forces were supposed to use ‘all necessary means, up to and including the use of deadly force, aimed at preventing or responding to threats of physical violence against civilians, within capabilities and areas of operations, and without prejudice to the responsibility of the host government’.18 Reports, official guidance, and resolutions implied that the protection of civilians had become established as appropriate behaviour for UN member states charged with supporting peace operations introduced in response to inter- and intra-state conflict. Further exploration of how POC might be implemented more effectively came with the negotiation of the Kigali principles in May 2015. This individual state initiative outside the remit of the Security Council was promoted by the ­government of Rwanda under Paul Kagame. Intended to spur debate over implementation—on questions of when, where and how to use force in the protec­ tion mandate—one of the principles advocates investing troop commanders ‘with the authority to use force to protect civilians in urgent situations’ without recourse to the country’s capital, or recourse to the host state in situations where that state fails to respond quickly or appropriately. The Kigali principles also suggest the taking of disciplinary action against UN troops ‘if and when they fail to act to protect civilians’.19 Unsurprisingly, these ideas have gone well beyond what most countries are willing to countenance in POC operations. Thus, to date, only the P3 among the P5 have signed up to these principles out of a total of thirty-two UN member state signatories (as of July 2018). Indeed, while Kigali has attempted to push the POC agenda beyond any consensus that might have been reached on this issue, such cautionary sentiment is widespread in reference to the POC requirement. Representative of that caution is that all the UN documents referenced so far that have set out to advance peacekeeping principles themselves also sound notes of restraint. On the one hand, they remind UN member states of the obligation to protect non-combatants and the reputational damage to the UN that can occur from a failure to offer protection. However, on the other hand, they also allude to the challenges associated with POC mandates and which arise from the in­ad­ equacy of resources, an unrealistic raising of local expectations about levels of protection to be offered, and an apparent lack of consensus on what it might mean to use force not only in self-defence but also in defence of the mandate. Putting UN troops in the firing line either as deterrent forces or interposing them between civilians and those attempting to harm them also necessarily raises

104  China, the UN, and Human Protection tension between a Security Council mandating these types of operations and those tasked with the day-to-day duties of resolution implementation. The rela­ tionship between host governments and UN personnel can also be negatively affected where action weakens the supposition that peacekeeping troops operate in an impartial way within a war-torn country. Consequently, troop contributing countries (TCCs) have been extremely wary of robust peace operations, especially so among force commanders.20 Debates within the C34—the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations established by the General Assembly—have provided a venue to express this wariness, and to frame support for POC in such a way that puts the emphasis on tiers one and three of the 2010 DPKO/DFS guidance referenced earlier. C34 has also been a venue to highlight the risks to peacekeepers of engagement in robust peace op­er­ ations, and to reduce support for initiatives that seek accountability for those peacekeepers that fail in their duty to provide protection.21 Behavioural contestation of force-related elements of the POC norm in fact has been high. A 2014 report by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services showed that strong uses of force have been ‘routinely avoided’22 or were used at levels that garnered criticism. In the DRC, for example, Indian peacekeepers were drawn into operations against rebel and militia forces, and came under serious attack. However, they were still subject to criticism by officials from the host government for not being aggressive enough in support of the POC mandate.23 The scope of the Mali mission, to include a counter-terrorism focus, has also resulted in con­ troversy not unrelated to the unrealistic expectations associated with the op­er­ ation. Casualty numbers of UN troops and civilians have been high with ‘public demonstrations and attacks against UN forces [being] common’. Chinese forces were caught up in a violent incident in Mali in May 2015 when Rwandan troops stationed with a Chinese unit fired into a crowd of protestors killing several of those protesting. The Chinese base in Gao had already come under mortar attack on a number of occasions before the May violence, but there were further nega­ tive spillovers for the security of Chinese troops as a result of the association with the Rwandan troop behaviour.24 The operation in South Sudan has been similarly troubled and local ex­pect­ ations here have probably been even higher than those in Mali: in early September 2015, for example, some 186,000 civilians in South Sudan sought the protection of the UN’s military and police peacekeepers inside a POC site.25 However, exten­ sive evidence came to light of UN troops and police contingents failing in their duty to protect civilians who had been organized into these UN-protected camps.26 The violence in Juba in July 2016 led the UN to establish an independent Special Investigation Team to examine the horrific instances of sexual and other forms of violence ‘within or in the vicinity of the UNMISS Headquarters . . . and its two adjacent “protection of civilians” (POC) sites, which housed more than

POC AND WPS   105 27,000 internally displaced persons’. Aid workers, UN personnel and local staff also came under attack in a nearby private compound. The investigatory report referred to the POC sites as ‘effectively small cities of thousands of ­people . . . beyond the capability of UNMISS or any peacekeeping mission, and a task that raises unreasonable expectations’. However, it also warned that those sites were likely to remain in place ‘for some years’ suggesting future severe tests of the credibility of the UN mandate and mission.27 Nevertheless, despite controversy and contestation many country delegations have spoken at these UN debates in support of the UN role in providing protec­ tion for civilians, and resolutions still routinely include a POC directive. Indeed, the general provisions associated with those protections have become more demanding still in some respects as the particularly egregious circumstances faced by many women in conflict zones have come into sharper focus.

Women, Peace and Security, and Conflict-related Sexual Violence The women, peace and security (WPS) agenda developed alongside the POC commitment, and has gained some of its momentum from that overlap in timing. It was initiated in Resolution 1325, adopted in October 2000. That resolution called for the greater participation of women in managing or resolving conflict situations, and in particular for the need to augment their presence in decisionmaking, field operations, consultative processes, and peace negotiations. The reso­lution also focused on the particular threats that women and girls face in conflict zones and the prevalence of sexual violence. It noted that of all the civil­ ians affected by armed conflict, women and children accounted for the ‘vast majority of those adversely affected’, not only as direct victims of violence, but also as refugees and internally displaced persons.28 That founding resolution was followed by eight additional resolutions (as at 2019), and the commissioning in 2013 of an important Global Study, discussed below, to investigate what had been done to implement Resolution 1325’s central recommendations.29 There were, of course, many antecedents of importance to Resolution 1325, some going back several decades. More coincidental in terms of timing, Resolutions 1265 (1999) and 1296 (2000) as well as the UN Secretary-General’s reports in 2000 in their discussions of POC urged greater attention to the gen­ dered nature of conflict and the importance of gender sensitivity in post-conflict peacebuilding. The UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995 gave rise to the largest women’s NGO gathering to date with some 30,000 NGOs in attendance.30 That NGO conference helped to forge the agenda of the working group on WPS,31 and in addition the Beijing Declaration and Platform

106  China, the UN, and Human Protection came to be codified in Resolution 1325, with the fifth anniversary celebrations of that Declaration framing the Security Council’s debates in 2000.32 References to that Declaration occur frequently in UN debates and resolutions, perhaps serving to remind Beijing of its special place in hosting an event that initiated a focus on women’s plight in conflict, development, and representation.33 Several subsequent resolutions have given ostensible weight to the argument that the initial resolution represented something of a ‘watershed’ moment for the global feminist movement.34 Some 112 UN member states requested speaking slots on the fifteenth anniversary of the WPS resolution in 2015, demonstrating how important governments have felt it to be to associate themselves with this aspect of the protection agenda.35 However, the resolutions that followed 1325 reveal a trend in the direction of the debate on WPS that reduces the emphasis on women’s participation in the management of international peace and security (and those participation levels have failed to improve, as shown later), placing more stress on measures to prevent and prohibit the use of sexual violence in conflict. Higher levels of female participation in peace operations have proven to be a challenge. Paul Kirby and Laura Shepherd, writing in 2016, record that despite the promise of Resolution 1325 there are few additional female peacekeepers, with only a one per cent rise over the ten years since 2006, and ‘no sustained pro­ gress’ in female contributions to police units since 2010. In addition, women are more likely to be found in observer or political missions than in areas where there is significant on-going conflict. The MONUSCO mission in the DRC, for ex­ample, fielded women peacekeepers at a level lower than the average of other missions: only 492 female soldiers out of a total deployment of 19,657 troops. Similarly, a review in 2012 showed that women comprised less than ten per cent of peace negotiators.36 A SIPRI policy paper, covering the years 2008–17, recorded ­similarly low numbers of female participants: that is, only about four per cent of military personnel, ten per cent of police, and thirty per cent of civilians as at 2018.37 Moreover, few state governments have worked with any speed to propel this agenda forward. A Security Council presidential statement in 2004 promoted the idea of state development of national action plans (NAPs) as a contribution to the implementation of 1325, but this got off to a relatively slow start. Resolution 1889 of 200938 further encouraged states to develop these plans, and this prompted a  more energetic response around the ten-year anniversary of Resolution 1325 (at that stage, in 2010, some twenty-nine states had developed these plans). However, since that particular anniversary, the rate of progress has not gathered much pace, with the numbers complying reaching sixty-six as at 2017. This does not include many of the major troop contributors to peace operations and only the P3 on the Security Council have undertaken this agreed task.39 Nearly half of the plans that have been produced have been criticized for their adoption of a state-centric

POC AND WPS   107 approach and for lukewarm references to civil society involvement in their ­drafting and planning.40 Thus, unsurprisingly, the formal ten-year review of Resolution 1325 in 2010 found the implementation of the resolution to be ‘very weak, uneven and underresourced’.41 In 2013, a further UN resolution commissioned a global study and an associated high-level panel to investigate more fully the causes of the failures so far discovered. The subsequent 480-page report launched in October 2015 noted the very few prosecutions, especially at national level, of those who had engaged in sexual violence, and that only one-third of UN member states had produced NAPs at that stage. It also pointed to a lack of funding for genderrelated issues, as well as a continuing low rate of participation by women in vari­ ous aspects of the peace process. Each of these findings can provide succour for a state with little interest in furthering this part of the human protection agenda. Chiming closely with the HIPPO’s conclusions, the report’s recommendations advocated greater attention to preventive strategies in recognition that militarized missions diminish still further women’s security. As the report put it, ‘military means should only be used as a last resort.’42 It also called for the establishment of an Informal Experts Group to improve oversight of the WPS remit as well as to encourage implementation. A subsequent research report produced in February 2017 stressed how difficult it was proving to be to overcome the culture among Security Council members as well as elsewhere within the UN system that viewed gender questions simply as an ‘ “add-on” component, rather than being one of the central tenets which support conflict prevention and underline long-term stability’.43 Thus, the core obligation of protection of civilians, and especially of women, caught up in violence, as well as the promotion of a larger female role and pres­ ence in UN peace operations, has made either relatively patchy progress or has raised expectations that are not being fulfilled. There are three main ways in which these protection functions can be promoted: the entry of UN troops as a deterrent force; the adoption of measures to reduce or to stop the activities of armed groups that are the sources of threat or perpetrators of violence; and the interposing of UN peacekeeping troops between non-combatants and those attempting to harm them. While the first role has been the most common func­ tion that UN forces play,44 each of these roles has implied an elasticity in the con­ ditions under which force can legitimately be used. The deterrence function has to be made credible, the second role may require such dangerous and arduous tasks as the disarmament and demobilization of armed groups, and that role as well as interposition has required the actual use of force against particular armed opponents. There is also the question of how best to deal with a government that is the primary source of violence. Troop contributing countries have been reluc­ tant to perform these roles, providing avenues of support for a Security Council

108  China, the UN, and Human Protection member, like China, that, as will be shown in what follows, adopts a cautious position with respect to these obligations. The UN’s normative commitment to POC and WPS, alongside widespread doubt about the viability of such action, forms the context for considering China’s role in the promotion of this part of the UN’s protection agenda. Beijing has to balance its commitment to state sovereignty against the recognition that the for­ malized expansion of the protection agenda requires something more from a ‘responsible great power’ and member of the P5. As Lina Gong describes matters, ‘China’s decisions on POC-related issues revolve around Westphalian principles. Nonetheless, contributions to POC efforts are necessary given the increasing international expectation of China and its expanding overseas interests’, a com­ plex combination of beliefs, image, and interests that Beijing has to reconcile.45

China and the POC and WPS agendas The previous chapter established China’s strong rhetorical attachment to the ‘Dag Hammarskjold principles’ of peacekeeping, but also noted some indications of flexibility and an apparent willingness to step up its role in peace operations that have ambitious and dangerous mandates. China has provided personnel for many of the UN operations that have POC dimensions and has spoken in support of the WPS agenda on a number of occasions. In the case of Darfur in the mid2000s, it was pressured to recognize the wide-scale civilian killings there as emblematic of a ‘humanitarian disaster’, and it signed a presidential statement that called on the Sudanese government to cooperate with the International Criminal Court in ending impunity for the abuses that were occurring in the country.46 Beijing’s troops have also faced dangers: they have been involved in missions where a peace agreement is either absent or fragile, suffered some loss of life, and have come under criticism for a failure to protect civilians during attacks in Juba in July 2016.47 Beijing’s stated positions on the POC and WPS aspects of peace operations have been relatively stable over the period since 1999, but events such as the pres­ entation of various landmark UN and Secretary-Generals’ reports, the movement towards R2P from 2001 to 2005, the development of POC doctrine in 2009, the outcome of the 2011 intervention in Libya, as well as the twentieth anniversary of the introduction of POC in 1999, provide valuable nuance. Beijing’s more pro­ active stance taken at the UN as well as elsewhere in conjunction with Xi Jinping’s assumption of the presidency in late 2012, together with the violence directed at Chinese peacekeepers, especially after 2015, has also led to more vigorous state­ ments of its position and on occasion to more obstructive behaviour, as detailed in what follows.48

POC AND WPS   109 A focus on China’s voting positions in the period from 1999 to 2012 is valuable but can lead to a neglect of the beliefs Beijing expresses and that can shift the terms of the discursive debate on these issues. As Sarah Teitt has recorded,49 in the decade after the passage of Resolution 1265 of September 1999, China endorsed several of the major resolutions that referenced POC, including the first substantive Resolution 1270 with respect to Sierra Leone that mandated the mis­ sion to ‘protect civilians under imminent threat of physical violence’. Beijing also endorsed Resolution 1894 of 2009, which requested the Secretary-General to develop operational guidance, in consultation with member states and espe­ cially in consultation with Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs) and Police Contributing Countries (PCCs).50 It gave support to WPS Resolution 1820 of June 2008, which noted that ‘rape and other forms of sexual violence can consti­ tute a war crime’,51 a position connected with the critical stance it decided to take in reference to Sudanese governmental inaction that year. In general, it has sup­ ported calls to give women a more prominent role in the design and implementa­ tion of peace operations. Once committed to an operation, Chinese troops have stayed put despite the difficulties associated with the POC elements of these operations.52 Importantly, however, until the early to mid-2010s, China had sent engineers, medical personnel, military observers, and some police units rather than combat troops and thus had not faced directly questions regarding when and where to use force and how best to ensure civilians are protected. It was not until late 2012 and 2013 that combat forces were added to its force contingents, first in South Sudan and later in Mali. However, examination of China’s statements in reference to the passage of these resolutions provides direct insights into its beliefs about the UN role in human protection. These explanations suggest Beijing’s votes in favour have been reluctant, that it does not give the same priority either verbally or substantively to POC as to the search for political solutions and mediation, that it has worked to hold back the progress of operational guidance, and has generally sought to con­ strain the development of POC and WPS with the latter not being regarded as an appropriate thematic issue for the Security Council’s peace and security agenda. POC is similarly not thought to be an appropriate focus for the Council where POC attacks are not spilling over beyond the state experiencing violence. Beijing casts these situations as an internal affair—the argument used to justify its vetoing of a resolution on Myanmar in 2007. Thus, where the PRC government has given support, its votes relate rather more to its desire not to stand outside a Security Council consensus on these matters than to an acceptance that these protections are both urgent and obligatory for a Security Council engaged in the protection of humankind against wide-scale violence. In this respect, its language critical of the humanitarian disaster in Sudan in 2008 has been something of an outlier and related to its fears of being shunned not only by the P3 but also by the African

110  China, the UN, and Human Protection Union if it had failed to apply its rhetorical as well as its economic and political leverage with Khartoum.53

China and the Protection of Civilians Lina Gong has summarized China’s most consistently articulated positions as stressing the primary role of national governments to provide protection, the need to be cautious about intervening, to place the focus on preventing conflict, and to use peaceful means.54 For example, in Beijing’s statement at the September 1999 Security Council open meeting on POC in armed conflict—the founding year for the development of this obligation—China agreed it was of concern that civilians faced great harm in such conflicts, but the way for the UN to deal with this was ‘to effectively prevent and do away with conflict’, to focus on peaceful resolution, and to eradicate the root causes of conflict ‘by helping countries deal with such issues as economic development and poverty’ through the good offices of the General Assembly and ECOSOC.55 Beijing explained its vote in favour of Resolution 1270 (1999) involving Sierra Leone by emphasizing host state consent: it praised the resolution for accommodating the requests of the Sierra Leone gov­ ernment as well as other African members of the Council and hoped that UNAMSIL would continue to develop close cooperation with that government as well as the ECOWAS monitoring group. It made no mention at all of the protec­ tion of civilians’ aspect of the mandate.56 Later statements made in response to reports of the Secretaries-General, other formal UN statements, and major reports such as Brahimi and HIPPO have uncovered other elements behind Beijing’s reluctance to give strong endorsement of this activity. After the Secretary-General’s March 2001 report on POC,57 Ambassador Wang Yingfan did actually agree that the Security Council ‘should attach importance to the issue’. Nevertheless, he repeated the familiar Beijing view  that the primary responsibility for POC lay with the governments con­ cerned. Certainly, the ‘international community’, as well as regional and intergovernmental organizations, needed to play a role, but Beijing’s representative presented this as an adjunct one. This April statement also gave highly qualified endorsement for a civil society presence, agreeing that NGOs and civil society organizations ‘in regions or countries concerned’ deserved ‘commendation and encouragement’, but they also needed to be ‘properly regulated and guided’.58 As noted earlier, 2009—the tenth anniversary of the introduction of POC— was an important year for deliberations about that crucial element of peace op­er­ ations and China made several important statements in response. In February 2009, the Beijing representative acknowledged that the ‘Security Council was now facing new challenges in crafting peacekeeping mandates, especially as countries

POC AND WPS   111 began asking for the inclusion of new duties, such as the protection of civilians’. However, the statement went on to argue that while that demand was ‘reasonable in isolated cases’, the UN needed to take decisions of that kind in reference to the ‘needs of specific countries, as well as the impacts of decisions on the entire peacekeeping system’, in particular highlighting the resource gap that had opened up as a result of the expansion of peace operational requirements.59 In August 2009, Beijing responded to the New Horizon report in such a way as to under­ mine the notion that the UN had reached a consensus on the issue of POC: ‘Given the ongoing divergence of views on mandating peacekeeping operations to pro­ tect civilians, further in-depth discussions on that issue will be necessary.’60 From 2007, it resisted the setting up of a Security Council Informal Expert Group on POC, eventually permitting its creation in 2009, but on the understanding that such a group would only convene when a peace operation with a POC dimension came up for renewal. The group would not, thus, have a role in addressing devel­ oping protection crises. Even with this restriction in place, China has not joined in the deliberations of the Informal Expert Group.61 A November statement that same year appeared at first to give greater priority to POC, the Chinese representative stating that ‘what the Council should focus on and deal with is the protection of civilians in armed conflict rather than any­ thing else’. However, he also stated that China was ‘not in favor of indiscriminately multiplying such mandates while ignoring real conditions and physical viability’, that each decision on POC should be taken on a ‘case-by-case basis’, and that the three peacekeeping principles of consent, impartiality, and non-use of force ‘except in self-defense’, had to be adhered to if the UN wanted to avoid jeopardiz­ ing the ‘whole peacekeeping process’. China once again chose to put emphasis on the prevention, containment, and resolution of disputes as the best way to address civilian protection, affirming that the root causes of conflict—‘the genesis of the problem’—were linked with poverty and underdevelopment, and these issues needed to be given far greater prominence.62 Possible short or medium-term responses to humanitarian crises were not addressed. China’s positions were most likely influenced by the World Summit Outcome Document’s adoption of the responsibility to protect (R2P) in 2005, R2P’s appear­ ance in resolution 1674 of 2006, and the 2009 development of a three-pillar struc­ ture related to R2P’s implementation. In 2009, China hosted a conference on POC issues, inviting a participant from OCHA to present on the differences between POC and R2P, a matter of some importance to it.63 Beijing’s own statements fre­ quently pointed up the importance of those differences, as it saw them, averring that R2P needed to be approached with caution and as had been set out in reso­ lution 1674, which ‘only reaffirmed in principle the relevant statement as con­ tained in the Summit Outcome without making any further elaboration’. That conjuncture of POC and R2P probably led Beijing to give even greater emphasis

112  China, the UN, and Human Protection in POC operations to the primary role of the state in the provision of civilian protection, in the use of domestic judicial institutions to bring perpetrators of violence to justice, and above all on the need to avoid infringement of the sover­ eignty and territorial integrity of member states. NGOs that were associated, in the Chinese perspective, with a potential expansion of the POC mandate were to be warned against becoming too ambitious: predominantly they should ‘abide by principles of justice, neutrality, objectivity and independence’, and ‘avoid getting involved in local political disputes or negatively affecting a peace process’.64 The UN intervention in Libya in 2011, which established a no-fly zone in the country via UN Resolution 1973 and eventually led to the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi, occasioned a hardening in China’s position. In November 2011, the Chinese Ambassador to the UN, Li Baodong, repeated China’s position that POC is ‘first and foremost, the responsibility of the relevant Government parties to a conflict’, but switching focus, added that ‘[o]ther parties involved in a conflict, including those who intervene, whether domestic or foreign forces, are also dutybound to protect civilians and must abide by international humanitarian law and other relevant international law’.65 This statement was an important precursor to the ideas developed in 2012 in the China Institute of International Studies (the Foreign Ministry-related think tank) and referred to as ‘Responsible Protection’. Among other things, the think tank’s statements castigated Western states for the destruction their actions wrought in Libya, including high levels of civilian cas­ ual­ties.66 It also made China receptive to Brazil’s formulation of ‘Responsibility while Protecting’—ideas that will both be discussed in the following chapter. China’s November statement repeated with greater urgency than in the past its preference for ‘extreme caution’ on any UN-authorized use of force, for measures to promote the ‘early conclusion of a ceasefire, resolving conflicts through dia­ logue, negotiation and other political means’, and the use of the good offices of regional organizations as well as the Secretary-General to mediate solutions. In this regard, its preferences aligned closely with those of other TCCs, which also gave precedence to tiers one and three in terms of the 2010 DPKO/DFS op­er­ ation­al guidance. Ambassador Li additionally made explicit reference in his state­ ment to what he argued was the misinterpretation of Resolution 1973, which in his view led to the illegitimate overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi. In these circum­ stances the ‘principle of protection of civilians [was] distorted to mean that force can be used on a large scale, that infrastructure and residential areas may be bom­ barded and that casualties among women and children are acceptable’.67 We see here an example of where China had become partially entrapped in promoting itself as a supporter of POC, but only provided that promotion could be associated with methods that did not involve the actual use of force to advance these protections. Indeed, when Beijing started to introduce combat troops in Mali, as chapter 2 has already noted, it preferred to undercut any notion that

POC AND WPS   113 these troops would be involved in robust uses of force. Instead, it chose to label its forces as ‘guard teams’, a Ministry of National Defence spokesperson reminding his audience that the UN did not engage in combat and did not have combat forces. These guard teams were in place in Mali, he stated, to help guarantee the security of UN headquarters and the living quarters of the peacekeepers.68 In the case of South Sudan, China’s defence ministry chose to describe the battalionlevel forces deployed there as ‘security troops . . . tasked to implement security and protection, rather than to carry out traditional combat tasks’. The spokesperson confirmed that ‘the UN peacekeeping troops will not get directly involved in the armed conflicts of the mission country’.69 How did China respond, then, to the April 2014 Security Council com­mem­ or­ation of one of the defining UN Security Council failures of the twentieth cen­ tury, the 1994 genocide in Rwanda? On this occasion, the PRC was faced with the need to make a statement that at least acknowledged the horrors that had been inflicted, the importance of preventing a recurrence, and the lessons to be learned from the UN failure to make an effective and early intervention. Ambassador Wang Min did indeed refer to the ‘unprecedented carnage in which hundreds of thousands of civilians were killed’, describing it as a ‘dark page in the annals of humankind’ that ‘should be remembered forever’. However, elsewhere, the Chinese ambassador’s statement returned to the familiar theme of prioritizing the role of national authorities: on the prevention of any recurrence, he emphasized the need to take integrated measures such as the promotion of ‘inclusive political dialogue and national reconciliation’ and to promote governmental adherence to international humanitarian law. The role of the ‘international community’ should be to ‘respect the lead role of the countries concerned . . . and provide constructive support’ leaving it to national judicial systems to ensure ‘due process and justice for the victims of genocide’. In addition, international bodies should ‘prioritize assistance to the countries concerned in achieving economic growth and social progress in order to eliminate economic and social causes of conflict’.70 Once again, there was no reference to how external forces could best respond swiftly and effectively to an unfolding humanitarian crisis of the kind that occurred in Rwanda in 1994. China’s preference is to promote state primacy with a UN role as supportive and engaged in the slow matter of building state capacity, rather than for the Security Council to act as a primary agent of change. Where its interests were particularly engaged, Beijing showed itself willing to adopt a more conspicuous position, even when its actions attracted criticism of  bodies such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Beijing’s response in 2016–17 to the first stages of the crisis in Myanmar, which has led to governmental-sponsored ethnic-cleansing of the Rohingya minority population, has provided several examples of China’s determination to protect this neigh­ bouring government. This is so despite the egregious nature of the violence

114  China, the UN, and Human Protection against this Muslim minority group, and the serious refugee emergency that has resulted for Bangladesh. The Chinese government has made it plain that it would not hesitate to use its veto were a Security Council-endorsed intervention includ­ ing sanctions be attempted, much as it had in 2007.71 It has worked to weaken the force of presidential statements condemning the violence in the country, and has unsuccessfully argued against briefings to the Security Council on the plight of the Rohingya. For example, when the chair of the UN Fact Finding Mission on Myanmar offered a briefing in October 2018, China called for a vote, arguing against the legitimacy of such a briefing. Russia and Bolivia joined it in voting against, with Council members Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, and Kazakhstan deciding to abstain.72 With nine votes in favour, the briefing went ahead. The UK government, which is the pen-holder on Myanmar, realizes that more active Council engagement than this, such as resolutions condemning continuing vio­ lence in the country, will attract a Chinese veto; thus, London has refrained from tabling new draft resolutions.73 China similarly realizes, however, that there is some Security Council action that it cannot prevent. It chose, therefore, not to call for a vote in February 2019 concerning a briefing before the Council of the Special Envoy to Myanmar, since it thought it likely that at least nine members would support the idea of hearing the envoy’s report.74 Myanmar, however, is a special case for China. More often, China found itself abstaining on the trickier UN resolutions with a POC component in this period rather than taking such a prominent blocking position. The case of Burundi was a particularly difficult one for Beijing to resolve. It decided to abstain in July 2016 on Resolution 2303, which authorized the deployment of a UN police unit to monitor the security situation amid reports of gross violations of human rights, on the grounds of an absence of proper consultation with the government in power. China was joined in this abstention by Angola, Egypt, and Venezuela, which all objected to the proposed deployment without the Burundi govern­ ment’s endorsement, but not by Russia, which voted in favour.75 Most likely, China’s abstention came because it balanced the rejection of the police deploy­ ment by the Burundian government against a muddied and divided position on the part of the African Union and African members of the Council. There was also uncertainty about the legality of the Burundian President’s decision to seek a third term in 2015, which sparked mass protests and violence. Moreover, the Burundi discussion, beginning in 2015, was originally framed against the back­ ground of growing atrocity crimes in the country. Resolution 2248 (2015) in early draft form contained R2P language to which China and Russia objected, leading to its removal. This compromise, together with the divisions mentioned earlier, pointed towards abstention as the most prudent Chinese response in 2016.76 With respect to South Sudan, China abstained on Resolution 2304 of 13 August 2016, which renewed the mandate of UNMISS, expanded peacekeeping forces to

POC AND WPS   115 17,000 including a new regional protection force of 4,000, and had the objective of prioritizing civilian protection efforts. This action was taken in the context of the Juba government’s obstruction of UNMISS and other humanitarian actors as they sought to implement their mandates as well as respond to the horrific instances of abuse of civilians in July, including many instances of sexual violence, and which had led to the deaths of Chinese peacekeepers. While Beijing was con­ cerned in this case by the failure to ‘conduct full consultations with the Transitional Government of National Unity of South Sudan on specific issues’, it abstained in part because the idea of a regional protection force was backed by IGAD, a body playing the lead role in the negotiations, and because China’s own forces had come under attack, an outcome that was domestically controversial.77 A draft resolution in December that year that proposed an arms embargo and targeted sanctions also attracted China’s disapproval, as it did for several other members of the Council at a level sufficient to cause the resolution to fail.78 Further attempts to expand the POC obligation to include, for example, a ban on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas (EWIPA)—weapons that are responsible for high levels of civilian casualties—did not appear to find favour with China. At a 2018 meeting of parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), China, working in tandem with Russia, described EWIPA as a ‘fake’ concept, arguing that weapons are inherently explosive devices, and that all countries involved in conflict inevitably fight in populated areas. It also warned against the proliferation of the CCW agenda in light of the organiza­ tion’s financial difficulties, and advocated that the body delete EWIPA as an agenda item for 2019. This sets China against the UN Secretary-General who has lamented the high numbers of civilians killed or injured by explosive weapons each year, as well as setting itself against a range of states (including Chile, Costa Rica, Ireland, Mexico, Morocco, Poland, and the United Kingdom, among several others) who have expressed grave concern about the use of such weapons.79 In a speech at the more public venue of a Security Council meeting in which Guterres introduced his 2019 report on POC, the Chinese ambassador did offer the state­ ment that efforts should be made to avoid ‘the use of high explosive weapons in densely populated areas’, but that hardly represented a ringing endorsement of the Secretary-General’s position on this issue.80 Thus, conservatism with respect to POC best describes China’s articulated positions. As its confidence has grown, it has moved from a series of votes in favour of such missions, to a greater willingness to abstain on resolutions that contain elements of concern to it, a development that more accurately reflects its general wariness of POC, especially its tier two elements that call for protection from physical violence. Above all, it has sought means of preventing deeper UN member-state attachment to the norm of POC, as well as constraint on the ways in which civilian protection can be expanded. It has called persistently for the

116  China, the UN, and Human Protection focus to be taken away from developing new forms of physical protection and towards mediation, dialogue, and responding to the root causes of conflict. In this respect, it has received support from some other TCCs similarly concerned about the consequences for their troops of any use of force on UN POC missions. A similar trajectory is apparent in Beijing’s approach to the WPS agenda.

China and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda Beijing has generally backed WPS resolutions, deplored the deliberate use of sex­ ual violence in armed conflict, and supported the call to give women a more prominent role in all aspects of peace operations.81 A number of its statements after the introduction in 2000 of Resolution 1325 noted the differential impact that violence had on women and children. Beijing described sexual violence against women and their sexual enslavement in armed conflict as ‘not only grave violations of women’s rights but also a flagrant challenge to the human conscience and social justice’.82 Beijing’s remarks also showed that it had become attuned to the ‘women as victim’ and ‘women as agents’ distinction in the peace process. With regard to the latter, Beijing stressed the need for gender equality, better rep­ resentation at the higher levels of the UN, and for females to play a decisionmaking role in the peace process. As the Chinese representative stated in October 2006: ‘A peace process in which women are accorded attention and respect is a promising peace process; a social system in which women are valued and respected is a mature and durable social system.’83 In a later statement, Beijing emphasized women as ‘important partners in the prevention and mediation of conflicts and in post-conflict reconstruction’.84 As the UN resolutions after 1325 turned their attention to the prevalence of sexual violence against women and girls, so did Chinese statements. It described its role in crafting Resolution 2106 (2013) as active—a resolution that recognized rape and other forms of sexual violence as war crimes.85 It made some of its strongest statements when it reflected on the sexual violence perpetrated by UN peacekeepers, adopting the language of ‘zero tolerance’, and the need for firm punishment of those who had engaged in acts of sexual exploitation and abuse, for which there should be no impunity. This was important—and especially for it  as a TCC—in order to ‘uphold the image and reputation of peacekeeping operations’.86 China’s role in hosting the Beijing Women’s Conference in 1995 has influenced its rhetoric on this issue. Beijing made affirmative reference in 2006 to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995, which had stated that ‘[l]ocal, national, regional and global peace is attainable and is inextricably linked with the advancement of women, who are a fundamental force for leadership, conflict

POC AND WPS   117 resolution and the promotion of lasting peace at all levels’. Beijing’s 2006 s­ tatement claimed the profundity of this guidance statement and pledged that it would engage in a ‘continued effort to achieve all the goals in the area of women, peace and security’.87 In an October 2015 statement, Beijing proudly pointed to its role in sponsoring jointly with the UN a ‘trailblazing’ global summit on women—‘The Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Empowerment’. Held in September 2015, this meeting attracted representation from more than 140 coun­ tries, including more than eighty heads of state and government. Once again, Beijing’s statement claimed the 2015 meeting as a further implementation stage of the 1995 Beijing Conference.88 President Xi also announced a donation of US$10 million to UN-Women, ‘to support the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Programme of Action, as well as the relevant Goal of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda’.89 The PRC has regularly highlighted its attempts to enhance the participation of women in peace operations, reporting in 2014 its dispatch of an infantry battalion containing thirteen females to the peace operation in South Sudan. According to the Chinese scholar, Liu Tiewa, these women had been ‘trained in the same fa­cil­ ities and tasks as male peacekeepers and demonstrated particularly excellent operational capabilities to protect civilians in conflict areas’. However, a subse­ quent statement by Ambassador Ma, made in 2018, casts doubt on that similarity of training and experience, and reveals the continuance of gender-stereotypical attitudes; as Ambassador Ma put it, the first female commander in Lebanon led a medical team, and the infantry battalion sent to South Sudan ‘give stationery to children in the refugee camps, disseminate knowledge about the protection of women’s rights and interests, and bring joy and smile to the children’. He also noted that out of more than 2,000 Chinese peacekeepers currently on mission, only fifty were women, without commenting on the policy implications of that low proportion of female members.90 Liu Tiewa, more positively, notes that in 2016 China held an international training course tailored for women peace­ keepers. It attracted about forty female military officers from around the world. Two years later, in 2018, China organized jointly with DPA, UN-Women, and UNDP among others, a regional workshop on the theme ‘Enhancing the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Northeast Asia’.91 However, although Chinese officials’ rhetoric and behaviour in a number of respects fits reasonably well with some of the goals of the WPS agenda, Beijing also uses these occasions to promote its familiar set of beliefs with regard to the protection function, and in ways that often undermine the force of the rhetoric it has deployed. Beijing frequently refers to the need for women’s protection to be recognized as the duty of the government in power, in conflict as well as in postconflict situations; as it stated in 2012, ‘[i]t is important to respect the actions taken by national Governments for the protection of women’s rights in view of each

118  China, the UN, and Human Protection country’s own specific conditions.’92 As one Chinese scholar has put it, from Beijing’s perspective ‘the role of the international community [is] primarily con­ cerned with delivering the relief and recovery pillar’.93 Beijing has made no move to develop its own National Action Plan (NAP)—though its own Human Rights NAPs refer to women’s rights in China. In these ways, it has undermined calls by UN-Women and others for the universal adoption of such action plans, and it has decided to cast the broad WPS agenda as one best conceived of as relating to the protection of women’s human rights rather than women’s relationship with armed conflict. Moreover, China has persistently made moves to connect the WPS agenda with arguments that relate the prevention of violence with economic develop­ ment. In the June 2013 statement, the Chinese representative called on the UN to concentrate on development issues as they affected women, and to scale up its aid in this area in order to deal with the root causes of conflict and to build the cap­ acity of governments in power.94 As Liu has noted, ‘China maintains that “the issue of women is that of development” and that conflicts, poverty and lack of development . . . are the root causes of the crimes and discrimination against women and girls’.95 Beijing has also tried, as in other areas of protection, to narrow the focus of the Security Council’s relationship with the WPS agenda, indicating its reluctance for the Security Council to engage in discussion of a thematic issue such as this, and stating that the Council should not encroach on the responsibilities of other UN bodies such as the Commission on the Status of Women, ECOSOC, and the Human Rights Council.96 China additionally has challenged the Security Council’s role in ‘establishing universal standards with regard to women’s issues and human rights’.97 At times, it will sacrifice the WPS agenda in favour of what it regards as larger issues, including in June 2016 initially refusing endorsement of a presidential statement in a WPS debate on the grounds that its first draft linked too concretely with a conflict prevention agenda that included language on early warning, preventive diplomacy, and preventive deployment that it found objec­ tionable. Phrasing that acknowledged that sexual and gender-based violence often represented an early indication that large-scale violence would soon erupt was a particularly difficult issue for China, as well as for Egypt and Russia. All three governments were successful in having that language on early warning removed.98 Finally, as with POC, China has failed to join the Informal Experts Group (IEG) designed to facilitate and systematize the WPS aspects of the UN Security Council agenda. Although China did not vote against Resolution 2242 that set up this informal group, it did convey its view that the creation of such a body was unnecessary. The UN, it stated, instead ‘should give full play to the existing mech­ anisms, tapping their potential to improve their effectiveness’. At an open debate

POC AND WPS   119 in October 2019, Beijing stated explicitly that the IEG was ‘not an official body of the Security Council’, and that ‘work carried out by it in the name of the Council must respect the views of all Council members in a manner consistent with the Security Council mandate and rules of procedure’. It has been reported that no Chinese representative has ever attended an informal working group meeting.99 With regard to conflict-related sexual violence (CRSV), it is notable that Beijing has described rape as a war crime, and deplored the deliberate use of sex­ ual violence in armed conflict. In 2009, it supported the appointment of a Special Rapporteur on sexual violence and the annual report of the Secretary-General on CRSV has regularly been on the Council’s agenda since that year. Nevertheless, in response to atrocities and designation of rape as a war crime, Beijing has repeated its view that the primary role for establishing accountability rests with national judicial institutions, that efforts to resolve conflicts through diplomacy, me­di­ ation, and good offices should take precedence, and that protection can best be  shored up ‘through stabilization and [the promotion of] equality through development’.100 The year 2019 turned out to be particularly controversial for CRSV resolutions. China and Russia typically have seen recommended approaches for dealing with CRSV as an unwelcome expansion of the WPS agenda, and over some time have baulked at the imposition of targeted sanctions against individuals involved in sexual violence.101 For example, when the mandate for the UN mission in South Sudan came up for renewal in March 2019, controversies among Council mem­ bers over the targeting of individuals involved in ‘planning, directing or commit­ ting acts involving sexual and gender-based violence’ contributed to China, Russia, and South Africa indicating their dissatisfaction with a draft resolution that had been circulated by the United States. Whereas in 2018, this language on targeted sanctions passed in Resolution 2428, in 2019 it was watered down with the new resolution making unspecific reference to the ‘measures adopted by the Security Council’ in that 2018 resolution. China and Russia also sought the removal of additional language in the 2019 resolution calling for intensified UNMISS patrolling in areas at risk for CRSV. The compromise wording arrived at was changed to a call for UNMISS to ‘intensify its presence and active patrolling in areas of high risk of conflict with particular attention to women and children’. The two states also sought removal of one of two references to the report of the Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan, and were successful to the extent that the references were moved to a different part of the resolution’s preambular paragraphs and language referencing the report’s conclusions was removed.102 The passage of Resolution 2467 in May 2019 turned out to be even more con­ troversial. During non-permanent member Germany’s presidency of the Security Council in April 2019, Berlin decided it would devote its time to the struggle against sexual violence in conflict situations. The resolution eventually passed,

120  China, the UN, and Human Protection with China and Russia abstaining, but not before several crucial amendments had been made. Without those amendments, China, Russia, and the United States threatened not simply to abstain but to use their vetoes. In the case of America, that threat was connected with initial language relating to sexual and re­pro­duct­ ive health, which included reference to ‘access to emergency contraception’ and ‘safe termination of pregnancy’. In the case of China, there were various issues that made it uncomfortable: for example, it objected to the proposal to establish a Security Council working group on sexual violence in conflict, stating that it was ‘important to have extensive discussions well in advance’ of any decision to estab­ lish special mechanisms. Apparently, China was concerned that the working group would turn its attention to matters of accountability.103 China also disliked the idea of any expansion of the counter-terrorism sanctions committee’s agenda to include concerns about sexual violence, and it did not want to include refer­ ences to an ICC role in a resolution on sexual violence. Beijing, along with Moscow, became particularly active in response to the German draft. This included their circulation of an alternative joint draft reso­ lution that removed all reference to three issues: sexual violence in post-conflict situations, a role for the International Criminal Court, as well as for the Informal Expert Group on WPS relating to CRSV. It took several further bilateral exchanges between Germany and the three states of China, Russia, and the United States before a final draft could be arrived at. This resulted in the omis­ sion of language on sexual and reproductive health to satisfy the US (though it satisfied few others, including South Africa). To satisfy China and Russia, this required a dilution of the role of the WPS expert group, and the absence of a reference to adding considerations of CRSV to the work of counter-terrorism sanctions’ regimes.104 Ambassador Ma’s statement on Resolution 2467 meanwhile continued a famil­ iar refrain emphasizing political dialogue, respect for national sovereignty and acceptance that governments bear the ‘primary responsibility for preventing sex­ ual and gender-based violence’. Gender equality and women’s empowerment, in China’s view, required the international community to help with the ‘scaling up of women’s rights in post-conflict reconstruction by providing development as­sist­ ance and technical support for their empowerment’. Post-conflict countries needed help to ‘ramp up their economic and social development, and ensure that the development dividend is shared by all, including women’. With regard to the role of ‘women’s organizations and civil society’, these should be guided along a path that focused on social and economic development. These phrases alluded to Beijing’s belief that the empowerment of women was not work primarily for the Security Council: Ma urged that body to ‘fulfil its primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, strengthen coordination with the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council and the Peacebuilding

POC AND WPS   121 Commission, among others, and conduct cooperation in a way that is consistent with its mandate and expertise’.105 China thus ended this anniversary period for WPS and CRSV with two un­usual steps: the threat of a veto on matters connected with this topic, and the circulation (jointly with Russia) of its own draft resolution that weakened various aspects of this particular part of the UN’s human protection agenda. Perhaps Beijing believed it could bear any international image costs because they would be slight: the WPS agenda in general has not received widespread concrete sup­ port from UN member states, as the 2015 global study of the issue has recorded. Moreover, in the case of the final draft of this resolution that Berlin had actively promoted, most attention was directed at the US administration and its insistence that any language on sexual and reproductive health be removed. America’s objection to a role for the International Criminal Court in prosecuting per­pet­ rators also gained more attention than did China’s positions.106

Conclusion Cautious in the initial stages of the development of the POC agenda, international demands for action coupled with potential damage to China’s image from nonparticipation soon prompted Beijing to accept—albeit reluctantly—that civilian protection should become a priority, even a core obligation of the UN Security Council. Similarly, the approbation obvious in the subsequent references to the 1995 Fourth UN Conference on Women held in Beijing, together with its offi­ cially stated belief that China, since Chairman Mao’s time, had worked to ensure ‘Women hold up half the sky’107 helped to garner China’s broad support for the WPS agenda. The more recent focus on the abusive role of UN peacekeepers also cemented Beijing’s adherence to an agenda designed to prevent and protect women from sexual violence, particularly since the uncovering of that abuse has tarnished the role of the UN in an area of operation where China has been able to bolster its image as responsible power. However, China’s wariness towards any expansion of the POC or WPS agen­ das, or to a hardening of accountability mechanisms, other than those that an individual state might initiate in response to violations, has also been made plain. Beijing wishes to restrain the Security Council understanding of when it should act and what represents a threat to international peace and security. Beijing some­ times does question Security Council competence in these policy areas, suggest­ ing instead a role for other UN bodies such as ECOSOC, the General Assembly, the HRC, or Commission on the Status of Women. On occasion, it is aided in this argumentation because any negative fallout from this stance can be cushioned where Beijing’s recommendations fit reasonably well with those that have come in

122  China, the UN, and Human Protection the key UN reports that have been produced over the last decade and a half, align with regional organizational perspectives, or with those TCCs similarly wary of taking on these protection missions. UN reports frequently advocate that UN operations should not take on overly ambitious mandates or mandates that are under-resourced—advocacy that chimes with many TCC and PCC perspectives. However, as we have also seen, China is not always successful in pushing for a narrowing of the Security Council agenda where veto power can neither be threatened nor applied, as with presidential statements and expert briefings. Beijing has constantly put the state at the front and centre of its concerns as it considers the POC and WPS agendas. It reminds its audience regularly that it is the state that bears the primary responsibility in the protection of civilians, in determining how best to protect women’s rights in accordance with a particular state’s own traditions, and in providing for the security of women. In Beijing’s view, national jurisdictions are the bodies that should take up matters of account­ ability for transgressions of international humanitarian law. China appears not to fear negative image consequences as a result of its recent action in the framing of CRSV resolutions, or through its dismissive stance on outlawing the role of explosive weapons in populated areas, the former perhaps because most atten­ tion has been directed to the Trump administration, and the latter because the main discussion has been held in venues that attract relatively little attention. Neither does China seem particularly moved fully to confront the issue of how to respond in cases where the government in power is the source of large-scale violence against civilians, or is unwilling to prosecute those that have acted in serious breach of human rights law. These matters have been of particular con­ cern in the cases of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan among others. Indeed, the UN has reported that in 2016 ‘the Congolese state was responsible for roughly 65% of the human rights violations, and in many parts of the country the army is seen by local communities as the most dangerous armed group’.108 Beijing also places emphasis on addressing the root causes of conflict, which leads it to project violence against civilians and against women in particular as related to levels of impoverishment and a lack of development. In voicing this belief, China similarly centres attention on governments in power and the need to build their capacities in order to enhance their protective competences. In the PRC’s view, as noted earlier, this requires the involvement of bodies other than the Security Council, such as ECOSOC, the General Assembly, and Human Rights Council, and building women’s empowerment requires attention to the Sustainable Development Goals. Beijing also argues that the development of women’s health and education is key to positive change, as well as to the enhance­ ment of women’s rights. Its September 2015 pledge represented a statement to that effect and once again turned humanitarian responses in crisis situations into

POC AND WPS   123 longer-term development assistance. With regard to the countries that contribute troop and police units in peace operations, the international community is there to provide training and resources to defend the mandate, as well as reduce the danger of these units acting inappropriately or inexpertly in service of those man­ dates. China itself, through development of its peacekeeping training centres and through its funding to the AU, is already contributing in this domain. Undoubtedly, China prefers the norm of POC and the related WPS—provided the necessary constraints and redefinitions are in place—to that of the idea of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P). At the risk of over-simplification of the complex relationship between these two related concepts,109 China, as well as several UN officials, and many TCCs, are more wedded to the POC idea than R2P. These con­ stituencies stress that POC, as a functional part of UN peace operations, requires a framework for intervention based on host state consent. That matter of consent is not necessarily required with respect to R2P, at least in the early years of the norm’s formulation, and consent was not obtained in respect of the one major implementation of R2P—the case of Libya. These matters form the subjects of the next chapter.

Notes 1. S/PV.4130, 19 April 2000: 4 and quoted in Sarah Teitt, ‘The Responsibility to Protect and China’s Peacekeeping Policy’, International Peacekeeping. 18(3), 2011: 308. 2. Ban is quoted in Tom Keating, ‘UN Peacekeeping and the Protection of Civilians’ Norm’, Aidan Hehir and Robert  W.  Murray (eds), Protecting Human Rights in the 21st Century (London: Routledge, 2017), 111. 3. SC/12781, 6 April 2017. 4. S/RES/1325, 31 October 2000. See also the valuable discussion of WPS as a ‘norm bun­ dle’ among other telling points in Jacqui True and Antje Wiener, ‘Everyone Wants (a) Peace: the Dynamics of Rhetoric and Practice on “Women, Peace and Security,” ’ International Affairs, 95(3), 2019: 373–92, as well as the comprehensive treatment of the topic provided in Sara  E.  Davies and Jacqui True (eds), The Oxford Handbook on Women, Peace and Security (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019). 5. Guterres’ statement in SC/12781, 6 April 2017. 6. Jason Ralph, ‘What Should be Done? Pragmatic Constructivist Ethics and the Responsibility to Protect’, International Organization, 72(1), 2018: 173–203. 7. Keating, ‘UN Peacekeeping’, 111. 8. A/52/871—S/1998/318, 13th April 1998. And see too Jennifer Welsh, ‘Civilian Protection in Libya: Putting Coercion and Controversy back into RtoP’, Ethics and International Affairs, 25(3), 2011: 256. Notably, the HIPPO report of 2015 stated: ‘the spectre of those experiences [particularly in Rwanda, Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina] must continue to drive the Organization to spare no effort to protect those it is mandated to protect’. A/70/96-S/2015/446, para. 83, p. 36.

124  China, the UN, and Human Protection 9. S. Neil MacFarlane and Yuen Foong Khong, Human Security and the UN: A Critical History (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006), 174. 10. Resolution 1265 of September 1999 started the examination of how best to initiate this process of protection. S/RES/1265 (1999), 17 September 1999. Since that time, POC has been regularly debated by the Council and since 2008 the UN has published annual reports on POC. See Cecilia Jacob and Alistair D.B. Cook, ‘Introduction’, in Jacob and Cook (eds) Civilian Protection in the Twenty-First Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 3; Mats Berdal, ‘What are the Limits to the Use of Force in UN Peacekeeping?’ Cedric de Coning and Mateja Peter (eds) United Nations Peace Operations in a Changing Global Order (Cham, Switzerland: Springer for Palgrave MacMillan, 2019), 113–32. 11. S/Res/1270(1999), 22 October 1999, para. 14. 12. It was in his September 1999 statement to the General Assembly, for example, that Annan emphasized that the international community could not stand idly by watch­ ing gross and systematic violations of human rights, that state sovereignty was being redefined to encompass the idea of individual sovereignty, and that the contemporary reading of the UN Charter meant we were ‘more than ever conscious that its aim is to protect individual human beings, not to protect those who abuse them’. Kofi A. Annan, The Question of Intervention: Statements by the Secretary-General (New York: United Nations Department of Public Information, 1999). 13. A/55/305-S/2000/809, 21 August 2000. 14. ‘A New Partnership Agenda: Charting a New Horizon for UN Peacekeeping’, July 2009, esp. 20, at https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/newhorizon_0.pdf. 15. SC/9571, 14 January 2009. One of my interviewees described the 2009 document as vital to protect against possibly unhelpful revisions that might be forthcoming, espe­ cially since 2019 would be the twentieth anniversary of the first Security Council Resolution on POC. Interview with UN official, 13 December 2018, Geneva. 16. Paddon Rhoads and Welsh, ‘Close Cousins in Protection’, 602. 17. Quoted in Security Council Report, ‘The Security Council and UN Peace Operations: Reform and Deliver’, Research Report, 5 May 2016: 16, at https://www. securitycouncilreport.org/research-reports/the-security-council-and-peace-operationsreform-and-deliver.php. This research report also notes at page 16 that during negoti­ ations for a presidential statement on 25 November 2015, China and the United States negotiated over this wording with China requesting the ‘reaffirmation of the basic peacekeeping principles . . . However, the US insisted on adding language . . . consistent with the HIPPO report’s argument that these principles must be interpreted progres­ sively and with flexibility.’ The HIPPO report is at A/70/95-S/2–15/446, 17 June 2015. For an understanding of how the trinity of principles came to be understood after POC, see Emily Paddon Rhoads, Taking Sides in Peacekeeping: Impartiality and the Future of the United Nations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016). 18. DPKO/DFS Policy: The Protection of Civilians in United Nations Peacekeeping, New York, July 2015, para. 13. 19. For further discussion see ‘The Kigali Principles on the Protection of Civilians’, available at http://www.globalr2p.org/resources/985.

POC AND WPS   125 20. Note, however, the alternative perspective set out in the recommendations of the Cruz report, discussed in chapter 2. 21. Paddon Rhoads and Welsh, ‘Close Cousins in Protection’, 604 and 612. 22. Ingvild Bode and John Karlsrud, ‘Implementation in Practice: the Use of Force to Protect Civilians in United Nations Peacekeeping’, European Journal of International Relations, 20(4), 2018: 889. 23. Richard Gowan and Sushant K Singh, ‘India and UN peacekeeping: the weight of his­ tory and a lack of strategy’, W. P. S. Sidhu, P. B. Mehta and B. ones (eds) Shaping the Emerging World: India and the Multilateral Order (Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2013), 178. 24. Mathieu Duchatel, Richard Gowan, and Manuel Lafont Rapnouil, ‘Into Africa: China’s Global Security Shift’, European Council on Foreign Relations, Policy Brief, 14 June, 2016: 7, at https://www.ecfr.eu/publications/summary/into_africa_chinas_global_ security_shift. 25. Bellamy and Hunt, ‘Twenty-first century UN peace operations’, 1291. 26. Hardly an unusual finding: as a 2014 review of UN peace operations with POC mandates showed, ‘force had almost never been used by peacekeeping forces to protect civilians’. See Keating, ‘UN Peacekeeping’, 119. 27. ‘Executive Summary of the Independent Special Investigation into the violence which occurred in Juba in 2016 and UNMISS response.’ Note the criticisms in the report directed at Chinese troops for their failures in protection, and as detailed in my chapter 2. 28. S/RES/1325 (2000) 31 October 2000. 29. S/RES/2122/2013, 18 October 2013; SC/11149, 18 October 2013. 30. Jude Howell, ‘Post-Beijing Reflections: Creating Ripples, But Not Waves in China’, Women’s Studies International Forum 20(2), 1997: 235. This gathering was determined enough to overcome a last-minute switch of location by the Chinese authorities to ‘a small, sleepy county resort-town in the northern part of Beijing municipality’ well away from the official site of the conference. 31. Laura J. Shepherd, ‘Power and Authority in the Production of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325’, International Studies Quarterly, 52(2), 2008: 393–8. 32. Paul Kirby and Laura  J.  Shepherd, ‘Reintroducing women, peace and security’, International Affairs, 92(2), 2016: 251–2. 33. Paragraph 29 of that Declaration calls for the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls. See ‘Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action’, Beijing 1995, at www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/beijing/pdf/BDP1A%2OE.pdf. One country representative from the Security Council noted that China seems proud of its involvement in 1995 and which led to the Beijing Declaration. Interview, New York, 16 May 2019. 34. Noted in Kirby and Shepherd, ‘Reintroducing women, peace and security’, 249. 35. Soumita Basu, ‘Gender as national interest at the UN Security Council’, International Affairs, 92(2), 2016: 359. 36. Kirby and Shepherd, ‘The futures past of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda’, International Affairs 92(2), 2016: 374–6.

126  China, the UN, and Human Protection 37. Timo Smit and Kajsa Tidblad-Lundholm, ‘Trends in Women’s Participation in UN, EU, and OSCE Peace Operations’, SIPRI Policy Paper, no. 47, October 2018, Stockholm. 38. S/RES/1889 (2009), 5 October 2009. 39. Kirby and Shepherd, ‘The futures past’, 377–8. A useful table has been constructed by Liu Tiewa. See her ‘WPS as Diplomatic Vocation: the Case of China’, Sara E. Davies and Jacqui True (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace, and Security (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 529. 40. Kirby and Shepherd, ‘The futures past’, 383–4 41. Eli Stamnes and Kari M. Osland, ‘Synthesis Report: Reviewing UN Peace Operations, the UN Peace-building Architecture and the Implementation of UNSCR 1325’, NUPI: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, Report no. 2, 2016: 16. See also Global Study: Preventing Conflict, Transforming Justice, Securing the Peace, 14 October 2015, available at http://wps.unwomen.org/. 42. Stamnes and Osland, ‘Synthesis Report’, 22. 43. Security Council Report ‘Women, Peace and Security: Closing the Security Council’s Implementation Gap’, Research Report, February 2017: 2 and 5 at https://www.se­cur­ itycouncilreport.org/research-reports/women-peace-and-security-closing-the-se­cur­itycouncils-implementation-gap.php. 44. Alex J. Bellamy and Charles T. Hunt, ‘Twenty-first century UN Peace Operations: pro­ tection, force and the changing security environment’, International Affairs, 91(6), 2015: 1280. 45. Lina Gong, ‘China’s Dual Approach towards the Protection of Civilians’, Jacob and Cook (eds) Civilian Protection in the Twenty-First Century, 154. 46. Courtney  J.  Fung, China and Intervention at the UN Security Council: Reconciling Status (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 75–82. Notably, however, China abstained on a Security Council Resolution referring the case of Sudan to the International Criminal Court. See Fung, China and Intervention, 63. 47. See chapter 2, and ‘Executive Summary of the Independent Special Investigation into the violence which occurred in Juba in 2016 and UNMISS response’, S/2016/924, 1 November 2016. 48. China’s views on Syria where, comparatively, it has used a strikingly large number of vetoes—at the time of writing, seven out of a total thirteen in the time Beijing has been a UN member—will be tackled in chapter 5. In this chapter, I shall discuss its abstentions on some resolutions it would previously have let through via consensus and its more determined efforts to change the wording of some resolutions. 49. Sarah Teitt, ‘The Responsibility to Protect and China’s Peacekeeping Policy’, International Peacekeeping, 18(3), 2011: 305. 50. S/RES/1894 (2009), 11 November 2009, 6. 51. S/RES/1820 (2008), 19 June 2008, 3. See also Teitt, ‘The Responsibility to Protect’, 305–6. 52. As Roy Kamphausen has noted, just in the four months between January and April 2013, China ‘sent its 15th peacekeeping engineer detachment to the [DRC], its 11th peacekeeping engineer battalion to Lebanon, its 16th PLA medical team to Zambia, its 13th peacekeeping force to Liberia, and its 2nd peacekeeping task force to South Sudan’.

POC AND WPS   127 Kamphausen, ‘China’s Military Operations Other than War: the military ­legacy of Hu Jintao’, paper presented at SIPRI conference, Stockholm, 18–19 April 2013: 5. 53. Fung, China and Intervention, 74–86. Fung also notes the critical timing of the Beijing Olympics (2008) and China’s desire for that to be recognized globally as a major success. 54. Gong, ‘China’s Dual Approach’, 154–5. 55. SC/6728, 16 September 1999. This differed markedly from the Russian statement, given at the same meeting by Ambassador Sergey Lavrov, which stated that while states and parties to the conflict had the main responsibility for protecting civilians, ‘that did not diminish the responsibility of international bodies’. Lavrov went on to deplore the gulf between state acceptance of the Geneva Conventions and levels of compliance with those conventions. He also advocated the creation of a committee within the Geneva Conventions to monitor levels of compliance, supported the Statute of the International Criminal Court, and suggested the establishment ‘of a mass media component to prepare and disseminate information on international human rights’. As is well-known, Russian statements have since moved sharply away from this position. 56. S/PV.4054, 22 October 1999. 57. S/2001/331, 30 March 2001. 58. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China, ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Yingfan, Permanent Representative of China to the UN, on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict’, 23 April 2001, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/chinaandun/se­cur­ itycouncil/thematicissues/civilians_ac/t26866.htm. 59. Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, Press Release, GA/PK/199, 23 February 2009. 60. S/PV.6178, 5 August 2009. 61. Teitt, ‘The Responsibility to Protect’, 307–8. 62. ‘Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yesui at the Open Debate of the Security Council on the “Issue of Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflicts” ’, 11 November 2009, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/chinaandun/securitycouncil/thematicissues/civilians_ ac/t626916.htm. 63. Interview in Geneva, 13 December 2018. 64. ‘Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin at the Security Council Open Debate on “Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict” ’, 4 December 2006, at http://www.chinaun-org/eng/chinaandun/securitycouncil/thematicissues/civilians_ac/t282528.htm. See also ‘Statement by Ambassador Zhang Yishan . . .’ 9 December 2005 and ‘Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin . . .’ 28 June 2006, at same web address but document numbers t226262.htm and t260820.htm. 65. S/PV.6650, 9 November 2011. 66. Ruan Rongze, ‘Responsible Protection: Building a Safer World’, China International Studies, 34(3), 2012: 19–41, Beijing: China Institute of International Studies, at http:// www.ciis.org.cn/english/2012%9606/15/content_5090912.htm. 67. S/PV/6650, 9 November 2011. 68. Xinhua, ‘China to send security forces for peacekeeping mission in Mali’, 28 June 2013. Courtney Fung has argued that this is part of a ‘learning time lag’ and that

128  China, the UN, and Human Protection Beijing had not anticipated the pressures its troops would come under, and had adjusted by the time they deployed in South Sudan. See ‘Providing for Global Security: Implications of China’s Combat Troop Deployment to UN Peacekeeping’ (forthcom­ ing, Global Governance). 69. Quoted in He Yin, ‘China’s Doctrine on UN Peacekeeping’, in de Coning et al. (eds) UN Peacekeeping Doctrine in a New Era, 125. 70. ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Security Council Meeting in Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Genocide in Rwanda’, 16 April 2014, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/chinaandun/t1155704.htm. See also Wang Min’s statement in February 2013, where he stated that the ‘international community’ should do nothing to ‘replace the responsibility and obligation of the country con­ cerned’ to carry out the protection mandate. ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at  the Security Council Open debate on Protection of civilians in armed conflict’, 12  February 2013, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/chinaandun/securitycouncil/ thematicissues/civilians_ac/t1013938.htm. 71. Simon Adams, ‘If Not Now, When? The Responsibility to Protect, the Fate of the Rohingya and the Future of Human Rights’ (New York: Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Occasional Paper Series, No. 8, January 2019), 6–10, at http://www.globalr2p.org/media/files/occasionalpaper_rohingyafinal.pdf. 72. Monish Tourangbam and Pawan Amin, ‘China’s Dynamic Grip on Myanmar’, The Diplomat, 7 May 2019, at https://thediplomat.com/2019/05/chinas-dynamic-grip-onmyanmar/; Michelle Nichols, ‘China fails in bid to stop U.N.  Security Council Myanmar briefing’, Reuters, 24 October 2018, at https://www.businessinsider. com/r-china-fails-in-bid-to-stop-un-security-council-myanmar-briefing-2018%9610. 73. What’s in Blue, ‘Myanmar: Briefing on Latest Developments’, 16 January 2019, at https://www.whatsinblue.org/2019/01/myanmar-briefing-on-latest-developments. php. 74. What’s in Blue, ‘Myanmar: Briefing and Consultations with Special Envoy’, 27 February 2019, at https://www.whatsinblue.org/2019/02/myanmar-briefing-and-consultationswith-special-envoy.php. 75. S/RES/2303, 29 July 2016; ‘Statement by Ambassador Liu Jieyi after Voting on the Draft Resolution on Burundi’, 29 July 2016 at http://www.china-un.org/eng/gdxw/ t1386675.htm; Elor Nkereuwem, ‘Nontraditional Actors: China and Russia in African Peace Operations’, Stimson Policy Brief, March 2017: 27–8. Jennifer Welsh discusses the Burundi case as an implied R2P operation, though much (but not all) of that lan­ guage was removed from the pertinent resolutions. See ‘Norm Robustness and the Responsibility to Protect’, Journal of Global Security Studies, 4(1), 2019: 67. 76. ‘The African Union and the Burundi Crisis: Ambition versus Reality’, Briefing No. 122/Africa, 28 September 2016, Brussels: International Crisis Group, at https:// www.crisisgroup.org/africa/central-africa/burundi/african-union-and-burundi-crisisambition-versus-reality; Jennifer M. Welsh, ‘Norm Robustness and the Responsibility to Protect’, 64. Although the 2016 resolution passed, the police unit was never deployed. 77. SC/12475, 12 August 2016. 78. S/2016/1085, 23 December 2016.

POC AND WPS   129 79. Katrin Geyer, ‘Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas’, CCW Report, 6 (12), 26 November 2018, at www.reachingcriticalwill.org. I am grateful to a UN official in Geneva for sharing information on this topic. Interview, Geneva, 13 December 2018. See also the Secretary-General’s Report on POC, S/2019/373, 7 May 2019, where he calls for measures to protect civilians against explosive weapons (para. 57). Notably that report also asks the Council to be ‘proactive in seeking accountability where pro­ gress at the national level is unreasonably slow or non-existent, including referring situations involving war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide to the International Criminal Court’ (p. 16, para. 63[f]), another proposal that is controver­ sial for Beijing. 80. S/PV.8534, 23 May 2019. 81. See in particular Liu Tiewa, ‘WPS as Diplomatic Vocation: the Case of China’, Sara  E.  Davies and Jacqui True (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Women, Peace, and Security (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 528–39. 82. ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Security Council Open debate on Women and Peace and Security’, 24 June 2013, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/chinaandun/ securitycouncil/thematicissues/women_ps/t1063858.htm. 83. ‘Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Liu Zhenmin at the Security Council Open debate “the Roles of Women in the Consolidation of Peace” ’, 26 October 2006, at http://www.china-un-org/eng/chinaandun/security­ council/thematicissues/women_ps/t1277629.htm. See also ‘Statement by Wang Min at the Security Council Open Debate on Women and Peace and Security’, 30 November 2012, at http://www.china-un-org/eng/chinaandun/se­cur­itycouncil/thematicissues/ women_ps/t995905.htm. 84. ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Security Council Open Debate on Women and peace and security’, 30 November 2012, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/ chinaandun/securitycouncil/thematicissues/women_ps/t995905.htm. 85. S/RES/2106, 24 June 2013; ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Security Council Open Debate on Women and Peace and Security’, 24 June 2013, at http:// www.china-un.org/eng/chinaandun/securitycouncil/thematicissues/women_ps/ t1063858.htm. 86. S/PV.7711, 10 June 2016. 87. ‘Statement by Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Liu Zhenmin at the Security Council Open Debate “the Roles of Women in the Consolidation of Peace” ’, 26 October 2006, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/chi­ naandun/securitycouncil/thematicissues/women_ps/t277629.htm. 88. S/PV.7533, 13 October 2015: 20. 89. S/PV.7533, 13 October 2015: 21. UN-Women (otherwise known as the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women) was set up by the General Assembly in 2010 as part of the UN’s reform agenda. See http://www. unwomen.org/en/about-us/about-un-women. 90. ‘Statement by Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu at Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security’, 25 October 2018, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/hyyfy/ t1607619.htm. 91. Liu, ‘WPS as Diplomatic Vocation’, 534.

130  China, the UN, and Human Protection 92. ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Security Council Open Debate on Women and peace and security’, 30 November 2012, at http://www.china-un.org/ eng/chinaandun/securitycouncil/thematicissues/women_ps/t995905.htm. 93. Liu, ‘WPS as Diplomatic Vocation’, 531. 94. ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Security Council Open Debate on Women and Peace and Security’, 24 June 2013, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/ chinaandun/securitycouncil/thematicissues/women_ps/t1063858.htm. 95. Liu, ‘WPS as Diplomatic Vocation’, 531. See also the statement on 13 October 2015, S/PV.7533, for similar references to the need to foster an environment favourable to women’s social and economic development. 96. ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Security Council Open Debate on Women and Peace and Security’, 24 June 2013, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/ chinaandun/securitycouncil/thematicissues/women_ps/t1063858.htm. See also the discussion in Jacqui True and Antje Wiener, ‘Everyone Wants (a) Peace: the Dynamics of Rhetoric and Practice on “Women, Peace and Security” ’, International Affairs 95(3), 2019: 567 where the authors provide the names of several other states that agree with China’s position, including Russia, Iran, India, and Pakistan. 97. ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the Security Council Open Debate on Women and Peace and Security’, 30 November 2012, at http://www.china-un.org/ eng/chinaandun/securitycouncil/thematicissues/women_ps/t995905.htm. 98. What’s In Blue, ‘Adoption of a Presidential Statement on Women, Peace and Security’, 15 June 2016 at https://www.whatsinblue.org/2016/06/adoption-of-a-presidentialstatement-on-women-peace-and-security.php. 99. S/PV.7533, 13 October 2015: 21; ‘Women, Peace and Security: Closing the Security Council’s Implementation Gap’, 18; ‘Statement by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security’, 29 October 2019, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/hyyfy/t1711768.htm. 100. S/PV.8234, 16 April 2018. 101. Sophie Huve, ‘The Use of UN Sanctions to Address Conflict-related Sexual Violence’, Policy Brief (Washington DC: Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, 2018). An arresting discussion of the focus on sexual violence in conflict, in part as a result of what she argues is the negative consequences of such a focus, is contained in Séverine Autesserre, Peaceland: Conflict Resolution and the Everyday Politics of International Intervention (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), chap. 4. 102. What’s in Blue, ‘UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Mandate Renewal’, 14 March 2019, at https://www.whatsinblue.org/2019/03/un-mission-in-south-sudan-unmissmandate-renewal.php. Resolution 2459 was adopted on 15 March 2019, with four­ teen votes in favour and only Russia abstaining. See also What’s in Blue, at https:// www.securitycouncilreport.org/monthly-forecast/2019%9605/south-sudan-3.php. Of course, the fact that the United States provided the first draft influenced both China’s and Russia’s stances towards it. 103. Interview with country mission to UN, New York, 16 May 2019. 104. What’s in Blue, ‘In Hindsight: Negotiations on Resolution 2467 on Sexual Violence in  Conflict’, 2 May 2019, at https://www.whatsinblue.org/2019/05/in-hindsightnegotiations-on-resolution-2467-on-sexual-violence-in-conflict.php. Interviews with country missions to the UN, New York, 16 May 2019.

POC AND WPS   131 1 05. S/PV.8514, 23 April 2019. 106. See, for example, Susan Hutchinson, ‘US Undermines UN Security Council Resolution Against Wartime Rape’, 24 April 2019, at https://www.lowyinstitute.org/ the-interpreter/us-undermines-un-resolution-against-wartime-rape. 107. ‘Statement by Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu at Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security’, 25 October 2018, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/hyyfy/ t1607619.htm. 108. Quoted in Berdal, ‘What are the Limits to the Use of Force’, 124. 109. See for example, the Special Issue of the journal, Global Responsibility to Protect, 6(2), 2014, for a discussion of these complexities.

4

The ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P) The idea of a national and global ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P) populations from mass atrocities has developed alongside the related acknowledgement that the protection of civilians (POC) in armed conflict is at the core of the UN mission.1 However, despite sharing the same ethos, and with each subject to some behavioural and rhetorical contestation among UN member states, some im­port­ant distinctions between these concepts have rightly been noted. The POC is broader than R2P in that the former relates to all protection concerns and not just the four mass atrocity crimes spelled out in R2P and detailed in what follows. Conversely, POC is also narrower in scope in that it refers to protection in the context of armed conflict, whereas it is recognized that mass atrocities may well occur in situations other than war.2 There is also the thorny issue of host state consent: legally, POC operations under Chapter VII authorization can take place without that consent being in place. However, the formal set of principles guiding UN peace operations with POC mandates include a requirement for the host state’s agreement to that intervention by UN forces.3 R2P, on the other hand, involves forms of intervention in connection with a ‘manifest failure’ on the part of a government in power to provide protection for its people from mass atrocities, and on the assumption that the need for formal consent can be overridden. Probably as a result of this issue of consent, unlike POC, the R2P idea has ‘sat­ ur­ated the discourse of international policy’ relating to humanitarian crises and mass atrocities, as well as academic scholarship on matters of protection. References to R2P have appeared in numerous speeches, UN reports, UN reso­ lutions, academic writings, and policy papers.4 R2P has regularly been used as a case study among those International Relations’ scholars interested in the path­ ways to norm creation and diffusion, serving to take the debate beyond some of the earliest literature on ‘norm cascades’, as well as beyond models that offered an overly linear account of norm progression.5 Evaluations of R2P’s normative status have also exercised its detractors and supporters in the scholarly and policy com­ munities, with some arguing it is an ‘emperor with no clothes’, that it adds to the already damaging practices of external intervention, and others maintaining that its progress towards consensual status has been remarkably swift as has been its staying power or ‘stickiness’ as a norm.6 POC simply has not attracted this degree of investigation or contention, mainly because it has been enveloped within the voluminous literature on UN peace operations.7 China, the UN, and Human Protection: Beliefs, Power, Image. Rosemary Foot, Oxford University Press (2020). © Rosemary Foot. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198843733.001.0001

The ‘ Responsibility to Protect ’ ( R2P )   133 Yet the reasons for this saturation of both the policy discourse and academic writings are telling in a more significant way when considering the distinctions between POC and R2P, some of which are potentially fatal to the progression of the latter. Not least this relates to R2P’s continuing—if inaccurate—association with a coercive, Western-backed, interventionist agenda that breaches the idea of state consent. As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon put it in 2009, the legacy of the 1990s had been unhelpful to the development of a norm of R2P in that a dec­ ade marked by instances of wide-scale abuse had ‘posed a false choice between two extremes: either standing by in the face of mounting civilian deaths or deploying coercive military force to protect the vulnerable and threatened popu­ lations’.8 It has been difficult to shake off that binary distinction in relation to the R2P idea, not least in light of developments in Libya in 2011. That coercive interventionist association also brings to the fore in a more direct way the matter of host state consent in relation to any action by an international community bent on responding to mass atrocities than is the case in the planning and execution of UN peace operations with a POC component. Thus, R2P pro­ duces a far sharper debate than POC over contemporary understandings of sov­ ereignty. It highlights the continuing power of UN Charter-based norms such as the sovereign equality of states and non-interference in internal affairs. R2P’s original formulation has come to cluster alongside sovereign equality, and the stickiness of the latter norm has been strengthened, particularly as a result of the later development of R2P’s three-pillar structure, as is argued in what follows. Thus, the normative context or ‘nesting’ surrounding R2P allows for legitimate constitutive and re-constitutive practices that are capable of transforming or undermining R2P’s original intent. This context gives R2P the status of a complex or composite norm, deriving from its political, directive, and aspirational elem­ ents: that is, its association with a complexity of prescriptions, as Brian L. Job and Anastasia Shesterinina describe it.9 These features of the norm have allowed for considerable contestation about the meaning of contemporary sovereignty, and highlighted the value of building particular coalitions in support of differing positions.10 This chapter traces the origins and elaboration of the R2P norm, dividing the period into two. It places the accent on the process of norm development during which a variety of states, including China, were able to shape the norm’s charac­ teristics. It begins with a discussion of the norm’s origins in 1990s’ debates, initial reception in 2001, formalization in documentary form in 2005, and then elab­ora­ tion with respect to implementation in 2009. Next, it turns to the Libyan inter­ vention in 2011 under the R2P banner and the impact of that usage on R2P’s status and on Chinese thinking. The effects of Libya on protection issues con­ nected with the Syrian crisis, together with Beijing’s perspectives, will be dealt with in the next chapter.

134  China, the UN, and Human Protection Beijing’s positions at various stages of this debate demonstrate the op­por­tun­ities it has found to shape the norm, at the same time that it shows its unwillingness to reject the norm entirely. The tracing of R2P’s pathway illustrates that a state such as China that is concerned about international image, and does not wish to appear obstructive or irresponsible, can find welcome and bedrock support for its con­ servative attitude towards R2P among several other states similarly concerned about how the norm might be implemented. This complicates what might be understood as ‘responsible great power behaviour’ in this instance. The discus­ sion also shows how the complex layering of the norm has presented China with the ability to shape the norm discursively and to insert other normative preferences into the process of R2P’s elaboration. Norm exploitation has been facilitated, in particular, by R2P’s three-pillar structure. Moreover, the Libyan intervention, which was described at the time and subsequently as the first usage of R2P and the justification for UN-authorized interventionist action without the consent of a host state, has reinforced the environment supportive of Chinese ideas in the R2P debates.11 These points underpin the chapter’s conclusion that Beijing can live with, though is still wary of, a protective norm that, as currently constituted, has been reduced as a potential challenge either to China’s pluralist state-based conception of the international system, to its own domestic political system, or to its international image.

R2P’s Origins and Development, 1990s–2011 As is now well known, the crux of R2P is contained within paragraphs 138 and 139 of the World Summit Outcome Document (WSOD) of September 2005.12 The largest ever gathering at UN headquarters in New York of heads of state and government agreed in those paragraphs that ‘[e]ach individual state has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleans­ ing and crimes against humanity’ (hereafter referred to in this chapter as the ‘four crimes’). This was declared to be a responsibility that entails ‘the prevention of such crimes, including their incitement, through appropriate and necessary means’. Paragraph 138 also states that the international community should ‘encourage and help States’ to provide the necessary protections, and should also support the UN in developing its early warning capabilities. Paragraph 139 pro­ vides a more extensive role for international actors, first suggesting that under Chapters VI and VIII of the UN Charter they have the responsibility to use ‘diplo­ matic, humanitarian and other peaceful means’ to help protect populations from the four listed crimes. The paragraph next avows that if a state were to be seen to ‘manifestly fail’ in that duty of protection, the international community, through the UN Security Council, under Chapter VII provisions, and in a ‘timely and decisive manner’, would be prepared to take collective action ‘on a case by case

The ‘ Responsibility to Protect ’ ( R2P )   135 basis and in cooperation with relevant regional organizations as appropriate, should peaceful means be inadequate’. In a reinforcement of the external capacity building role, paragraph 139 con­ firmed once again the intention of the international community to assist states to build the capabilities needed to protect their populations from the four crimes, as well as to help ‘those which are under stress before conflicts and crises break out’. There is a far longer history to this notion that sovereign states have a responsi­ bility to protect their populations, as Luke Glanville and Jennifer  M.  Welsh, among others, have argued.13 However, most discussions of the impetus behind the development of R2P as formulated in the WSOD refer to the egregious fail­ ures of protection in the 1990s—and particularly in Rwanda at a time when Kofi Annan was the UN’s Under-Secretary-General in charge of peacekeeping. The responses to those failures importantly highlighted that not only had certain states failed in their respective protection duties, so too had the international community. That amorphous and ill-defined community was chastised—and pre­ sumed members of that grouping often subsequently chastised themselves—for failing to protect individuals within the jurisdiction of another sovereign state.14 This chastisement marked a distinct change from a post-colonial, twentieth century emphasis in definitions of sovereignty that prioritized non-interference in domestic affairs and self-determination. The UN Charter’s article 2(1) and 2(7) probably became the most well-known and most-cited aspects of the Charter after 1945. This move away from a more absolutist definition of sovereignty towards a notion that sovereignty was in fact conditional also owed much to the work of Francis Deng. Deng was a former Sudanese diplomat, who in a research project with colleagues from the Brookings Institution in Washington DC developed the notion of ‘sovereignty as responsibility’.15 Via a close reading of Deng’s work, and interviews with him in 2008, Welsh has provided key insights that are often over­ looked in the literature on R2P’s origins and early evolution, but which become relevant when we consider R2P’s later definition and Beijing’s approach to the norm. Welsh reminds us that Deng was primarily concerned that the post-Cold War era would mean international neglect of Africa together with the intensifica­ tion of internal conflicts in that continent that would threaten the security of civilians. His solution was to encourage ‘a new generation of African leaders, who could take on collective responsibility for maintaining stability and responding to humanitarian crises within a new normative framework that involved partner­ ship with the international community’. This placed regional leaders rather than Western liberal interventionists at the heart of the debate. In Deng’s role as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Internally Displaced Persons for the ten years from 1994, he reflected on the evident failure of many states to fulfil their responsibilities to their citizens and called for a new framework of responsibility and accountability. Importantly, Deng emphasized that the ‘primary locus of responsibility for protecting and assisting civilians remained with the

136  China, the UN, and Human Protection host government’, but he also argued that states unable to protect their populations should invite and accept international assistance in order that their protective responsibilities could be realized. If they refused, sovereignty rights could be forfeited. Deng proposed, therefore, a notion of responsible sovereignty that accented the role of the individual state, with the international community first and foremost as supporter not as punisher, though forfeiture of sovereignty rights could also occur.16 Deng’s contributions were significant but his nuanced references to the pri­ macy of the host state in partnership with an international community acting to bolster that state were overshadowed in the next phases of discussion of re­spon­ sible sovereignty. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, for example, committed himself to making the argument that humanitarian disasters represented a threat to international peace and security, that ‘another Rwanda’ had to be prevented, and that sovereignty had to mean more than the recognition of the sovereign rights of each and every state. In several of his writings and speeches, and par­ ticularly in his September 1999 statement to the UN General Assembly, Annan emphasized that the global community could not stand idly by watching gross and systematic violations of human rights, and that state sovereignty was being redefined to encompass the idea of individual sovereignty. As he memorably put it, our contemporary reading of the UN Charter meant we were ‘more than ever conscious that its aim is to protect individual human beings, not to protect those who abuse them’.17 His was an argument to legitimate intervention in relation to a conditional notion of sovereignty in support of humanity. In that striking statement, quoted above, Annan accented a state’s unwillingness rather than inability to protect its population. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, only eight states spoke in support of his position as developed in his 1999 UN General Assembly address.18 China was not among them. However, there were some developments that showed Annan’s ideas had traction elsewhere. The African Union’s Constitutive Act of 2000, article 4(h), was notable for its reference to ‘the right of the Union [note, not any individual state] to intervene in a member state pursuant to a decision of the Assembly in respect to grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity’.19 The government of Canada lent a different kind of support for Annan’s initiative, establishing a twelve-person International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), which produced a report in December 2001 entitled ‘The Responsibility to Protect’, the first time that phrase was used in any formal document.20 That report emphasized the responsibility to prevent abuse, to react to abuse, and to rebuild in the aftermath of an intervention designed to curtail further large-scale killings. It intended to put the emphasis on prevention but the inter­ nation­al focus turned on what was meant by reaction and the report’s contention that when states were ‘unwilling or unable’ to protect their populations from

The ‘ Responsibility to Protect ’ ( R2P )   137 abuse, then that responsibility had to be borne ‘by the broader community of states’. That community, it stated, could use ‘political, economic or judicial meas­ ures’, and ‘only in extreme cases’ it might also become involved in military action provided certain criteria drawn from the ‘just war’ tradition had been considered. The report agreed that Security Council endorsement would be needed to le­git­ im­ate such action, but it went well beyond this in suggesting that if the Security Council failed to act and a humanitarian catastrophe had ‘crossed the just cause thresholds, potential interveners should approach the General Assembly for declaratory support and, if that failed, work through regional organizations or even coalitions of the willing’.21 These aspects of the report generated serious controversy, and not least in China where ICISS roundtable discussions fixated predominantly on those parts of it that focused on military intervention. Chinese delegates emphasized that consent had to be a ‘precondition for taking humanitarian actions’.22 The report’s recommenda­ tions also lost momentum because its release followed closely behind the September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, and then the 2003 US-led intervention in Iraq, undertaken without an enabling UN Security Council reso­ lution; indeed, Welsh notes that ‘despite Canada’s efforts, there was virtually no discussion of R2P within the General Assembly prior to 2005’.23 Paradoxically, however, the controversies over Iraq, which Annan described as a ‘fork in the road’ for the UN, eventually helped the progress of R2P. Annan, mainly in response to Iraq, established a High-Level Panel (HLP) on ‘Threats, Challenges and Change’. That Panel, which included the experienced Chinese diplomat and former Foreign Minister, Qian Qichen, produced a report entitled A More Secure World that focused on some of the most difficult questions relating to the use of force that had arisen out of recent practice and needed to be resolved.24 One among these difficult questions related to R2P, ‘where the threat is primar­ ily internal, to a state’s own people’, as the report put it. The HLP’s response was to set out five criteria that could act as a guide to Security Council deliberations on the use of force, but notably it also stated there was an ‘emerging norm that there is a responsibility to protect’.25 These ideas were adopted in the report In Larger Freedom that Secretary-General Annan drew up for consideration six months before it was to be considered at the September 2005 world summit marking the UN’s sixtieth anniversary.26 This served to envelop the R2P idea within a broader UN reform effort that included a discussion of Security Council reform, the establishment of a Peace Building Commission, and the creation of a replacement for the UN Commission on Human Rights—what became a Human Rights Council. Thus, as Welsh notes, to a large extent R2P had been rescued by a series of exogenous factors, and had not stayed the course as a result of ‘normative momentum’.27 Examined in some detail, those six months tell us much about the strength and nature of the controversies that would need to be tackled in order to reach an

138  China, the UN, and Human Protection agreed document in September 2005. They also illustrate how a composite norm, such as R2P, can be used to produce an agreed outcome, though not necessarily one that relates strongly to the norm’s original ethos, as outlined in the ICISS report. The fact that the UN General Assembly adopted the WSOD without a vote has given it a status that allows it to be projected as especially sacrosanct. Yet, that attribution of consensus has masked a contentious and somewhat chaotic period in the lead-up to the adoption of that document, including R2P paragraphs 138 and 139. This qualifies the notion that sovereignty has been redefined in signifi­ cant ways. As Marc Pollentine has noted, there was a ‘vociferous group of hostile opponents to R2P who repeatedly spoke against it’ in the 2005 negotiations, including ‘Egypt, Algeria, India, Pakistan, Cuba, Venezuela, Jamaica, Belarus and Iran’. He goes on, ‘Russia was also generally opposed, and like China would have been more than happy to have seen no reference to R2P.’28 It is also important to note the powerful constraining role that time pressures exerted, as so often happens in summit diplomacy. As Welsh notes, ‘At the “eleventh hour”, the drafting pen was handed back to the UN Secretariat, which produced a clean text that took a particular stance on the most contentious issues. States were then forced to take a stand and accept the overall package or risk collapse of the whole reform process.’29 Indeed, with regard to those textual revisions, the R2P that emerged from this environment was different from the ideas that Annan as well as the ICISS had earlier promoted. At US, Russian, and Chinese insistence, criteria for determin­ ing the appropriateness of any intervention were removed with each potential or actual humanitarian crisis being considered only on a ‘case-by-case’ basis. The triggers for action became both a manifest failure of a state to provide protection to its population as well as a scale and type of violence that went beyond ‘large scale killing’ to focus entirely on the four mass atrocity crimes subsequently refer­ enced in paragraph 138.30 Moreover, the authoritative decision-making body in the process became the UN Security Council, though regional organizations were also designated a lesser role, and the General Assembly was invited to continue to consider R2P. This is why Pollentine concludes that despite consistently negative positions, neither China nor Russia believed that the R2P as eventually formu­ lated was ‘sufficiently problematic to justify outright opposition’.31 The language and positions adopted in the WSOD represented a sufficient restraint. Moreover, Beijing and Moscow’s primary concerns were with other issues, he argues, not least UN Security Council reform. Neither they nor other states took on the questions of what would count as manifest failure, how preventive strategies would operate, and what would happen were the UN Security Council to become deadlocked in the face of mass atrocities, to name but three of the remaining ambiguities. R2P next made an appearance in Resolution 1674 (2006), a thematic resolution on the protection of civilians in armed conflict. It took months of negotiation,

The ‘ Responsibility to Protect ’ ( R2P )   139 with China only relenting to insertion of R2P language on the condition that R2P was not linked to any prospect of military action, and references to R2P reaf­ firmed what Beijing regarded as the relevant paragraphs in the WSOD.32 In the debate leading up to the passage of Resolution 1674, China and Russia, together with three non-permanent members of the UN Security Council (Algeria, Brazil, and the Philippines) further restrained the pace of development of R2P by emphasizing that it was the General Assembly and not the Security Council that had been given the mandate in the WSOD to continue the discussion of R2P.33 Further impediments to R2P development ensued. For example, Resolution 1706 on Darfur in 2006, led the Council to refer to paragraphs 138–9 of the WSOD, but not the phrase R2P itself, and only in a preambular paragraph (China abstained on this resolution as did Qatar and Russia). The Council apparently also deleted an indirect reference to R2P from a draft resolution in 2007 relating to Darfur.34 After that, the Council made no reference to R2P language until Resolution 1894 in November 2009, which focused mostly on the POC mandate. The General Assembly turned to debate R2P when it considered SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon’s January 2009 report on implementation in July that year. Thereafter (until 2017 when the annual dialogue became formal) the Assembly pledged to continue consideration of the Secretary-General’s thematic reports on the issue in annual, informal dialogues.35 Notably, the 2009 implementation report developed a three-pillar approach to R2P, which was to prove crucial to the understandings that have come to be attached to the developing norm. The first pillar explicitly notes that it is the responsibility of the state to provide protection to its population from the four mass atrocity crimes. The second pillar focuses on international assistance to build state capacities designed to help the state in its atrocity prevention role. The third pillar emphasizes the need for a ‘timely and decisive response’. As Gareth Evans, co-chair of the ICISS put it, and with a degree of understatement, the report and three-pillar structure acknowledged that UN member states ‘may be more comfortable focusing just on the first two pillars, which are about prevention rather than reaction, and by definition do not have any element at all of involuntary intervention or coercion’.36 An assessment of that debate on the 2009 report reinforced Evans’ supposition, prompting the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, an NGO based in New York and whose International Advisory Board Gareth Evans co-chairs, to note ‘there was unanimity on the importance of the first two pillars’ as well as ‘the fundamental obligation to prevent mass atrocity crimes’.37 Prevention had become the primary focus, pushing to one side the even more fundamental need for a critical debate about external reaction to mass atrocities. Thus, while it is notable and remarkable that sovereignty encompassing the responsibility to protect populations has become a regular part of international discourse, the understandings of R2P have tipped ineluctably towards the state as arbiter, and towards prevention rather than attempts to build consensus around

140  China, the UN, and Human Protection appropriate and feasible forms of external intervention in cases of need. The threshold for external involvement became set at a high level in deciding when a state should be judged to have ‘manifestly failed’ in its protection efforts. The duties of the international community concentrated on action in support of building the capacities of vulnerable states rather than more direct, timely, and decisive action when faced with on-going or imminent mass atrocities. Moreover, some states, including China, have come to regard the three-pillar structure as sequential rather than complementary. This further constrains the opportunities for timely international intervention given that there has to be acceptance that pillars one and two have been fully explored. As Monica Serrano and Thomas G. Weiss have argued, the international community is largely at the point where it can condemn, but not agree on a common course of action even in the face of mass atrocities.38

The PRC’s Responses in the First Phase What, then, do we know at a more detailed level about Beijing’s positions on R2P, and to what extent are these ideas reflected in the WSOD paragraphs 138–9, together with the three-pillar structure elaborated in the 2009 report on imple­ mentation? What do China’s positions tell us about the official elite’s beliefs as well as the government’s concern to be viewed as a responsible great power? Two aspects seem clear: first, that China has adopted a consistent stand, and, second, this is not a stand that sets it far apart from the acceptance level of R2P among the majority of UN member states. This degree of alignment helps to protect and may even bolster its international image. For example, the Chinese ambassador Wang Guangya’s response to the HLP report demonstrated that Beijing was receptive to current understandings of what constituted security. The statement emphasized a definition of security that went beyond traditional security concerns, but stopped short of defining human se­cur­ ity as including ‘freedom from fear’. It noted that ‘poverty, diseases, and environ­ mental degradation’ were equally as serious as the threat of terrorism or the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Developing country concerns, in China’s view, were predominantly about ‘finding effective solutions to develop­ ment problems and realizing the Millennium Development Goals’ (MDGs). Turning more directly to ideas of responsible sovereignty, the ambassador noted that states were ‘the front-line actors in dealing with all the threats we face’, and it is they that have the ‘primary responsibility of protecting their own citizens’. Thus, early in the debate, Beijing referenced the key contesting norm; as Beijing put it, strict respect should be accorded the ‘basic principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs . . . as stated in the Charter’. Were coercive

The ‘ Responsibility to Protect ’ ( R2P )   141 action be deemed to be necessary, the Security Council had to ‘deal with situ­ ations on a case-by-case basis and not by any hard and fast rules’.39 Ambassador Wang also warned in his remarks that there should not be a hasty determination that a state was ‘unable or unwilling to protect its own citizens’. This preference was taken care of in the later 2005 document by adoption of the formula that the state had to be seen to ‘manifestly fail’ to protect its populations. If anything, China’s ambassador made these points more strongly and elab­­ orated them more fully in June 2005 in response to the Secretary-General’s wideranging draft Summit Outcome document.40 Once again, Wang gave precedence to the relationship between the outcome document and the MDGs, noting also the other important topics contained within the WSOD relating to UN reform and improvement of the UN’s internal management processes. In China’s view, he said, ‘the issue of development should be highlighted to the greatest extent possi­ ble’ since development formed ‘the basis for the maintenance of collective se­cur­ ity and the promotion of human rights in all countries’. The Chinese statement spent most time on aspects of development before turning to matters relating to the use of force, counter-terrorism, the establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission, and reform of the UN’s human rights institutions. The R2P discus­ sion appeared towards the end of the statement. It was sandwiched between two paragraphs that dealt mainly with reform of the UN’s human rights bodies and China’s preferred position on those reforms.41 The document could be read, then, as supporting Pollentine’s argument that several matters exercised China more than R2P; but more likely it should be viewed as an attempt to delink the discus­ sion of R2P from deliberations on the use of force, as well as to downgrade its significance. With respect to R2P itself, the statement repeated much that had been said in January, but it additionally emphasized the existing ‘differences of views’ that required ‘further consultations’.42 In reference to the knotty question of ‘whether or not a government is able and willing to protect its citizens’, Beijing suggested establishing ‘a set of comprehensive criteria agreed on by the whole international community . . . instead of letting a few states or institutions to set the criteria by themselves, by which they would then advocate intervention’. This call to generate a consensus from the bottom-upwards is laudable, but also a recipe for potential failure or prolonged debate, as Beijing’s own emphasis on controversy suggests. The role of regional organizations also received a Chinese nod of approval in such a way that suggested Beijing thought it probable that most regional organizational and individual state’s views were most likely to be in alignment. Overall, the Security Council was projected as the authoritative decision-making body, but it had to proceed on a ‘case-by-case basis’. Beijing made a particularly expansive statement in July 2009, in response to the UN Secretary-General’s report on implementation.43 On this occasion, China

142  China, the UN, and Human Protection more overtly spelled out a number of strategies for inhibiting the implementation of R2P, and used terminology that could undermine R2P’s legitimacy and stand­ ing. It tried, too, to envelop R2P more securely within a traditional conception of sovereignty, repeating as its first point that it is governments that bear the pri­ mary responsibility for protection, that R2P ‘should not contravene the principle of state sovereignty and the principle of non-interference of [sic] internal affairs’, and there should ‘not be any wavering’ over these principles. Indeed, being recep­ tive to this mood in the General Assembly, when the Secretary-General’s report on implementation was introduced, stress was laid on R2P as an ‘ally of sover­ eignty, not an adversary’. Obviously, China wished to retain decision-making power within the Security Council, but it also stressed the imperative of the General Assembly continuing to ‘carry out discussions on the concept based on the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document’. Certainly, Beijing did accept that there might be a humanitarian crisis involving one of the four crimes that would need to be addressed at the level of the Council, but it argued that the views of the involved government and the rele­vant regional organization needed to be respected and that ‘all peaceful means must be exhausted’ before the Council decided on a response. That response overwhelmingly needed to be marked by prudence. These phrases invited long periods of deliberation rather than timely action, implied a sequential approach to the three pillars introduced in that implementa­ tion report—not the intention of the report’s authors—and alluded to the necessity for host state consent. The statement also showed that Chinese officials had begun to pay greater attention to the differences between concepts, norms, and law. The statement set­ tled on describing R2P as a ‘concept’ affirming that it did not ‘constitute a rule of international law’ and therefore must not be used ‘as a diplomatic tool to exert pressure on others’. It went on, ‘[w]hether “R2P” can be universally accepted by states, and whether it can be implemented effectively are issues that still need to be further explored in the UN or relevant regional organizations’, thus suggesting it was premature to think of R2P as either an institutionalized or agreed norm. In reflecting on the idea of developing a UN ‘early warning’ system, China’s ambas­ sador suggested both the Assembly and the Council needed to study the ques­ tion further. If these bodies determined there was a need for such a mechanism, then ‘it is imperative to ensure the neutrality and reliability of the information gathered, ensure the fairness and transparency of the assessment procedures, and prevent double standards or politicization of the question at hand’. Notably, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated in 2012, in phrases that quite closely matched China’s own, that early warning and assessment had to be ‘conducted fairly, prudently and professionally, without political interference or double standards’.44

The ‘ Responsibility to Protect ’ ( R2P )   143

Relating International Image and China’s Official Beliefs That other states supported many of these positions is evident from a number of separate sources. First, Pollentine’s work references several states that he regards as hostile to R2P. He also notes that India’s fears of R2P—New Delhi even going so far as to mention the Kashmir issue—nearly derailed the agreement on the WSOD entirely. He similarly identifies Pakistan (among others) as persistently hostile to the concept.45 Welsh’s analysis of the contestation surrounding the norm, notes that a ‘vocal group of countries, including India, Egypt, Algeria, Cuba, and Pakistan, not only expressed unease about the implications of the Outcome Document’, but also suggested that paragraphs 138 and 139 were not evidence of support, but actually represented rejection of the R2P doctrine.46 Ramesh Thakur reports that many states endorsed the norm publicly, but were not ready either to support it or adhere to it.47 Beijing’s public position was not in fact as hard line as the arguments being made by many of these states.48 My analysis of Asian positions at the debate on the Secretary-General’s 2009 implementation report shows China to be close to the conservative end of the continuum in terms of its reaction to R2P but not alone or extreme in the arguments it was making at that time.49 R2P ‘National Focal Points’ are still not prevalent in Asia: as of August 2018, of the sixty coun­ tries that have established national R2P focal points, there are only four in Asia— Cambodia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and Timor-Leste.50 In addition, Patrick Quinton-Brown’s published work in 2013 on the dissenters—that is ‘states that rhetorically condemn the norm in whole or in part throughout formal and infor­ mal debates’—divides that grouping into two subcategories. He labels a dissenting China as a ‘cautious supporter’, though I would argue that Beijing is a cautious inhibitor or inhibiting shaper. In his categorization, this places China alongside fifteen other states that include Brazil, Egypt, India, Russia, and South Africa. There are thirteen states that Quinton-Brown labels as outright ‘rejectionists’, including China’s close ally, Pakistan.51 Welsh’s analysis of norm contestation points to four different positions that have been at the basis of the various objections to R2P and that several states have embraced at one time or another in the course of the debates. Importantly, some among these four positions, and especially the last, additionally provide Beijing with a useful cushion of support and protection from any damage to its inter­ nation­al image that might arise from its role in inhibiting the cosmopolitanism, or human-centred vision that was at the root of R2P in its early stages. First, there is the fear among some states that R2P will be turned against them in subsequent years. This is not a position that China has overtly put forward in relation to itself but one that a number of analysts regard as helping to explain China’s suspicion of R2P. For example, Zheng Chen argues that fear of foreign

144  China, the UN, and Human Protection intervention in its own domestic problems is one of the two basic drivers of China’s R2P policy.52 Peiran Wang makes the point that Beijing is concerned that domestic separatist movements in Xinjiang and Tibet will step up their protests in order to stimulate international support for an R2P-inspired military intervention.53 Second, many states have argued that double standards abound, and that R2P will only be applied when the interests of the powerful are engaged. China cer­ tainly figures prominently among states making this kind of argument. As Ruan Zongze of China’s Institute of International Affairs (the Foreign Ministry-related think tank) has asked: ‘Who should be protected and who should be left alone? And how to deal with double standards?’ Ruan pointed to the US failure to act against Bahrain in February 2011, despite domestic protests, arguing that is because it is a US ally that hosts the headquarters of the US’s Fifth Fleet, as well as an air force base.54 Third, consequentialist arguments that the use of force for humanitarian ­reasons runs the risk of making matters worse have also been supported by many states—Brazil, for example, arguing in 2011 for the concept of ‘Responsibility while Protecting’, discussed in more detail in what follows. Beijing has consist­ ently argued against the use of force on these grounds, and for dialogue and nego­ tiation to be given priority in all UN debates about threats to international peace and security. The fourth of these positions relates to the powerful norm of sovereign equality alongside which R2P clusters, and which Welsh has argued has ‘served as the cru­ cial baseline for institutionalized international cooperation and a discourse of sovereign rights from as early as the eighteenth century’.55 The deeply asym­met­ ric­al power relations that mark the modern international system give particular strength to the arguments of those who value this foundational norm. Sovereign equality may be a ‘legal fiction’ underpinning the UN Charter and other inter­ nation­al treaties, but it ‘does make more difficult . . . the move from a horizontal system of sovereign states that demonstrate mutual respect, to a hierarchical sys­ tem where conduct is subject to oversight and punishment by an unspecified and unaccountable agent of the “international community”, with its own legal person­ ality and purposes’. It is this possibility of the strong imposing their conception of justice on the weak that has ‘motivated some of the deepest con­tes­ta­tion sur­ rounding R2P’. It underpins much of China’s, and other dissenters’ efforts, to ‘emphasize domestic jurisdiction, consent, and multilateral cooperation’.56 The norm of sovereign equality provides a strong basis of support for the role that a P5 member such as China has played within the UN Security Council with respect to R2P. Beijing recognized that the three-pillar implementation structure could prove to be a vehicle that would allow it to emphasize the compatibility between R2P, sovereign equality, and non-interference, and in that stance it found considerable support from elsewhere in the international system.57

The ‘ Responsibility to Protect ’ ( R2P )   145 In this first phase of development of R2P, China acted as a norm shaper within an environment that was conducive to acceptance of some of the cautious and inhibiting rhetoric in which it engaged. Its position could be interpreted as in acceptable alignment with some of the views of Francis Deng, with his focus on giving the state primary responsibility, regional leaders a decisive place in deter­ mining reactions, and with the international community in a role that tried to sup­ port rather than punish the transgressing state. Beijing was not an outright ‘rejectionist’ in that it accepted that in the last resort there might need to be an international response, even involving the use of force, in reaction to evidence of one or more of the four crimes listed in the WSOD being committed, and with the Security Council having determined a state’s manifest failure to respond ad­equate­ly to the situation. However, it put its bar to the realization of that response high, reminding the international community that in such circumstances any response ‘should strictly conform to the UN Charter’ and that the ‘opinions of the country and the regional organization concerned should be respected’.58 In this statement, Beijing appeared to be trying to move R2P closer to UN peace operations with a POC mandate, which regularly incorporate the idea of host state consent. Thus, Beijing was using rhetoric to tip the balance towards prevention and state responsibility and away from an international responsibility to enhance the prospects for humane conduct and the survival of human beings in dire peril, wherever they might be located. To this end, Beijing had exploited the three-pillar structure to ensure a focus on those elements that aligned with its beliefs. The cosmopolitan underpinnings of Annan’s and the ICISS’s discussion of sovereignty as responsibility had given way to a more pluralist state-based view of the world. Beijing emphasized UN member states’ diversity of experience and seemingly empathized with the fact that some were better able to prevent the abuse of their populations than others. Such states were not necessarily unwilling to act to pre­ vent mass atrocities in Beijing’s view; simply, they were unable to prevent abuse given their current capacities and stage of development. It is surprising, then, given the progress China had made in shaping the inter­ pretation of R2P, that it did not veto the UN resolutions pertaining to Libya in 2011—an operation tied closely to R2P. In this instance, the Security Council authorized a military operation under Chapter VII in response to mass atrocities, and without the consent of the government in power. What was it about that instance of state abuse that led Beijing to appear more forgiving of R2P and take a stance that could serve to enhance the norm’s progression?

Libya, China, and the Second Phase of R2P in 2011 Libya represented something of a watershed for R2P. February 2011 saw the first signs that the ‘Arab Spring’, which had begun with the dramatic events in Tunisia

146  China, the UN, and Human Protection in December 2010, had reached Libya.59 The Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, responded in a typically brutal way, issuing ‘chilling threats of retribution rem­in­ is­cent of the terms used to incite the Rwandan genocide nearly twenty years earlier’.60 All relevant parts of the UN system swung into action in a bid to stop Gaddafi. The Security Council, Human Rights Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, together with his advisers on genocide prevention and R2P, urged Libya to pay heed to its responsibilities, including its international legal obliga­ tions.61 When Gaddafi failed to respond, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 1970, which demanded an end to violence, referred the situ­ ation to the International Criminal Court, imposed an arms embargo on the country, and enacted a travel ban and assets freeze on Colonel Gaddafi and his family.62 However, this resolution failed to curtail the murderous assaults on the Libyan population, leading the Council to adopt Resolution 1973 on 17 March with ten votes in favour, none against, and five states abstaining—namely, China, Russia, Brazil, Germany, and India. That resolution demanded an immediate ceasefire in Libya, and an end to attacks on civilians, especially in the east of the country. It imposed a no-fly zone in the country’s air space, and tightened the sanctions imposed in the earlier resolution. It authorized member states to ‘take all neces­ sary measures to protect civilians under threat of attack in the country, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory’.63 Undoubtedly, the Security Council acted with impressive speed, and without the delays that would normally pertain to a resolution that ordered military inter­ vention without the consent of the host state. Thakur argues that what made the difference was R2P as ‘a galvanizing norm; the defection of Libyan diplomats who joined the chorus of calls from the rebels for immediate action to protect civil­ ians; and Arab, French and British participation that provided political cover and international legitimacy’.64 Adding to this enabling environment were Gaddafi’s own incriminating statements, as well as those of his sons, which promised a bloodbath; as Gaddafi put it: ‘officers have been deployed in all tribes and regions so that they can purify all decisions from these cockroaches.’ He went on to prom­ ise execution of any rebel taking up arms against the Libyan state.65 However, the 1973 resolution did attract five abstentions from significant states, and their preferences, together with suspicions voiced in the statements that explained their abstentions, were telling. Those proposing the resolution were France, Lebanon, and the United Kingdom. They moved forward swiftly and competently, but did not take the time to build a collective position on that crit­ ic­al Libyan resolution.66 Brazil, Germany, and India stressed the need to explore a peaceful resolution of the conflict, additional time for the UN’s Special Envoy to make his report, as well as an additional period allowing for the AU to complete its assessment. They were also concerned that an armed intervention could make

The ‘ Responsibility to Protect ’ ( R2P )   147 the situation worse.67 China and Russia similarly stressed the need for peaceful resolution and worried that many questions remained regarding the provisions of the resolution, including the limits of the engagement; as the Russian delegate graphically put it, ‘the draft [of the resolution] was morphing before our very eyes, transcending the initial concept as stated by the League of Arab States. Provisions were introduced into the text that could potentially open the door to large-scale military intervention.’ Such an intervention would not only increase the suffering in Libya but also ‘throughout the entire region of North Africa and the Middle East’.68 China’s UN Ambassador, Li Baodong, responded to the Resolution in ways that reflected his country’s past arguments in reference to R2P: he called for the UN Charter to be respected and for peaceful means to be used to end the crisis. He also joined with other abstainers in asking for the efforts of the Special Envoy, the AU, and Arab League to be allowed to continue. As he reminded the assem­ bled Security Council, China was ‘always against the use of force when those [peaceful] means were not exhausted’. The specific questions his delegation had asked during the debate over the resolution had ‘failed to be clarified or answered’ and, therefore, it had ‘serious difficulty with parts of the resolution’. However, Beijing did not veto but chose abstention, Li stated, because it attached ‘great importance’ not only to the position of the Arab League, but also to the ‘position of African countries and the African Union’.69 Indeed, regional reaction best explains China’s decision to vote in favour of Resolution 1970 and abstain on Resolution 1973, as Courtney Fung has argued.70 In addition, the abstention would have been made somewhat easier for Beijing since Resolution 1973 made no explicit reference to the third pillar of R2P. Indeed, the terms of the Resolution emphasized the language of POC rather than R2P, as did China’s statements on the conflict. However, regional voices were cru­ cial. Prior to the passage of Resolution 1970, the Arab League condemned the Gaddafi regime’s use of violence and suspended Libyan membership in the organ­ ization. The African Union (AU) similarly denounced the violence against civil­ ians and decided to send an assessment mission to the country, and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) issued strongly worded statements abhorring the civilian attacks. Gaddafi also made a fatal mistake in drawing a par­ allel between his actions in Libya and China’s use of force against protesters in June 1989. As Gaddafi put it: ‘When Tiananmen Square happened, tanks were sent in to deal with them . . . Do whatever it takes to stay united . . . People in front of tanks were crushed. The unity of China is more important than those people in Tiananmen Square.’71 Drawing this particular parallel would not have endeared the Libyan leader to China. Prior to the passage of Resolution 1973, regional organizations were more divided, however, than they had been over Resolution 1970. The Gulf Cooperation Council, the OIC, and Arab League did favour the enforcement of a no-fly zone,

148  China, the UN, and Human Protection but the AU rejected ‘any foreign military intervention, whatever its form’.72 Notable, too, were the divisions within the Arab League, with only half the mem­ bership present when voting on its own no-fly zone resolution on 12 March 2011.73 One Chinese official explained in an interview with Fung that while China did not agree with Resolution 1973, it still felt it appropriate to take the route of abstention in order to reflect that absence of a coordinated position among the regional groups. Ralph and Gifkins’ interview with a Security Council diplomat revealed that China was also affected by the Libyan UN delegation’s decision to defect to the rebels, which ‘allowed the Chinese to square the call for interven­ tion . . . with the principle of sovereign consent’.74 Thus, China, though troubled, decided on this less controversial, middle path of abstention.75 Nevertheless, Beijing commentators remained suspicious of Western motives, concerned that more than a no-fly zone was at stake, and that double-standards were in play. As Sarah Teitt notes, a Global Times article published some six days after the passage of Resolution 1973 argued that the West was supporting many anti-democratic rebel groups in Benghazi that were intent on subverting the Gaddafi regime, but these groups had no long-term strategy to build a democratic state. The newspaper article predicted that any external intervention that led to the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime would lead to ‘endless civil wars over the leadership of the country’.76 When that overthrow and subsequent murder of Gaddafi came to pass, the Chinese government hardened its response. Two main lines of criticism were par­ ticularly prominent: the level of civilian casualties caused by NATO bombing, and what it portrayed as the underhand expansion of the original mandate, including the unauthorized overthrow of the regime in power, and the related provision of arms to rebel forces; as China’s People’s Daily put it in order to explain a later veto with respect to the war in Syria, ‘Libya offers a negative case study. Nato abused the security council [sic] resolution about establishing a no-fly zone and directly provided firepower to one side in the Libyan war.’77 Domestically, it was a low moment for China’s Foreign Ministry with Chinese officials and scholars perceiving China’s decision to abstain as ‘a failure or mis­ take’. In addition, some argued that it demonstrated a lack of understanding of terms such as ‘no-fly zone’. For some others, it represented a failure to stand up for the PRC’s position, with Sonya Sceats and Shaun Breslin noting that ‘[m]ultiple sources in Beijing’ confirmed to them that calcium tablets were sent to China’s Foreign Minister in order to stiffen his backbone.78 Overall, suspicion of Western motives with respect to R2P was reinforced; as one senior Chinese diplomat put it, ‘[i]t has been proven once again that the Security Council resolution has been used as a blank check, which was taken full advantage of by the Western states to overthrow the Gaddafi administration. And African countries reflected upon their mistake in Libya after it too.’79

The ‘ Responsibility to Protect ’ ( R2P )   149

The Post-Libyan Elaboration of China’s Position One further consequence of those developments was that Beijing gave its support to Brazil’s proposal for discussion of ‘Responsibility while Protecting’ (RwP), an idea that Brazil’s then President, Dilma Rousseff, outlined in her address to the UN General Assembly in September 2011 and that was fleshed out by Brazil’s UN Representative in November that same year. Up to this point, Brazil’s position on R2P had been close to China’s own, stressing ‘prevention, state building and social and economic development to overcome the structural conditions that lead to the violation of human rights’.80 Brasilia had also abstained on Resolution 1973. Brazil’s later exposition of RwP contained a high level of scepticism about the benefit of the threat or use of force. Instead, it placed emphasis on accountability for those that intervene in R2P-type situations. It also underlined the need for a chronological sequencing of R2P’s three pillars, though Brazil later softened this position to ‘prudential sequencing’. Beijing found these positions of interest and would probably have supported further discussion of the concept had Brazil con­ tinued to develop the proposal—it fell victim to political changes in Brazil and has since languished. However, almost co-terminously with this Brazilian initiative, the China Institute for International Studies (CIIS)—a think tank associated with China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs—developed its own idea of ‘Responsible Protection’. Ruan Zongze, Vice-President of the CIIS, using harsh language, lambasted the West for its practice of ‘  “new interventionism” under the signboard of “Responsibility to Protect” and the cover of “humanitarian intervention” ’, which he said had caused ‘chaos in the international community’. Taking a swipe at this long-standing debate over forms of human protection, Ruan argued: ‘Since the mid-1990s, the West has dished out one after another such theories as “humani­ tarian intervention”, “the supremacy of human rights over sovereignty” and “exceptions to non-interference in internal affairs” in an attempt to provide grounds of interfering in the internal affairs of other countries.’ Ruan’s article revealed much about the difficulties Beijing faced when the Libyan resolutions were being deliberated upon in the UN Security Council. He alleged that Western states had been devious in ‘letting the relevant regional organizations to bear the brunt, which could instantly and easily expand its own ranks by several times and increase without notice opposition to countries saying “No” to the West’. This strategy, he said, had placed ‘China, Russia and the likeminded into an awkward position of being unable to oppose’.81 These arguments were being promoted, of course, at the same time that China and Russia were debating and vetoing resolutions relating to Syria—the subject of the next chapter. They formed a part of Beijing’s justification for the vetoes it deployed with respect to that subsequent humanitarian crisis. In order to counter

150  China, the UN, and Human Protection a Libyan-type situation emerging again in the future and against that Syrian backdrop, Ruan reminded the reader that R2P was a concept that had ‘been con­ troversial from the outset’, that was ‘liable to be abused’, and that still was impre­ cise in terms of the triggers for its application. Ruan also promoted a range of requirements associated with his concept of ‘Responsible Protection’, some of which would be difficult to determine or fulfil. For example, he argued that only after the ‘exhaustion of diplomatic and political means of solution’, should non-consensual measures be considered. Nonconsensual action could only be considered as a last resort provided it fulfilled certain criteria, including that the intervention would not create greater harm than non-intervention, or be in furtherance of motives other than the protection of civilians—a level of purity that would be very difficult to guarantee. He also argued for the more reasonable idea of monitoring any interventionist action authorized by the Security Council in order to ensure there was no expansion of mandates to encompass such matters as regime change. In addition, Ruan advo­ cated a ‘responsibility to rebuild’—that is, those who had intervened in the affairs of another state ‘should be responsible for the post-intervention and post-protection reconstruction of the state concerned’.82 While a reasonable demand as far as it goes, it does relieve the pressure on those failing to protect their populations from any role in reparation. Neither Beijing nor the CIIS has taken this idea of ‘Responsible Protection’ much further, perhaps because of a distrust of getting too deeply involved in pil­ lar three debates given that Beijing is so keen to keep the focus on pillars one and two. Indeed, as far as can be ascertained, the Chinese government has never asso­ ciated itself directly with Ruan’s proposal. With the experience of Libya behind it, China became more forthright in its rhetoric: ‘[n]o party should engage in regime change or get involved in civil war in the name of protecting civilians’; any action can only be in reference to the four crimes specified in the WSOD; in the last resort, were enforcement mechanisms found to be necessary, the Security Council could only proceed ‘with utmost precaution and on a case-by-case basis’, and under no circumstances could UN resolutions be interpreted liberally. The statement also reminded the General Assembly that R2P is ‘complex but is controversial in its application’ and that the Assembly needed to continue with its informal dialogue on the topic in order to reach a consensus.83 The PRC has stuck to these positions, even—in the case of the latter stance—where it might have become divided from sentiment in the UN General Assembly. For example, China decided in 2017 to vote against the proposal to change the informal annual General Assembly dialogues on R2P to formal dialogues, even though that pro­ posal received 111 votes in favour and only twenty-one against. Beijing argued once again that it had voted against because the scope of R2P had already been defined and related only to the four crimes as specified in the WSOD; member

The ‘ Responsibility to Protect ’ ( R2P )   151 states otherwise diverged on the concept; and putting forward controversial issues for a vote threatened to lead to further division among UN member states.84 What also came into clearer view over this period was China’s heightened focus on state autonomy: Beijing avowed that there was ‘no uniform criterion or model in carrying out R2P’, and that states should decide on the levels and types of inter­ nation­al assistance they required should they become embroiled in a pillar two situation. This suggestion represented a demand-led conception of the second pillar, rather than one stressing the role of international actors as capacity build­ ers working to help a state prevent atrocities. The 2015 statement was particularly clear in arguing that the UN needed to ‘follow the principle of national ownership and leadership, respect the judicial traditions and national reality of countries in distress and avoid producing negative impact on the domestic situation in coun­ tries concerned’. Reminiscent of China’s stance on human rights more broadly, the Beijing representative also stated that ‘countries should adopt relevant policies and mechanisms in accordance with national specificities and their needs in implementing R2P’.85 At a 2018 UN General Assembly debate, the Chinese diplo­ mat, Yao Shaojun, noted with gratitude the UN Secretary-General’s focus on pre­ vention, but added that it was up to the countries concerned, ‘in light of the actual situation’, to ‘strengthen prevention by identifying their own weaknesses, and try to tackle the root causes of the conflict so as to address both the symptoms and the root causes of the problem’.86 Though China, as well as other UN Security Council members, has since voted in support of many UN Security Council Resolutions that repeat the phrase it is a state’s responsibility to protect its civil­ ians,87 this is a pillar one statement that needs to be interpreted in reference to Beijing’s concerns to promote R2P as a concept that predominantly supports the government in power. Beijing’s preference is for the government of a state experi­ encing mass atrocities to remain in the driving seat when determining any response, by implication even where that government may itself be the source of wide-scale abuse. There have also been occasions where Beijing has prevented reference even to this first pillar of R2P: in Burundi in 2015–16, for example, and in the face of widespread abuse of civilians protesting against the incumbent President’s deter­ mination to run for a third term in office, China—alongside other Council mem­ bers—ensured that explicit references to R2P in Resolution 2248 (2015) were removed.88 The case of Myanmar in 2016–17, during which Secretary-General Guterres briefed the Security Council and recounted ‘bone-chilling accounts’ of massive violations of human rights, the Council, under pressure from China’s threatened veto, could only muster a presidential statement rather than a reso­ lution framed in terms of R2P.89 Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s R2P reports on prevention and international assistance, which were both the subject of informal interactive dialogues

152  China, the UN, and Human Protection re­spect­ive­ly in 2013 and 2014, show the range of ideas that the Secretariat argues needs to be considered to be effective in these areas. The 2013 report on strength­ ening a state’s capacity to prevent the four mass atrocity crimes identified a variety of risk factors, including those associated with armed conflict, as well as a range of policy options from constitutional protections, accountability for past crimes, and ef­fect­ive security sector reform. In charting a way forward, the report made seven recommendations, including that each state appoint a senior-level R2P focal-point-person with prevention responsibilities, make use of the Analysis Framework developed by the UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide in order to undertake a national assessment of risk factors, as well as undertake ratification of all relevant international legal instruments.90 As noted already, China’s official responses at the UN on prevention emphasize dialogue and negotiations in the short and medium term and economic develop­ ment over the longer term. When encouraged in less formal settings to deepen its consideration of such issues, as in 2015 during the Second Annual ChinaAustralia Dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect, which focused on preventive diplomacy and atrocity risk reduction, we see a similar unwillingness to consider detailed options. Whereas the Australian delegation highlighted the need for the UN to engage in ‘ “horizon scanning” to alert the UNSC of emerging or potential crises . . . expanding the R2P Focal Points network; and conducting internal/ domestic reviews of how to incorporate an atrocity prevention lens into national policy planning and decision-making’, Yang Yi, Secretary-General of the China Institute for International Studies, outlined five areas where R2P remained con­ tested. All of these challenges, in China’s view, had a bearing on the implementa­ tion of prevention strategies. Yang recommended ‘more detailed advice for atrocities’ prevention’ as well as ‘case studies of best practice for atrocity preven­ tion, particularly in relation to the relationship between economic development and atrocity risk reduction’.91 The Secretary-General’s sixth report on R2P—this one focusing on inter­nation­al assistance and capacity building under pillar two—similarly pits a detailed UN report against a sparseness of Chinese ideas on the topic. This is so even though the principles underlying the report are ones that Beijing would applaud, includ­ ing ensuring national ownership, reinforcing national efforts, and prioritizing prevention.92 In the section of the report dealing with capacity building the focus was on ‘effective, legitimate and inclusive governance’ including a professional and accountable security sector, impartial institutions to provide oversight of political transitions, as well as independent judicial and human rights institu­ tions. The report also advocated building national capacities to assess risk factors as well as for the resolution of conflicts.93 China’s official response in the informal dialogue some two months later did not mention specific forms of inter­nation­al assistance at all except to note that in the provision of assistance, the ‘international community should adopt measures appropriate to the local conditions . . . There is

The ‘ Responsibility to Protect ’ ( R2P )   153 no one standard model.’94 Thus, even though China offers some level of acceptance of R2P’s pillars one and two, at the public official level it is doing relatively little to advance the debate on the improved implementation of these two pillars. With regard to the second pillar, its priority is to ensure that it is the government in power that takes the decision on whether international as­sist­ance is required and on what is required.95

Conclusion Beijing has not refused to debate R2P and laudably its rhetoric accepts that the sovereign state has a primary duty of protection that it is expected to fulfil. However, in all other respects Beijing has been a conservative and cautious pres­ ence, inhibiting the further development of the cosmopolitan origins of a norm it prefers still to describe as contested. Instead, it has sought to shape R2P in a direction that bolsters state primacy and reinforces non-interference in internal affairs, emphasizing that it is the state that is responsible for protecting its citi­ zens. External enforcement by an international authority virtually has no place in China’s discussion of any reaction to evidence of mass atrocities. Beyond a fundamental stance that has helped concentrate attention on the first pillar of R2P, its rhetoric on the second pillar promotes a demand-led conception that tips the balance away from a role for the international community and towards the government in power. In Beijing’s view, it is the autonomous government that should determine whether to accept international help and the kind of assistance that is most appropriate for its specific conditions. Its approach puts the focus less on a government unwilling to act to prevent mass atrocities, and more on a gov­ ernment without the capacity to prevent atrocities. In these respects, China does not fulfil all of Francis Deng’s criteria developed in the mid-1990s. As with the positions China has developed with respect to UN peace op­er­ ations, including the protection of civilians in armed conflict, it has repeated its belief that stabilization of the government in power strongly linked to economic development are the main routes to preventing mass atrocities over the longer term. It has offered little beyond this in the way of creative solutions for the cap­ acity building or preventive agendas at times of crisis. Instead, it has continued to advocate for the international community to engage in diplomacy, mediation, and peaceful resolution in those circumstances of crisis, and to attend to state priorities with respect to the longer-term effort in support of economic development. Aspects of China’s stance have deep roots in its imperial past as well as roots in its more recent experience of struggling for independent statehood. Beijing can leverage that experience of struggle to find willing supporters among UN mem­ ber states for its position on R2P. This facilitates and encourages China’s

154  China, the UN, and Human Protection promotion of a post-colonial identity with respect to R2P, drawing attention away from its authoritarian political system, in cases where that particular domestic political identity is of concern to other states. A post-colonial identity has reduced the possibility of damage to its international image in this area of global govern­ ance and has brought it closer to other leading developing world states such as Brazil, India, and South Africa. However, its unwillingness to engage more fully with the UN Secretariat’s conflict prevention and early warning agendas has caused some frustration within the Secretariat, which has had some negative impact on Beijing’s image.96 The argument made in this chapter that the PRC, overall, has not suffered much damage to its international image in this issue area has yet to be tested in relation to one of the worst humanitarian crises of our era—the conflict in Syria. Most unusually for Beijing, it has used several vetoes in voting on the Syrian con­ flict, and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made an indirect and critical refer­ ence to Beijing’s early uses of the veto in his 2016 report on the next decade for R2P.97 The puzzle becomes why has Beijing allowed itself to stand out in this way on an issue that may well have worked to challenge its desired image of re­spon­ sible great power? And what do those decisions to veto tell us about the power of Chinese beliefs to shape its response to the multiple crises that have arisen in association with the war in Syria? These questions form the focus of discussion in the next chapter.

Notes 1. For discussion of the joint evolution of these two ideas, their distinctiveness and similarities, see Emily Paddon Rhoads and Jennifer Welsh, ‘Close Cousins in Protection: The Evolution of Two Norms’, International Affairs, 95(3), 2019: 597–617. 2. A distinction made in, for example, Alex  J.  Bellamy, The Responsibility to Protect: a Defense (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 82. See also Anastasia Shesterinina, ‘Evolving Norms of Protection: China, Libya and the Problem of Intervention in Armed Conflict’, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 3, 2016: 812–30; Angus Francis, Vesselin Popovski and Charles Sampford (eds), Norms of Protection: Responsibility to Protect, Protection of Civilians and their Interaction (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2012). The relationship between WPS and R2P is explored in a number of works including Sara Davies, Zim Nwokora, Eli Stamnes, and Sarah Teitt (eds) Responsibility to Protect and Women, Peace and Security (Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, 2013). 3. An official in the UN Secretariat stressed how important this matter of host state con­ sent is in defining a POC-type operation and in distinguishing it from R2P. Interview, New York, 27 March 2019. Another former UN official described R2P as ‘toxic at the UN’. Interview, London, 19 February 2019. Of course, states can sometimes be induced through pressure to give consent, as in the cases of Indonesia and the East Timor operation in 1999, and Sudan in the mid-2000s. For the formal position see https://peacekeeping. un.org/en/protection-of-civilians-mandate.

The ‘ Responsibility to Protect ’ ( R2P )   155 4. Philip Cunliffe, ‘The Doctrine of the “Responsibility to Protect” as a Practice of Political Exceptionalism’, European Journal of International Relations, 23(2), 2017: 466. See in particular Ramesh Thakur’s valuable review article where he notes that there are ‘hun­ dreds of research projects, books, articles and competing handbooks’ on the topic. ‘Review Article: The Responsibility to Protect at 15’, International Affairs, 92(2), 2016: 415–34; quote from 416. 5. The secondary literature on the creation and evolution of norms (much of which refer­ ences R2P) is now huge. Some representative examples include Amitav Acharya, Whose Ideas Matter? Agency and Power in Asian Regionalism (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2009); Acharya, ‘The R2P and norm diffusion: towards a framework of norm cir­ culation’, Global Responsibility to Protect, 5(4), 2013: 466–79; Alexander Betts and Philip Orchards (eds), Implementation and World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014); Martha Finnemore and Kathryn Sikkink, ‘International Norm Dynamics and Political Change’, International Organizations, 52(4), 1998: 887–917; Jeffrey Legro, ‘Which Norms Matter? Revisiting the “failure” of Internationalism’, International Organization, 51(1), 1997: 31–63; Jochen Prantl and Rieko Nakano, ‘Global norm diffusion in East Asia: how China and Japan implement the responsibility to protect’, International Relations, 25(2), 2011: 204–23; Thomas Risse, Steven Ropp, and Kathryn Sikkink (eds) The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999); Pu Xiaoyu, ‘Socialisation as a two-way process: emerging powers and the diffu­ sion of international norms’, Chinese Journal of International Politics, 5(4), 2012: 341–67. 6. Skepticism is rife in Aidan Hehir and Robert W. Murray (eds), Protecting Human Rights in the 21st Century (Abingdon: Routledge, 2017). Robin Dunford and Michael Neu argue for a fundamental rethink of R2P in ‘The Responsibility to Protect in a world of already existing intervention’, European Journal of International Relations, 2019, DOI: 10.1177/1354066119842208. A more positive appraisal is offered in Bellamy, The Responsibility to Protect, as well as Gareth Evans, The Responsibility to Protect: Ending Mass Atrocity Crimes Once and for All (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2008). See also Abiodun Williams, ‘The Responsibility to Protect and Institutional Change’, Global Governance, 23(4), 2017: 537–44; Samuel James Wyatt, The Responsibility to Protect and a Cosmopolitan Approach to Human Protection (Abingdon: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2019). 7. There are important exceptions, of course, a number of which are covered in my chap­ ter 3. See e.g. Miriam Bradley, Protecting Civilians in War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016); Catherine Jones, ‘The Responsibility to Protect or the Protection of Civilians: Which Policy Brand is more “successful”?’ in Hehir and Murray (eds) Protecting Human Rights in the 21st Century, 143–62; Cecilia Jacob and Alistair  D.  B.  Cook (eds) Civilian Protection in the Twenty-First Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019); Emily Paddon Rhoads, Taking Sides in Peacekeeping: Impartiality and the Future of the United Nations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016). See also other works on POC discussed in Thakur, ‘The Responsibility to Protect at 15’. 8. A/63/677, ‘Implementing the Responsibility to Protect: Report of the Secretary General’, 12 January 2009.

156  China, the UN, and Human Protection 9. Brian Job and Anastania Shesterinina, ‘China as a Global Norm-Shaper: Institutionalization and Implementation of the Responsibility to Protect’, Betts and Orchard (eds) Implementation and World Politics, 145; Jennifer  M.  Welsh, ‘Norm Robustness and the Responsibility to Protect’, Journal of Global Security Studies, 4(1), 2019: 54. 10. Betts and Orchard (eds), ‘Introduction’, Implementation and World Politics, 10. Carla Winston has invited us to think about ‘norm clusters’ where a state is ‘constrained to do something appropriate’, but ‘is enabled by the relative freedom of choice within the cluster to determine for itself what constitutes “appropriate behavior” in its own spe­ cific context’. See ‘Norm Structure, Diffusion, and Evolution: a Conceptual Approach’, European Journal of International Relations, 2017: 10, DOI:10.1177/1354066117720794. 11. Notably, Resolution 1973 (2011) that authorized imposition of a no-fly zone does use the phrase ‘the responsibility of the Libyan authorities to protect the Libyan popula­ tion’, but elsewhere describes the action as a POC operation. 12. UNGA A/RES 60.1, 24 October, 2005. 13. Luke Glanville, Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect: A New History (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014); Jennifer  M.  Welsh, ‘Implementing the Responsibility to Protect: Where Expectations Meet Reality’, Ethics and International Affairs, 24(4), 2010: 415–30, esp. 417. 14. Notable among these is former President William  J.  Clinton, who in March 1998 expressed regret for failing to act to halt the Rwandan genocide, stating that he did not ‘fully appreciate the depth and the speed with which [Rwandans] were being engulfed by this unimaginable terror’. Quoted in Colum Lynch, ‘Rwanda Revisited’, Foreign Policy, 5 April 2015, at http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/04/05/rwanda-revisitedgenocide-united-states-state-department/. 15. Donald Rothchild, Francis  M.  Deng, I.  William Zartman, Sadikiel Kimaro, and Terrence Lyons, Sovereignty as Responsibility: Conflict Management in Africa (Washington DC: Brookings Institution, 1996). 16. Welsh, ‘Implementing the Responsibility to Protect’, 419–20. See also Sarah Teitt, ‘Sovereignty as Responsibility’, in Tim Dunne and Christian Reus-Smit (eds) The Globalization of International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 336–7. 17. Kofi A. Annan, The Question of Intervention: Statements by the Secretary-General, New York: United Nations Department of Public Information, 1999. See also Adam Roberts, ‘The United Nations and Humanitarian Intervention’, in Jennifer M. Welsh (ed.), Humanitarian Intervention and International Relations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 71–97, esp. 86–7. 18. Roberts, ‘The United Nations and Humanitarian Intervention’, 86. 19. It came into force in 2001 and is available at https://au.int/en/constitutive-act. 20. The Responsibility to Protect: Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, Ottawa: International Development Research Corporation, 2001. 21. Alex J. Bellamy, Global Politics and the Responsibility to Protect: From Words to Deeds (Abingdon: Routledge, 2011), 18. 22. In a Roundtable Discussion on the ICISS report in June 2001, Chinese participants stated ‘[i]t is clear that certain Western powers have played with noble principles to

The ‘ Responsibility to Protect ’ ( R2P )   157 serve their own hegemonic interests’. Quoted in Andrew Garwood-Gowers, ‘China and the “Responsibility to Protect”: the Implications of the Libyan Intervention’, Asian Journal of International Law, 2, 2012: 378, note 21. See also Sarah Teitt, ‘The Responsibility to Protect and China’s Peacekeeping Policy’, International Peacekeeping, 18(3), 2011: 300. 23. Jennifer  M.  Welsh, ‘Norm Contestation and the Responsibility to Protect’, Global Responsibility to Protect, 5, 2013: 370. 24. A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility, A/59/565, 2 December 2004. 25. A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility, A/59/565, 2 December 2004. See also Bellamy, Global Politics and the Responsibility to Protect, 21. 26. In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All, A/59/2005, 21 March 2005. 27. Welsh, ‘Norm Contestation’, 372. 28. Marc Pollentine, ‘Constructing the Responsibility to Protect’, Ph.D dissertation, Cardiff University, School of European Languages, Translation, and Politics, October 2013, 286. See also Ramesh Thakur, The United Nations, Peace and Security: From Collective Security to the Responsibility to Protect (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017, 2nd edn), 282. Thakur avers that the ‘2005 “unanimous” endorsement of R2P rested on shallow foundations. Many people from the 2005 negotiations con­ fessed privately that “[f]or the sake of . . . overall consensus, they had been willing to endorse the new norm even though they did not support and would not adhere to it” ’, 282. 29. Welsh, ‘Norm Contestation’, 381. 30. Apparently, it was the Pakistani ambassador to the UN, Munir Akram, who suggested there be a direct link between the language of R2P and the four crimes, a diplomat who also played a significant role in negotiations during the debates over the estab­ lishment of the new UN Human Rights Council. See chapter 6. 31. Pollentine, ‘Constructing the Responsibility to Protect’, 341. 32. Sarah Teitt, ‘The Responsibility to Protect and China’s Peacekeeping Policy’, International Peacekeeping, 18(3), 2011: 304. 33. This could be viewed as a recipe for delay, or presented as action in support of the Assembly’s role in the legitimation of R2P ideas. 34. Teitt, ‘The Responsibility to Protect and China’s Peacekeeping Policy’, 304; Welsh, ‘Implementing the “Responsibility to Protect” ’, 425 and note 34; S/RES/1706 (2006), 31 August 2006. Bellamy in The Responsibility to Protect, notes that Resolution 1706 has ‘gone down in history as one of the Council’s worst ever because it mandated a peacekeeping operation . . . that was never likely to be deployed’. He also describes the diplomatic battle that preceded it as so wounding that the Council stayed well away from R2P for some time (see page 8). 35. Implementing the Responsibility to Protect: Report of the Secretary-General, A/63/677, 12 January 2009. 36. Gareth Evans, ‘Statement to United Nations General Assembly: Informal Interactive Dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect’, 23 July 2009. 37. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, ‘Implementing the Responsibility to  Protect, the 2009 General Assembly Debate: An Assessment’, 2 August 2009,

158  China, the UN, and Human Protection http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org/index.php/component/content/article/ 35-r2pcs-topics/2522-report-by-the-global-centre-for-r2p-the-2009-general-assemblydebate-an-assessment-. 38. Monica Serrano and Thomas G. Weiss, ‘Introduction: Is R2P “cascading”?’ in Serrano and Weiss (eds) The International Politics of Human Rights (Abingdon: Routledge, 2014), 12. 39. ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Guangya on the Report of the High-Level Panel’, 27 January 2005, http://www.china-un.org/eng/chinaandun/zzhgg/t181639.htm. 40. ‘Statement by Ambassador Wang Guangya at the Informal Meeting of the General Assembly on the Draft Outcome Document of the September Summit’, 21 June 2005, http://www.china-un.org.eng/zghihg/zzhgg/t200664.htm. This statement is also rele­vant for the next paragraph. 41. China’s views on the new human rights body will be dealt with in chapter 6. 42. See too China’s statement at a UN debate on the protection of civilians in armed con­ flict: ‘Many members are currently deeply concerned about the concept of the respon­ sibility to protect, and the relevant discussions should therefore be pursued in the United Nations.’ It went on: ‘The Security Council is in no position to interpret or expand the concept of the responsibility to protect at will, much less to abuse it.’ S/PV.5898, 27 May 2008. 43. ‘Statement by Ambassador Liu Zhenmin at the Plenary Session of the General Assembly on the Question of “Responsibility to Protect” ’, 24 July 2009, at http://www. china-un.org/eng/hyyfy/t575682.htm. This statement also relates to the next two para­graphs. See too China’s statement at S/PV.5898, 27 May 2008. The report itself is at A/63/677, 12 January 2009 and the quotation on sovereignty at 7. 44. Ban Ki-moon, Responsibility to Protect: Timely and Decisive Response, A/66/874, 25 July 2012, para. 51. 45. Pollentine, ‘Constructing the Responsibility to Protect’, 341 46. Welsh, ‘Norm Contestation’, 378. 47. Thakur, The United Nations, Peace and Security, 282. 48. For a Chinese scholarly perspective see Luo Yanhua, ‘ “Baohu de zeren” de fazhan lichen yu Zhongguo de lichang’ [The evolution of ‘R2P’ and China’s policies towards it]. Guoji zhengzhi yanjiu [International Political Studies] 3, 2014: 11–25. 49. I am grateful to Anna Schrimpf for her help in collating these Asian views. See also my earlier publications on this topic, including ‘The Responsibility to Protect and its Evolution: Beijing’s Influence on Norm Creation in Humanitarian Areas’, St Antony’s International Review, 6(2), 2011: 47–66; and ‘The State, Development, and Humanitarianism: China’s Shaping of the Trajectory of R2P’, in Alex J. Bellamy and Tim Dunne (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the Responsibility to Protect (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), 932–46. 50. The state-based R2P Focal Points initiative is discussed regularly on the website of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. See http://www.globalr2p.org/media/ files/regional-breakdown_global-network-of-r2p-focal-points-2.pdf. The Global Centre includes Australia and New Zealand in the Asia-Pacific grouping. 51. Patrick Quinton-Brown, ‘Mapping Dissent: The Responsibility to Protect and its State Critics’, Global Responsibility to Protect, 5(3), 2013: 260–82.

The ‘ Responsibility to Protect ’ ( R2P )   159 52. Zheng Chen, ‘China and the Responsibility to Protect’, 687. See also Rana Mitter who references China’s concerns in relation to its coercive responses in Tibet and Xinjiang. ‘An Uneasy engagement: Chinese Ideas of Global Order and Justice in Historical Perspective’, in Rosemary Foot, John Lewis Gaddis, and Andrew Hurrell (eds) Order and Justice in International Relations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), 222; and Courtney J. Fung, China and Intervention at the UN Security Council: Reconciling Status (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 34, who discusses the conflation between internal and external security concerns in China. 53. Peiran Wang, ‘China and the Third Pillar’, Daniel Fiott and Joachim Koops (eds) The  Responsibility to Protect and the Third Pillar (London: Palgrave/Macmillan, 2015), 89. 54. Ruan Rongze, ‘Responsible Protection: Building a Safer World’, China International Studies, Beijing: China Institute of International Studies, June 2012, http://www.ciis. org.cn/english/2012%9606/15/content_5090912.htm. 55. Welsh, ‘Norm Contestation’, 392. 56. Welsh, ‘Norm Contestation’, 394. 57. For one Chinese scholar’s analysis that stresses this compatibility, see Pang Zhongying, ‘China: Partner–or Ward?’ Internationale Politik, 9(3), 2008: 42–7. 58. ‘Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China on the United Nations Reforms’, Beijing, 7 June 2005, http://www.china-un.org/eng/chinaandun/zzhgg/t199101.htm. 59. The Chinese government would react swiftly to this, mounting a major show of force in Chinese cities in response to rumoured calls for Chinese to start their own ‘Jasmine Revolution’. Tania Branigan, ‘China’s Jasmine Revolution: Police but not protesters line streets of Beijing’, The Guardian, 27 February 2011. 60. Bellamy, The Responsibility to Protect, 9. 61. Ramesh Thakur, The United Nations, Peace and Security (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 253. 62. SC/10187/REV.1, 26 February 2011. 63. SC/10200, 17 March 2011. 64. Thakur, The United Nations, Peace and Security, 253–4. 65. Quoted in Andrew Garwood-Gowers, ‘China and the “Responsibility to Protect,”: The Implications of the Libyan Intervention’, Asian Journal of International Law, 2, 2012: 384. 66. Jason Ralph and Jess Gifkins, ‘The Purpose of United Nations Security Council Practice: Contesting Competence Claims in the Normative Context Created by the Responsibility to Protect’, European Journal of International Relations, 23(3), 2017: 630–53, and esp. 636–8. 67. S/PV.6498, 17 March 2011: 4–6. 68. S/PV.6498, 17 March 2011: 8. 69. S/PV.6498, 17 March 2011: 10. See also Zheng Chen, ‘China and the Responsibility to Protect’, Journal of Contemporary China, 25(101), 2016: 692. 70. Courtney  J.  Fung, ‘Global South Solidarity? China, Regional Organizations and Intervention in the Libyan and Syrian Civil Wars’, Third World Quarterly, 37(1), 2016: 33–50, esp. 37–40. See also her detailed treatment in China and Intervention at the UN Security Council, chapter  5, together with ‘Rhetorical adaptation, normative

160  China, the UN, and Human Protection resistance and international order-making: China’s advancement of the responsibility to protect’, Cooperation and Conflict, 2019, DOI: 10.1177/0010836719858118. 71. Fung, ‘Global South Solidarity’, 39; Security Council Report, ‘Update on Libya’, no. 3, 25 February 2011 at https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/update-report/lookup_c_ glkwlemtisg_b_6586331.php. 72. A further mark of division was that the Security Council’s three African nonpermanent members—Gabon, Nigeria and South Africa—supported the resolution. That outcome would also have complicated Beijing’s decision on the vote. 73. Fung, ‘Global South Solidarity’, 8. 74. Ralph and Gifkins, ‘The Purpose of United Nations Security Council Practice’, note 7,  649. 75. Fung, ‘Global South Solidarity’, 40. 76. Global Times, 23 March 2011, quoted in Sarah Teitt, ‘China and the Responsibility to Protect’, R2P IDEAS in Brief, 6(2), 2016: 3–4. 77. Quoted in Garwood-Gowers, ‘China and the “Responsibility to Protect” ’, 390. 78. Sonya Sceats with Shaun Breslin, ‘China and the International Human Rights System’ (London: Chatham House Report, October 2012), 46. 79. Liu Tiewa and Zhang Haibin, ‘Debates in China about the responsibility to protect as a developing international norm: a general assessment’, Conflict, Security and Development, 2014: 16, at http://dx.doi/org/10.1080/14678802.2014.930590. 80. Monica Herz, ‘Brazil and R2P: Responsibility while Protecting’, in Monica Serrano and Thomas G. Weiss (eds) The International Politics of Human Rights: Rallying to the R2P Cause? (Abingdon: Routledge, 2014), 113. 81. Ruan Zongze, ‘Responsible Protection: Building a Safer World’, China International Studies, 15 June 2012, Beijing: China Institute of International Studies, at http://www. ciis.org.cn/english/2012%9606/15/content_5090912.htm. 82. Ruan, ‘Responsible Protection: Building a Safer World’. See too the valuable and detailed discussion of ‘Responsible Protection’ in Andrew Garwood-Gowers, ‘China’s “Responsible Protection” Concept: Reinterpreting the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and Military Intervention for Humanitarian Purposes’, Asian Journal of International Law, 6, 2016: 89–118. 83. Global Responsibility to Protect, ‘General Assembly Debate Statement: China’ (state­ ment at the Informal Interactive Dialogue on R2P, after release of Secretary-General’s Report on the Role of Regional and Sub-Regional Arrangements, 12 July 2011), at http://www.globalr2p.org/resources/534. 84. Plenary meeting, 72nd session, 2nd plenary meeting, 15 September 2017, at http:// webtv.un.org/search/general-assembly-2nd-plenary-meeting-72nd-session/ 5576174912001. 85. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, ‘Statement of the People’s Republic of China—Informal Interactive Dialogue on R2P’, 8 September 2015, at http://www. globalr2p.org/media/files/china-1.pdf. On human rights more broadly, see chapter 6. Andrew Garwood-Gowers has similarly noted the evolution of China’s positions on pillar two, although his interpretation of the nature of the re-interpretation differs somewhat from mine. See ‘China and the “responsibility to protect” (R2P)’, Sarah Biddulph (ed.), Handbook on Human Rights in China (Cheltenham, UK: Edward

The ‘ Responsibility to Protect ’ ( R2P )   161 Elgar Publishing, 2019), 103–18, and especially 112–3. I am grateful to Professor Garwood-Gowers for access to an early version of this publication. 86. ‘Statement by Counselor Yao Shaojun at the General Assembly Debate on the Responsibility to Protect and the Prevention of Genocide, War Crimes, Ethnic Cleansing and Crimes against Humanity’, 2 July 2018 (given in error as 4 July), at http://www. china-un.org/eng/hyyfy/t1573682.htm. 87. The Global Centre for R2P has been tabulating resolutions containing this phrase for some time, figures that are often referenced elsewhere. See, e.g., the foreword by Gareth Evans to a Special Issue of International Relations on ‘Critical Perspectives on the Responsibility to Protect: BRICS and Beyond’, 30(3), 2016: 265. 88. Jennifer  M.  Welsh, ‘Norm Robustness and the Responsibility to Protect’, Journal of Global Security Studies 4(1), 2019: 64. 89. Simon Adams, ‘If Not Now, When? The Responsibility to Protect, the Fate of the Rohingya and the Future of Human Rights’ (New York: Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Occasional Paper Series, No. 8, January 2019), 8–9, at http:// www.globalr2p.org/media/files/occasionalpaper_rohingyafinal.pdf. 90. Report of the Secretary-General, ‘Responsibility to protect: State responsibility and prevention’, A/67/929-S/2013/399, 9 July 2013. See too ‘Summary of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Report on the Responsibility to Protect’, Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, New York, 6 August 2013, http://www.globalr2p.org/ publications/243. For a scholarly contribution on prevention see Serena  K.  Sharma and Jennifer M. Welsh (eds), The Responsibility to Prevent: Overcoming the Challenges to Atrocity Prevention (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015). 91. ‘Spotlight on R2P: Second Annual China-Australia Dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect’, Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Brisbane: University of Queensland, Issue 25, December 2015, at https://r2pasiapacific.org/files/605/spotlight_ dec2015_issue25_2nd_annual_china-aus_dialogue.pdf. More positively, the 3rd China-Australia dialogue on R2P took place in China. Co-hosted by the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and the China Institute of International Studies, an invitation to address the meeting was extended to the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on R2P—Ivan Šimonovic—the first time for a Special Adviser to visit China. See Issue 35, December 2016, Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, Brisbane: University of Queensland at https://r2pasiapacific.org/files/611/ spotlight_dec2016_issue35_3rd_china-aus_dialogue_keynote_address_SAR2P.pdf. However, the next two reports show a similar Chinese suspicion surrounding certain R2P-related terminology, and a focus on areas of disagreement. Chinese participants’ references to development as important to the addressing of root causes of conflict are also prominent. At https://r2pasiapacific.org/files/617/spotlight_feb2017_issue36_ 3rd_china-aus_dialogue_role_of_peacekeeping.pdf, and https://r2pasiapacific.org/ files/623/spotlight_jul2018_issue45_4th_chna-aus_dialogue_peacekeeping_ accountability_for_prevention.pdf. 92. Report of the Secretary-General, ‘Fulfilling our collective responsibility: international assistance and the responsibility to protect’, A/68/947-S/2014/449, 11 July 2014, and esp. 5. 93. A/68/947-S/2014/449, 11 July 2014, esp. 11–13.

162  China, the UN, and Human Protection 94. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, ‘Statement by China at the General Assembly Informal Interactive Dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect’, 8 September 2014, available at http://www.globalr2p.org/resources/695. 95. This is not to argue that there are not some alternative views in China, or scholarly work that examines preventive strategies, as a number of Chinese and other scholars have illustrated. Some Chinese academics have suggested ways that R2P could be developed and more fully implemented. However, these are minority voices, and only a small group would argue that R2P should be regarded as an ‘authoritative and oper­ able international norm’. Most appear to be in close alignment with Chinese au­thor­ ities. See, in particular, Liu and Zhang, ‘Debates in China about the Responsibility to Protect’; Chen, ‘China and the Responsibility to Protect;’ and Liu Tiewa, Baohu de zeren: guoji guan jiangou zhong de Zhongguo shijiao [Responsibility to Protect: The Chinese Perspective on the Construction of a New International Norm] (Beijing: Beijing Daxue Chubanshe, 2015). 96. A point made in several interviews undertaken in March 2019 at the United Nations in New York. 97. ‘Mobilizing collective action: the next decade of the responsibility to protect’, A/70/999-S/2016/620, 22 July 2016.

5

The Syrian Crisis A UN Security Council role in protecting civilians caught up in armed conflict has signally failed in the case of the war in Syria. The Syrian disaster has similarly proven impossible to generate any explicit traction within the Security Council for the idea that there is an international responsibility to utilize R2P to deter or contain atrocity crimes. This is so despite the total disregard of international humanitarian law exhibited during the conflict.1 As the Syrian conflagration enters its ninth year (a conflict which began with a peaceful demonstration in January 2011), more than half a million Syrians have lost their lives. Out of a total population of approximately 25 million, more than 6 million have been internally displaced, and 5.6 million have become refugees. This has been described as the  ‘largest number of people displaced by any conflict in the world’.2 The World Bank, writing in 2017, estimated that the war has resulted in six out of ten Syrians living in extreme poverty, and that cumulative losses in gross domestic product (GDP) have reached US$226 billion, about four times the Syrian GDP as at 2010.3 The scale of the breaches of humanitarian law have been well-documented. The UN Human Rights Council set up an Independent International Commission of Inquiry on 23 August 2011 via resolution S-17/1.4 The Independent Commission’s regular reports document the atrocities committed by all parties to the conflict. There has been deliberate targeting of civilians, as well as the few hospitals that remain in place to treat them, the markets and shops that are needed to feed them, and the schools that should be teaching Syrian children. Parties involved in the conflict, but especially the Syrian government, have utilized aerial bombardment in densely packed civilian areas. Chemical weapons have also been used on more than 100 occasions. Sexual violence, torture, execution without due process, and disappearances have been rife. The former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, who in December 2017 decided not to seek a second term in office, has described the conflict as an ‘immense tidal wave of bloodshed and atrocity’ and Syria as a ‘place of savage horror and absolute injustice’. As the conflict was entering its seventh year, he stated that it represented ‘the worst man-made disaster the world has seen since World War II’.5 One of the most unexpected developments in reference to this tragedy has been the PRC’s decision to use its Security Council veto, alongside Russia, on China, the UN, and Human Protection: Beliefs, Power, Image. Rosemary Foot, Oxford University Press (2020). © Rosemary Foot. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198843733.001.0001

164  China, the UN, and Human Protection seven Syria-related resolutions (as at September 2019). It has also abstained on another six that Russia has chosen additionally to veto. Vetoing as opposed to abstention or non-participation in the vote is extremely unusual behaviour for Beijing, which between 1971—when it became a Security Council member—and 2009, only used the veto on six occasions.6 While Russia has been the primary actor in this partnership, China’s action has been a highly visible move. It is one that—especially in the early stages of this war—has had negative consequences for its image at both the domestic and international levels. These vetoes have attracted serious criticism, always from the P3, but also from some of the elected members of the Council, the Arab League and Gulf Cooperation Council, the majority of the membership of the General Assembly, the UN Human Rights Council, and somewhat obliquely from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Moreover, these Chinese and Russian joint vetoes have rarely attracted much support from the non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.7 General Assembly frustration with the Council has been expressed on a number of occasions: for example, on 16 February 2012, the Assembly passed a resolution—137 for, twelve against, and seventeen abstentions—closely worded on one that the Security Council failed to pass on 4 February 2012 as a result of Chinese and Russian vetoes.8 In August 2012, the UN General Assembly publicly and strongly rebuked the Security Council, ‘deploring’ its failure to ensure Syrian compliance with its earlier decisions.9 Among other consequences, these indications of disillusionment with the Council led to a groundswell of support for UN Security Council reform, leading the French government to attempt to dissuade its per­man­ent members voluntarily from using the veto in the face of mass atrocity crimes.10 This chapter explores Beijing’s decision to draw global and domestic attention, via use of the veto, to this change in its behaviour, charting how its desire to promote its world view weighed alongside the image consequences that flowed from that change in approach. The chapter first outlines in brief the main phases of the Syrian conflict, then references some of the resolutions that have caused such high levels of Security Council division, before explaining why Beijing used its veto in these instances. In particular, it focuses on the justifications it has offered for the voting decisions it has made over the course of this war. The Syrian case has been chosen not only because of its status as one of the worst failures in human protection since World War II, but also because it strengthens our understanding of China’s attitudes towards the UN’s POC and R2P agendas at a time of its increased global influence and ambition. The Syrian example also allows us to explore the mechanisms Beijing has used in order to resolve the tensions between any damage to its international image and its belief in the role of the strong state and developmentalism as the pathway to peace in these most difficult of circumstances.

The Syrian Crisis  165

The Unfolding Conflict in Syria and the UN Response The Syrian military conflict has been through many stages.11 The first phase of the conflict, 2011–13, inspired by the ‘Arab Spring’, began with a peaceful protest in January 2011. Following a repressive Syrian governmental reaction, further protests were sparked in March that year, which led the country’s armed forces to shoot at demonstrators. Subsequent demonstrations were also violently suppressed, causing some defections among the Syrian armed forces and the setting up of a ‘Free Syrian Army’. Over this period of state-society fragmentation, the violence became geographically more widespread and increasingly sectarian and started to draw in proxy powers determined to defend their respective communities. Peace efforts, involving the Arab League and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, came to naught. Annan resigned his position in August 2012 after less than six months in his role as joint UN-Arab League Special Envoy and after Bashar al-Assad had marked time having initially acquiesced to the six-point plan for conflict resolution that Annan had put forward. By the time of the second phase, 2013–14, the conflict had become an inter­ nation­al­ized and multi-actor civil war that had drawn in several external forces including Hezbollah, Iran, Russia, Turkey, and the United States. Some of the military tactics adopted clearly violated the laws of war. The Syrian government’s suspected use of chemical weapons in 2013 brought the prospects of a Westernbacked military intervention in the country closer to realization. This was constrained at the last minute mainly by partisan opposition or domestic caution on the part of legislatures in both the United States and United Kingdom, together with the rapid Russian decision to broker an agreement leading to the destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons capability. However, as it later turned out, this did not include the destruction of all chloride gas stocks. Atrocities began to mount steadily in the period from 2014, and with the ­official gathering together of evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity, the UN attempted to further peace talks in Geneva and to contemplate referral of the Assad regime to the International Criminal Court. It also appointed Lakhdar Brahimi as a replacement Special Envoy. President Assad held presidential elections in the country claiming a heavily disputed victory with eightynine per cent of the votes. These external and domestic developments made little or no difference to the scale or ruthlessness of the fighting, and in the meantime, terrorist forces, most notably Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), began to take over large swathes of territory in the east of the country and to contest control of the north. The United States and its coalition allies stepped up their bombing of terrorist groups linked to ISIS, but could not stop the declaration of a ­caliphate and eventually the seizing of the ancient city of Palmyra as well as other territories.

166  China, the UN, and Human Protection With Assad’s forces facing defeat or at least confinement to a few parts of the country, Russia stepped up its military involvement from September 2015, in­­ augur­at­ing a fourth phase of this devastating conflict. Russian action included extensive air strikes allegedly directed at Islamist forces but also leading to the deaths of many civilians as well as members of anti-Assad rebel groups. Moscow also initiated an alternative peace process to the one floundering in Geneva. The Astana peace process, held in Kazakhstan, which includes roles for Iran and Turkey, reached its sixth round of talks in September 2017.12 It has focused on the creation of ‘de-escalation zones’. In January 2018, Russia orchestrated a peace conference in Sochi, thus setting up a further instance of competition with the official UN-led Geneva process. It represented another indication of Moscow’s determination to shape Syria’s future, weakening the prospects of a political transition and any genuine form of reconciliation within the country.13 With the eventual establishment of partial ceasefires as well as a return of many cities in Syria to Syrian governmental control, President Putin in December 2017, highly prematurely, declared that his ‘support mission’ was over. In reality, the fighting continued over the course of 2018, with the Syrian areas of Idlib, Aleppo, and Hama remaining as the main opposition strongholds. A further chemical weapons attack occurred in April in Douma leading nine Council members to call for an emergency meeting of the Security Council. However, Security Council disarray over establishing an investigatory mission to explore culpability led the US, Britain, and France joining together to carry out more than 100 military strikes against Syrian military facilities. Russia attempted to pass a resolution of condemnation of Western action, but this failed.14 It took until September 2018 before Turkey and Russia could agree to the establishment of a demilitarized zone fifteen kilometre’s wide within the Idlib governorate. While opposition forces removed their heavy weaponry from the demilitarized zone, the troops did not withdraw completely and governmental forces continued heavy bombardments in order to take further ground. Despite some de-escalation in the fighting, further chemical weapons attacks and airstrikes have taken place in Aleppo. Over the course of 2019, civilian casualties have remained high, access to food and medical assistance very difficult, and many civilians are still living in siege conditions.15 However, Assad is in firmer control of a larger expanse of territory, and the idea of a political transition away from Assad’s rule has receded. Although violence continues, and civilians continue to bear the brunt of a brutal war, some global attention has turned towards matters of refugee return to the country, to Syria’s vast reconstruction needs, and what type and level of engagement should be contemplated with the autocratic regime that remains in place.

The Syrian Crisis  167

Draft Resolutions and Voting Outcomes The UN Security Council has tracked the various stages of this devastating conflict and from April 2011 started to debate courses of action that came within its purview, such as sanctions, travel bans, arms embargoes, political action plans, the deployment of observer missions, as well as a possible UN-authorized mili­ tary intervention. Press statements, presidential statements, and draft resolutions have been issued on a regular basis many of which have demonstrated a polarized Council unable to agree an effective way forward and a Secretariat increasingly dismayed by this display of the UN’s ineffectiveness. Many of the earlier phases of these debates about appropriate responses in Syria were undertaken at the same time as the unfolding crisis in Libya, including the introduction in that country of a no-fly zone, the overthrow and later murder of Colonel Gaddafi, and then the blood-letting that occurred in the country as contending forces struggled to gain control of strategic areas.16 On 27 April 2011, the Security Council held its first public debate on Syria. Several attempts at drafting resolutions ensued, a number tabled without being pushed forward to a vote, with France, Germany, Portugal, and the United Kingdom (UK) taking the lead. Finally, on 4 October 2011, the UK put forward a revised resolution removing references to sanctions, accountability, and human rights violations, but still condemning the Assad regime for its targeting of civilians and systematic violation of human rights.17 The resolution also called for a Syrian-led political process and expressed an intention to review the degree of governmental compliance with the terms of the resolution within thirty days, with the prospect of applying sanctions against the regime under article 41 of the UN Charter. Beijing and Moscow vetoed this resolution, which had otherwise attracted nine Council votes in favour and four abstentions (Brazil, India, Lebanon, and South Africa). A second draft resolution, brought forward by Morocco in early February 2012, was also vetoed by China and Russia, but notably the resolution gained the support of all other Council members. It had also attracted the co-sponsorship of eight other Council members, plus eleven other UN member states, ten of which were from the Arab world, including Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. It condemned the escalating violence in Syria, gave its support for the Arab League’s decision on 22 January 2012 to facilitate a Syrian-led political transition, and attempted to be less partial, focusing on the violations committed by all parties to the conflict. Importantly, there was no explicit reference to possible sanctions, and no reference to any use of force; indeed, the text explicitly stated that ‘nothing in this resolution authorizes measures under Article 42 of the UN Charter’.18 As Shaikh and Roberts conclude: ‘The final draft of the resolution substantively addressed all of the concerns raised during the negotiations’, and the expectation

168  China, the UN, and Human Protection was that the resolution would be adopted unanimously the next day.19 This was not to be. Beijing’s and Moscow’s vetoes prevented the passage of this resolution which prompted the General Assembly to endorse the Arab League proposal for a political transition and the call for a Special UN Envoy to be appointed, with Kofi Annan taking up this role at the end of February 2012. Two resolutions, adopted by consensus, followed the decision to appoint Annan and to support the six-point plan he had helped to construct. Council members also agreed to deploy an observer mission, the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS).20 However, the Annan plan quickly ran into the sand and indiscriminate attacks on civilians continued leading to a further escalation of fighting between rebel forces, government-linked militia, and the Syrian armed forces. Any semblance of a consensus within the Council soon evaporated with a third joint veto issued by Beijing and Moscow (P2) in response to a new draft resolution in July 2012. This time, two other non-permanent member states were willing to abstain—namely Pakistan and South Africa—though no others voted with the P2.21 This resolution resurrected the prospect of sanctions under article 41 and in particular condemned the ‘Syrian authorities’ for their indiscriminate bombing, use of heavy weapons in populated areas, widespread violations of human rights, and failure to cooperate with agencies charged with providing humanitarian assistance. The vetoes could hardly have been unexpected. Concerns about the humanitarian situation, as well as the use of chemical weapons in the fighting, began to occupy Security Council attention in 2013 and 2014. On the humanitarian side, this period saw regular briefings from the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs outlining the severe de­teri­ ora­tion in conditions. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in January 2013 called for referral of the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court, a call supported by Council members Australia, France, Luxembourg, the Republic of Korea, and the UK. Ineffective as deterrents, 2013 saw further gross violations of the laws of war with chemical weapons being used in August in an attack on the suburbs around Damascus, killing scores of civilians.22 Blame was swiftly attributed to the Syrian government, and there was a short-lived contemplation in Britain, France, and the United States of a military response. In reaction to this possible military intervention, Moscow moved to broker an agreement with Washington, together with passage of a resolution, adopted unanimously, to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stocks. It was agreed that inspections by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) would start in early October. Under the terms of this resolution, the Council prohibited the Syrian government or any other party in Syria from ‘using, developing, pro­du­ cing, otherwise acquiring, stockpiling or retaining chemical weapons, or transferring them to other States or non-State actors’.23 The Syrian government also was required to accede to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Subsequently, the OPCW’s fact-finding mission discovered that chlorine gas had been used in the

The Syrian Crisis  169 villages of Talmenes, Al Tamanah, and Kafr Zita from April to August 2014. Unable to ignore these findings of chemical weapons use, as the Russian delegate put it, the Council decided in 2015 to set up a one-year mechanism—the Joint Investigative Mechanism—to work jointly with the OPCW to identify ‘to the greatest extent feasible’ those responsible for these war crimes.24 In light of the shocking reports of deprivation and the scale of the atrocities inside Syria, Security Council debates about questions of humanitarian access and ICC referral continued. These often fell prey to the hostile atmosphere within the Council, which remained polarized over most issues connected with this war despite the agreement regarding the destruction of chemical weapons and the need for inspections. In May 2014, France put forward a draft resolution, cosponsored by sixty-five member states, and with more than 100 international NGOs in support, advocating such an ICC referral. In response, China and Russia issued their fourth vetoes, with all other Council members voting in favour.25 Resolutions on humanitarian access made more progress, though only haltingly. The first such resolution, Resolution 2139, passed on 22 February 2014, called on all parties to protect civilians. It was unanimously adopted, with the ‘silent displeasure of Syria’s Permanent Representative to the UN’ being made clear as the Russian ambassador raised his hand in support.26 However, implementation remained a major issue requiring a new resolution in mid-July (Resolution 2165) which authorized cross-border access even without Syrian state consent.27 The unanimous agreement to override state consent was unexpected and it owed much to the change of resolution pen-holders to elected rather than per­ man­ent members of the Security Council. Australia, Luxembourg, and Jordan— the latter of whom was hosting many Syrian refugees—worked closely together to depoliticize the discussion of Syria. This time they focused as closely as possible on the deteriorating humanitarian situation within the country.28 Permanent representatives engaged directly with their Russian and Chinese counterparts over several months rather than relying on experts.29 Australian diplomats, in particular, played a leading role. Although Canberra is a close ally of the UK and United States, its role was aided by the fact that it ‘was not tainted by the Libya experience’ because it only became an elected member of the Council in January 2013. Moreover, during the negotiations over these two resolutions Canberra remained sharply focused on the matter of securing humanitarian access to Syria’s besieged population.30 It helped too that the cross-border access zones were in areas where the Syrian government no longer exercised control, thus mollifying Chinese and Russian concerns about the Syrian state’s sovereign status. In addition, Beijing indicated that it was satisfied because Chapter VII language had been dropped.31 The passage of this resolution, despite the continuing severe problems of humanitarian access, has been critical for the delivery of some humanitarian assistance. For example, on 13 December 2018, the Council adopted Resolution 2448, drafted by Kuwait and Sweden, which renewed for a year the authorization for

170  China, the UN, and Human Protection cross-border access, and which was to deliver the aid by notifying the Syrian government rather than waiting for its authorization. China and Russia abstained on this resolution, but all others voted in favour.32 Russia’s fifth veto, in October 2016, was one cast without the support of its ally China, the latter choosing to abstain. France and Spain had tabled a resolution calling for an immediate halt to all aerial bombing and flights over the city of Aleppo. Some eleven members of the Security Council voted in favour; China was joined in its abstention by Angola, and Venezuela joined Russia in its vote against.33 Beijing tried to soften that break from its usual practice when it voted in favour of an unsuccessful draft resolution that Russia tabled immediately after the French and Spanish draft.34 China, alongside its partner, vetoed again in December, this time voting against another resolution relating to the fighting in Aleppo sponsored by Egypt, New Zealand, and Spain. That resolution called for a bombing halt for seven days and attracted eleven votes in favour, three against— Venezuela joining China and Russia—and Angola choosing to abstain.35 Nearly three months later, in February 2017, China and Russia vetoed a P3 draft reso­ lution that attempted to establish a sanctions regime directed at particular in­di­ vid­uals, as well as a committee and panel of experts to ensure accountability for the use and production of chemical weapons in Syria. This time Beijing’s and Moscow’s action gained slightly more support, with Bolivia joining Russia and China, and Egypt, Ethiopia, and Kazakhstan abstaining.36 The year 2017 turned out to be a particularly challenging one for Security Council unity over Syria with some six draft resolutions being vetoed in all, the most since 1988.37 Five of those six draft resolutions focused on the issue of chemical weapons—either regarding the identification of the perpetrators or with respect to the extension of the mandate of the JIM. Russia and China argued for the focus to move beyond the Syrian authorities also to cover terrorist and rebel group potential culpability. Russia in particular questioned the reliability of the JIM investigations and the methodology that the JIM adopted and moved to block the extension of its mandate.38 The year 2018 was not much better. The chemical weapons attack on Douma on 7 April led to the drafting of three reso­lutions, none of which could be adopted as they came up for a vote on 10 April. Moscow vetoed one of these, but the other two could not muster the minimum nine votes for adoption. Russia’s draft resolution, tabled on the 13 April, condemning the Western airstrikes on chemical weapons storage and production facilities, also failed to be adopted. Two of the three draft resolutions that failed on 10 April involved the establishment of a UN Independent Mechanism of Investigation designed to attribute responsibility for the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The frequency of the vetoes, and lack of support elsewhere in the UN for Russia’s positions designed to undermine the extension of the JIM mandate, prompted China to begin to differentiate its stance from that of Russia over this issue. Thus, a draft resolution condemning a further chemical weapons attack

The Syrian Crisis  171 attracted a Chinese abstention in April 2017, while Russia vetoed on the grounds that the investigations lacked credibility and failed to use all available methods for investigating the possible usage of these weapons. Important to contemplate, too, when considering this surprising Chinese break from the Russian position, is that all 10 elected Council members put forward a compromise draft on 6 April to try to break the deadlock—a move that attracted China’s praise. China abstained again in November, this time on its own with no other Security Council members—elected or otherwise—abstaining with it. Russia had once again vetoed a draft designed to renew the mandate of the JIM—Russia’s eleventh veto during the Syrian crisis.39 In April 2018, Russia used its twelfth veto, this time blocking a resolution to determine who was responsible for the chemical weapons attack in Douma, as well as the establishment on a one-year basis of a new investigative mechanism. China chose to take the route of abstention, but attracted no others to this stance.40 However, September 2019 saw Beijing lining up with its ally once again, vetoing a resolution produced by Belgium, Germany, and Kuwait, calling for an immediate end to hostilities in Idlib, compliance with international humanitarian law, and unimpeded humanitarian access. That resolution attracted twelve other votes in favour and one abstention (Equatorial Guinea), but China and Russia objected to the blanket cessation of attacks, stating the need to continue bombarding terrorist strongholds. They also objected to measures designed to deal with non-compliance to any ceasefire. Thus, the two states put forward their own draft resolution stating that the cessation of hostilities would not include those ‘entities associated with terrorist groups’. This resolution attracted no support, though four states abstained (Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Indonesia, and South Africa.)41 In sum, with the conflict in its eighth year in 2019, China had used a total of seven vetoes at this stage of the crisis. It never vetoed alone but always with Russia. However, sometimes Beijing chose to abstain rather than vote alongside Moscow. There have also been issues on which the Council has voted unanimously in endorsing a particular resolution. What explains these decisions and can any pattern to Chinese behaviour be discerned? How does China’s behaviour relate to its beliefs and image concerns during a period of increased Chinese global influence and greater policy ambition?

China’s Voting Patterns, Policy-related Initiatives, and Underlying Beliefs Security Council resolutions attracting Chinese (and Russian support) have been those emphasizing a negotiating process—such as the appointment of Special Envoys or Observer Missions. In addition, the role of elected members in

172  China, the UN, and Human Protection drafting resolutions can sometimes promote more positive Chinese and Russian engagement, as with the resolution on humanitarian access negotiated in July 2014. One notable consensual resolution, referenced earlier, was passed in 2013 after chem­ical weapons were used in the suburbs of Damascus and which led to the decision to investigate and destroy stocks of Syrian chemical weapons against the backdrop of a potential stepped-up Western military intervention in the fighting designed to effect Assad’s removal from power. Chinese statements typically have stressed the need for political dialogue and for time to be given for the mediation efforts of either Kofi Annan, Lakhdar Brahimi, the Arab League, or the Geneva processes to work. China’s Special Envoy to Syria, Xie Xiaoyan, first appointed in March 2016, constantly reiterated that there could be no military solution to the Syrian conflict as did Beijing’s ambassadors to the UN.42 Once appointed, Xie tried to give concrete indications of China’s support for a non-forceful, diplomatic solution to the conflict. He attempted to play a mediating role, meeting regularly with Syrian government and opposition forces, as well as with those countries closely involved in the Syrian conflict, including Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, and with the UN Special Envoy. Resolutions that attracted Beijing’s vetoes tended to involve sanctions, various forms of accountability, and threats of further—potentially UN-authorized— mili­tary action in the event of non-compliance within a specified time period. China also voted against a UN General Assembly resolution in December 2016 that created an International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM) to assist in the investigation and prosecution of those responsible for serious breaches of international humanitarian law committed in Syria after March 2011. It was one of only fifteen states that voted against this resolution, with 105 in favour and fifty-two abstentions. China argued that the judicial sovereignty of Syria had to be respected.43 China’s abstentions were often obtained when resolutions directed condemnation at all warring parties and gave no apparent advantage to rebel forces. It also was willing to abstain when language referencing articles 39, 41, and 42 under Chapter VII provisions was removed. In addition, as noted earlier, China abstained on some resolutions that Russia chose to veto connected with the use of chemical weapons. Beijing’s regular condemnations of the use of such weapons and support for their removal from Syria, its longstanding public support for the Chemical Weapons Convention, and urgent calls for a political settlement prob­ ably made China’s positions in support of Russia increasingly difficult to maintain. Over time, China appeared increasingly doubtful about Russia’s unwillingness to establish an investigatory mechanism to replace the JIM mandate. As China’s Syrian envoy put it, the ‘alleged gas attack’ on 7 April 2018 required a ‘comprehensive, just and objective probe’, though determining whether each of these requirements had been reached no doubt would have invited delay, disagreement, and debate.44

The Syrian Crisis  173 China also claimed that it objected to draft resolutions, especially those coming from the P3, that left insufficient time to process the views of other members of the Council—that is, the views of those against an interventionist stance—and especially the perspectives of Russia and China. However, Beijing reduced the credibility of this argument regarding political inclusiveness when it supported Russian drafts even in the knowledge that they would not pass (as with the failed draft resolution of 8 October 2016) and joined with Russia in drafting a reso­ lution in September 2019 without prior negotiations with all members of the Council. However, it also realized that its support for these Russian drafts would not lead it along a path it did not wish to follow. The most powerful underlying and inter-related motives for the positions Beijing has taken are four-fold. The first involves its conservative interpretation of the UN Charter and Security Council role in responding to threats to inter­ nation­al peace and security. Second, its persistent position that the principle of host state sovereignty and consent had to be respected. The third motive related to its fear that the Security Council mandate would expand beyond a narrow interpretation of what constitutes a threat to international peace and security and result ultimately in the violent overthrow of the regime in power. Post the Libyan intervention, this has become a matter of particular concern to the PRC. Not only is regime change viewed as a dangerous precedent with regard to any government attempting to deal with domestic unrest, but also in the case of the Middle East as generating conditions enabling the further rise of Islamist extremism, the fourth of Beijing’s motives.45 That fear of a strengthening trans-national terrorist presence in Syria also relates to China itself, it seems, with one Chinese advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reporting to Courtney Fung, ‘when we vote on Syria we are thinking of China’, and a Global Times editorial claiming that through the strong leadership of the CCP, Xinjiang had ‘avoided the fate of becoming “China’s Syria,” or “China’s Libya” ’.46 In particular, China has referenced its growing concern that Chinese Uighurs have been participating in the fighting in Syria.47 China’s and Russia’s perspectives on these issues align closely, and they apparently have decided to work together wherever possible to underline this closeness, as well as to support each other’s core interests. Beijing has taken some pains to explain its positions, showing evidence along the way, as shown later in this chapter, of its concerns to repair any damage that might have been done to its international image as a result of the vetoes. For example, it has argued persistently for a UN that remains an impartial mediator and for a Security Council that recognizes that its key purpose is to facilitate the settlement of disputes that disrupt international rather than domestic peace.48 One of China’s most extensive justifications for this particular interpretation of the UN Charter, as well as of the nature of the Syrian conflict itself, has been offered by Qu Xing, President of the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS)—a foreign-ministry related think tank. Qu argued in April 2012, in ex­plan­ation of China’s first two vetoes, that while the military conflict in Syria

174  China, the UN, and Human Protection had caused ‘significant civilian casualties, a fact that should attract the attention of the international community’, the issue was ‘a domestic one by nature, since Syria did not have disputes with its neighboring states, nor did it threaten to use force against its neighbors or wage a war of aggression against any states’. Thus, Qu concluded, Syria should ‘not be discussed within the framework of the Security Council and the Security Council should not intervene based on Chapter VII of the Charter’. However, were all relevant parties inside Syria to agree on a political transition, then China would support that transition, Qu stated.49 Beijing’s representatives were also eager to point out on numerous occasions that this Chinese support, though always respectful of domestic processes, need not be passive but instead could be active. The Beijing government, they claimed, was regularly attempting to facilitate a peaceful transition, as any responsible Security Council member should. In this regard, China was supporting the mediatory efforts of the Arab League, maintaining communication with both the Syrian government and various opposition forces, keeping in contact with the UN’s Special Envoys, as well as (at that stage) urging support for Annan’s sixpoint plan.50 For example, in December 2015, China’s Foreign Minister met in Beijing with Syria’s Foreign Minister, and shortly thereafter with the President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary Opposition Forces.51 After the Annan plan had failed to make any progress, Beijing issued an elab­ or­ated version of a four-point proposal, modelled to some extent on the Annan plan, and calling on all parties to stop fighting, ‘region-by-region or phase by phase, expand the areas of cease-fire, realize disengagement, and eventually bring an end to all armed conflict and violence’. Beijing repeated Annan’s call for Damascus to appoint ‘empowered interlocutors’ to formulate a ‘roadmap of political transition, establish a transitional governing body of broad representation’. However, it detracted somewhat from the force of this by insisting that this nevertheless required that the ‘continuity and effectiveness of Syria’s governmental institutions must be maintained’.52 A more significant departure from Annan’s six-point plan is illustrated by the Annan plan’s inclusion of a call for freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peaceably, as well as access and freedom of movement for journalists, and the release from detention of arbitrarily detained persons. The PRC could not endorse what it perceived as an implied threat to social stability, and backed the Syrian government in regarding this latter requirement of the six-point plan as too threatening to Assad’s continuing rule. Later, Beijing appealed to ‘all parties in Syria to implement the Geneva communiqué (S/2012/522, annex), as soon as possible, start an inclusive political transition, and find a middle path that takes into account the interests of all sides and which is based on the country’s conditions, so as to achieve a political solution of the Syrian problem’.53 The first report in 2013 on the use of chemical weapons, and then a subsequent Chinese (and Russian) veto in May 2014 of a resolution on ICC referral that

The Syrian Crisis  175 other­wise attracted thirteen votes in favour, led China’s representatives to step up their explanations of the Chinese position. They repeated their conflict resolution plan first put forward in 2012, and gave strong support for the convocation of what was known as ‘Geneva II’. Beijing argued that ‘military action is no answer to the issue of Syria’ whereas ‘dialogue and negotiation’ were the only ways forward. As before, its statement called for a ceasefire ‘region by region or phase by phase, and disengagement as first steps to build and enhance mutual trust’. However, this time, Beijing referenced the need for action in areas it normally avoided, calling for national reconciliation through the protection of collective human and minority rights—including specific mention of refugee, women’s, and ethnic rights—and for humanitarian assistance to be delivered in a timely and secure manner. In arguing that the actions to be taken still needed, above all, to be decided and directed by Syrians, the statement noted that the international role should be one of supporting and monitoring the ceasefire, and adopting an ‘impartial approach’ when dealing with all parties in Syria. Basically, Beijing’s emphasis was on a UN working to advance the principles of ‘humanity, impartiality and neutrality’ and not a UN working in a more interventionist way to change the facts on the ground, or calling on the third pillar of the R2P norm, in order to help bring about that elusive ceasefire.54 Other than exhortation to Syrian authorities to begin an inclusive negotiation leading to a stage-by-stage ceasefire, China had few other suggestions to make, at least in this public venue. Beijing additionally took a strong stance against accountability mechanisms. In explaining the May 2014 veto, the Chinese representative, Wang Min, in one of the longest statements that China has made at the United Nations on the Syrian crisis, first called on all parties in Syria to respect international humanitarian law, but went on to argue that an ICC referral would not be ‘conducive either to building trust among all parties in Syria or to an early resumption of the negotiations in Geneva’.55 The French, as initiators of the draft resolution, remained unconvinced: how could an ICC referral threaten a peace process when there was no credible peace process in train?56 The February 2017 veto can be explained by the resolution’s reference to sanctions and the proposed targeting of particular members of the Syrian government. As noted earlier, China’s explanation for voting against the UN General Assembly resolution in December 2016 to create the IIIM was that the ‘judicial sovereignty of the host country’ as well as ‘host country leadership’ had to be respected, and this argument still obtained in February 2017.57 However, resolutions connected with ceasefires have been more problematic for Beijing to finesse. For example, the December 2016 veto of a resolution to establish a seven-day ceasefire in Aleppo was difficult for China to explain with any conviction, especially since the sponsors—Egypt, New Zealand, and Spain— had engaged in long negotiations in their search for compromise and Security Council consensus.58 In its response, China’s representative, ambassador Liu Jieyi,

176  China, the UN, and Human Protection limited himself to arguing against points made by the UK and US representatives, stating that more effort should have been made to reach a political consensus within the Council, and for Council efforts to ‘complement current diplomatic efforts’ so that a ‘Syrian-owned and Syrian-led political solution to the complex, sensitive and grave situation’, could move forward.59 The September 2019 ex­plan­ ation of its veto also fell flat with no other states voting against the resolution and only one non-permanent member abstaining. China’s Permanent Representative, Zhang Jun, argued that the Belgian-German-Kuwaiti draft designed to enforce a ceasefire failed to deal with terrorist organizations which are ‘the source of the humanitarian issue in Idlib’.60 In addition to China’s conservative interpretation of the UN role and UN Charter, Beijing was regularly using the Syrian crisis to demonstrate its general support for the government in power, and fear of the consequences for inter­ nation­al order of interventionist action. As Ruan Zongze of the CIIS put it: ‘Should “new interventionism” with use of force at every turn as well as regime change at the core be allowed to grow and spread unchecked, the basic norms governing international relations would be severely undermined and the developing countries would be deprived of their legitimate rights of development and security.’61 There is also much evidence to support the argument, made strongly by the scholars Zheng Chen and Courtney J. Fung and quoted earlier, that the outcome of regime change in Libya had a major impact on China’s approach to Syria, and reinforced the sentiments that Ruan expressed.62 This can help to explain the shift away from what would, in the past, more typically have been a decision to abstain towards the unusual choice for China of using the veto. Alex Bellamy is correct to note that, within the United Nations, Chinese officials made no direct reference in their statements on Syria to the Libyan outcome.63 However, reports in the state-controlled press, articles emanating from Chinese think tanks, indirect references in UN statements, especially those dealing more generally with the Middle East, together with subsequent interview data all support the notion that Beijing worked hard to ensure that resolutions similar to those that led to a nonconsensual military intervention in Libya under the R2P banner would not come to pass in Syria. For example, China’s UN Ambassador, Li Baodong, made two indirect but pointed references. The first came in a May 2011 open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict during which many delegations referred to Syria. As he put it, ‘[t]here must be no attempt at regime change or involvement in civil war by any party under the guise of protecting civilians.’ He went on to reference Libya and the attempt ‘to willfully interpret the resolutions or to take actions that exceed those mandated by the resolutions’.64 In March 2012, Li stated, ‘China is against any attempt by external forces to engage in military intervention or push for regime change.’65

The Syrian Crisis  177 More direct and explicit were statements made in People’s Daily, written by the newspaper’s authoritative commentator, who uses the pen-name ‘Zhong Sheng’. These were written after China’s vetoes in February and July 2012. Both responses cited Libya as a negative example, with the later statement asserting that ‘[s]ome states still do not abandon their intention of changing Syrian regime by external forces’, adding that ‘[i]t is a universal question of principle, not only for Syria, who decides the regime of a state, the people of the state or the external force’.66 Indeed, China undoubtedly was prompted to think that might have been the West’s intention given US President Obama’s statement in May 2011 that Assad should either start the move towards a political transition ‘or get out of the way’. UK Prime Minister David Cameron, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy joined Obama in expressing those sentiments.67 Beyond references in China’s state-controlled press, think tank articles provided more extensive evidence of Chinese commentators’ fears of the links between the Libyan intervention and the potential for a similar outcome in Syria. Qu Xing’s article, referenced earlier, together with that of his colleague at CIIS, Ruan Zongze, in a piece entitled ‘Responsible Protection’, both began their writings with a discussion of Syria. Qu referenced directly China’s suspicions that the West was setting out via its UN resolutions to ‘bombard another Arab state’ and seeking ways of intervening militarily in Syria. ‘Certain nations’ he claimed were trying to use the ‘banner of “humanitarian assistance” ’ to set up a no-fly zone or to use other forceful means to provide a secure zone of access. China, he said, ‘does not approve of armed interference or pushing for regime change in Syria’. In light of the devastating outcomes in Libya, Iraq, and earlier on in the former Yugoslavia, under the guise of R2P or humanitarian intervention, ‘the situation should not be repeated in Syria or any other place in the world’.68 Ruan Zongze in the first section of his June 2012 article reiterated that the ‘purpose of the West is not to solve the crisis as soon as possible so as to avoid bloodshedding and sacrifice on the part of the common people, end humanitarian disasters and promote political dialogue and democratic process in Syria but to achieve regime change in the country’. Ruan next articulated in some detail his view of the way that R2P had operated in Libya, the outcomes of which were massive NATO-led airstrikes, the inflicting of huge numbers of civilian casualties, and the realization of regime change. In contemplating the present, from Ruan’s perspective, the US and its allies ‘had already shifted their zeal for democracy and freedom in Libya to another country: the humanitarian banner that fluttered over Libya was taken to Syria’. In order to mimic the regional organizational backing for action in Libya in the case of Syria, the West was also trying to ‘push the Arab League to the forefront in an attempt to repeat its old tricks on the Libyan issue’. Ruan added a telling point that indicated criticism of Beijing from some Middle Eastern quarters when he accused the West of ‘even [sowing] discord between China and the Arab countries’.69

178  China, the UN, and Human Protection Wang Jinglie of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) followed a similar line of argument, stating that the ‘US and some Western countries’ were trying ‘to use a UN Security Council mandate to replicate the “Libya model” in Syria’. Wang went on, ‘[d]espite some Western diplomats’ pledge ruling out foreign military operation, the [4 February 2012] resolution, if passed, would have given Western powers the chance they needed to intervene militarily in Syria. And once the Western powers directly intervene in Syria, the country will become another “Libya”, which would not only push it into a “dirty” war, but also cause turbulence in the whole of the Middle East.’70 Finally, interviews with senior Chinese diplomats, conducted by Liu Tiewa and Zhang Haibin in May and June 2013, have emphasized Chinese officials’ concerns about regime change, perceiving regime overthrow as the main goal of Western policy in Syria.71 Fung has also noted from her interview with a Chinese member of the Permanent Mission in New York that Beijing believes it had been naïve in its dealings at the UN over Libya—and by implication would not be taken in again. As the Chinese UN official put it, ‘regime change left [us] with this feeling that . . . we had been fooled.’72

China’s Vetoes and the Damage to its Image There is little doubt that China’s use of the veto with respect to Syria did have a negative impact on its international image, especially in 2012, and for a time thereafter. The failure to gain much support for its positions either in the Security Council, General Assembly, or elsewhere illustrated that its arguments were not that persuasive, despite many states similar fears of external intervention and forced regime change.73 Indeed, the resolution vetoed in May 2014, as noted earl­ ier, attracted the co-sponsorship of sixty-five states, as well as support from more than 100 non-governmental organizations. The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, often publicly appreciative of China’s role in UN Peace Operations (see chapter 2), alluded to this damage as a result of Beijing’s (and Russia’s) behaviour with respect to the Syrian crisis. As he put it in his final report on R2P given in July 2016—and without identifying either China or Russia by name—these vetoes, ‘whether used or threatened [have] preclude[d] the identification and pursuit of common purpose’ by the Security Council, and emboldened the behaviour of the warring parties. Specifically singling out the Council’s disarray in early February 2012, Ban noted that ‘fighting in the Syrian Arab Republic escalated and conflict-related deaths increased dramatically following the failure of the Security Council to adopt a resolution in February 2012, particularly as a result of the intensified aerial bombardment of populated areas by government forces’.74 Simon Adams of the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect has produced some figures to support Ban’s conclusions, arguing that after the February vetoes

The Syrian Crisis  179 the numbers of deaths in the country increased from 1,000 to 5,000 per month, with the total death toll rising from more than 5,000 to nearly 60,000 between February and November 2012. He also notes that Syrian government forces used helicopters after the second veto in February 2012, and after the third double veto of 24 July, fixed wing aircraft were reportedly used for the first time.75 China has also been the target of P3 criticism, the language sometimes as harsh as that in typical use during the Cold War. The UK representative, for example, described his government as being ‘appalled’ by the Chinese and Russian vetoes on 4 February 2012, despite Arab League support for the draft resolution. In the UK view, Russia and China had ‘failed in their responsibility as permanent members of the Security Council’,76 the latter representing phraseology that particularly irked the Chinese ambassador. The joint veto of the resolution in May 2014, which attracted the support of all remaining permanent and elected members of the Security Council, led to a repetition of these sentiments, the UK ambassador, Sir Mark Lyall Grant, describing the Russian and Chinese action as irresponsible, shameful, and disgraceful.77 More alarming for China, perhaps, than anticipated P3 censure was the initial Middle Eastern criticism of its behaviour and attempts to move it away from vetoing. Imad Mansour notes the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) negative reaction, ‘vocalized most clearly by Saudi Arabia’ in response to the February 2012 veto.78 Courtney Fung records that the Saudi government, on behalf of the GCC, described the veto as ‘unfavorable’, represented an action that had shaken confidence in the United Nations, and would allow the bloodshed to continue. Apparently, a ‘united front of regional ambassadors’ had encircled the Chinese ambassador before he issued his country’s veto, causing him to delay proceedings as he made calls to senior officials in Beijing. Chinese officials also spent time— unsuccessfully as it turned out—trying to reduce support for the UN General Assembly’s own resolution adopted some twelve days later, applying pressure to smaller and weaker states to bring them into line with China’s position.79 Chinese responses at the United Nations and in other publications suggested that these widespread criticisms had hit home. In February 2012, Wang Jinglie of CASS noted China’s veto had drawn ‘world-wide attention, with Western politicians and media taking the lead in criticizing its move’. His response was to detail all that China had done to promote a political solution to the crisis in Syria, and to highlight what he saw as Western countries’ ulterior motives in Syria.80 Qu Xing of CIIS developed some additional arguments in April 2012, ac­know­ ledg­ing both domestic as well as international criticisms of Beijing’s voting. Qu referred to the attention that had been drawn towards the Russian and Chinese vetoes, ‘from both the international community and Chinese citizens’. Indeed, there had been extensive online commentary on Syria among the Chinese public, some of it very critical of China’s stance.81 Qu tried to underline the principled nature of China’s positions, pointing out that, unlike Russia, which had clear

180  China, the UN, and Human Protection economic and strategic interests in Syria, China had no such interests, even detailing the low levels of trade between the two countries, the absence of Chinese labourers in the country, and the negligible levels of Chinese investment. Thus, China’s vetoes, he said, could best be viewed as based on principle: that is, as deriving from a desire to protect the foundational principles of the UN Charter— sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs.82 Ruan Zongze referenced China’s image concerns even more directly; and though he blamed Western smears against China and Russia as the cause of the criticisms directed at his country, he still agreed that ‘[f]rankly speaking, China’s stand on the Syrian crisis was not rightly understood by some countries’, which led to Beijing coming under considerable pressure.83 China’s UN ambassadors made similar arguments, Li Baodong in 2012 and Wang Min in 2014 both challenging directly the UK ambassador’s labelling of China as irresponsible and hardly deserving of Security Council membership. As Li’s and Wang’s statements put it, as a ‘responsible member of the international community’, or as ‘a permanent member of the Security Council’ ready to shoulder its ‘full responsibilities’,84 China remained committed to the search for a political settlement. To bolster this sense that principle rather than interest dictated China’s policy, they reminded fellow ambassadors that ‘China pursues no self interest on the issue’ of Syria. Wang castigated Western nations for making ‘totally unfounded accusations against China’, a ‘slander’ which his government firmly rejected.85 He also pointed to China’s regular provision of humanitarian assistance to people in Syria as well as those in neighbouring-country refugee camps. (In fact, China’s levels of humanitarian assistance appear to have been low when compared with many other major donors.86) Li Baodong had said much the same thing in July 2012: ‘various countries made statements that confused right and wrong and made unfounded accusations against China.’ China’s accusers had ‘ulterior motives’, in his view.87 The Chinese ambassador to the UK similarly claimed the February 2012 veto to be justified on the grounds that it threatened Syrian sovereignty, disregarded Russian efforts to begin a new round of me­di­ ation, and that such a resolution would not ‘cool down the situation’, or ‘facilitate political dialogue’.88 However, as noted earlier, that resolution had been redrafted in order to gain unanimous support, and unanimity in the vote had been the expected outcome. These kinds of domestic and international criticisms, the appointment of a Chinese Special Envoy, a persistent need to justify its actions, the move towards the usage of chemical weaponry, together with the realization that the West had given up on the idea of removing Assad from power probably contributed to China’s decision in 2016 and 2017 to take a somewhat different path to that of Russia. Once China had appointed its envoy to Syria it made much in its statements of its role in conflict mediation, constant communication with all parties to the conflict, support for the UN’s Geneva process, and its offers of humanitarian

The Syrian Crisis  181 assistance to those in need in Syria as well as those in refugee camps outside Syria.89 Beijing also appeared to soften its response to the involvement of investigatory mechanisms where these related to the use of chemical weapons. Important in this regard had been elected members’ more prominent role in attempts to craft resolutions, as well as China’s assistance with chemical weapons’ removal from Syria in 2014. Beijing seems proud, too, of its ratification in 1997 and subsequent support of the Chemical Weapons Convention, and its status as one of the original state parties to the treaty.90 In justification of its voting positions in 2017, China adopted language designed to appeal to all sides: it applauded language condemning the use of chemical weapons but also referenced the need to support a political settlement. It supported extension of the JIM mandate, but expressed a desire to see its working methods improved.91 However, in other respects China has had to craft a wide-range of arguments in justification of vetoes that have been controversial domestically as well as internationally and that have attracted few other supporters as voting outcomes have indicated. It is a mark of Beijing’s concern about the rise of Islamist extremism together with the potential of ‘neointerventionism’ coupled with the use of force, as Ruan Zongze argued, that has led it sometimes to prioritize those concerns over disapproval from a number of different quarters.

The End-Game of the Conflict and Turn to Reconstruction As the Syrian conflict appeared to enter its final phases, with the Syrian government gradually extending its control over the country, and the possibility rising of Syria’s readmission to the Arab League, Beijing chose once again in September 2019 to veto, but also turned its attention to post-conflict prospects. The Syrian government led by Assad had begun to look more secure, and with that, Beijing’s actions started to turn to a familiar path: the promotion of reconstruction in the country and the seeking of economic opportunities that can link with its Belt and Road Initiative.92 A series of statements in 2018 suggested strong interest in getting involved in Syria, its Special Envoy Xie claiming in April that Chinese companies were ‘ready and willing to work in the rebuilding efforts’.93 Xie repeated these sentiments again in July, adding that China had held a ‘reconstruction training course for Syrian officials, business people, and scholars in Shanghai’ in May 2018.94 At a UN Security Council briefing on the humanitarian situation in Syria in July 2018, diplomat Yao Shaojun noted ‘the progress made in the return of Syrian citizens back to their homes’, a development that, unlike in Beijing, apparently causes concern in the Syrian government itself in light of its suspicions of those returning, and an inability adequately to resettle those displaced.95 Yao also called on the ‘international community’ to prioritize reconstruction and ‘scale up efforts to clear mines, IEDs, and explosive remnants of war, minimize

182  China, the UN, and Human Protection accidental casualties of civilians and facilitate the return of refugees and displaced persons’.96 At a later meeting, Yao linked China’s beliefs in stability and economic development via reconstruction with the sustainability of peace: ‘only when reconstruction makes steady progress can the Syrian people be given hope and can its long-term peace and stability be fully guaranteed.’97 The Syrian government has designated China, alongside Russia and Iran, as one of the countries welcome to invest in the country and to take part in the reconstruction process,98 an offer that China has apparently accepted with alacrity.99 Undoubtedly, China sees a stabilized Syria (a long term prospect at best) as important for its flag-ship Belt and Road Initiative, an article in the China Institute for International Studies’ journal arguing that the Gulf region ‘stands at the core of the entire Asia-Europe-Africa economic plate in the Belt and Road construction’.100 In August 2018, the Chinese embassy in Damascus released a letter written by its Ambassador to Syria, Qi Qianjin. That letter noted Beijing’s aims to develop ports and railways in the country in order to increase economic interconnectivity, also promising—more ambiguously—cooperation on the ‘political, military, economic and social levels’. China sent some 200 Chinese companies to participate in the sixtieth Damascus International Fair in 2018, an annual event suspended from 2011 to 2016, where it committed to building steel and power plants in Syria and to the production of Chinese-brand cars in Homs.101

Conclusion Beijing has demonstrated in the Syrian crisis that it remains committed to support for the government in power as well as for a narrower interpretation of the UN Charter and Security Council role in the management of international peace and security than has been typical of the UN’s role in the post-Cold War era. China made this point through its willingness to use the veto even in the case of a state (unlike Myanmar) that has not been a close ally, but whose government had been threatened with the prospect of removal through outside intervention. Beijing has repeated its conviction that the ‘international community’ should be concerned to mitigate the humanitarian disaster in Syria. However, its statements have emphasized the need for dialogue and mediation, a highly constrained, even non-existent role for the use of force or other coercive methods such as sanctions or forms of accountability to effect change in Assad’s policy, and a generalized repetition of the need to uphold the UN-Charter norm of sovereign equality and territorial integrity. Beijing was keen, initially at least, to depict the Syrian conflict as a geographically contained civil war and thus, from its perspective, not a threat to international peace and security or of concern to the Security Council. This indicated a failure on China’s part to acknowledge a state’s, as well as the Security Council’s, legal and moral obligation to address war crimes, or

The Syrian Crisis  183 crimes against humanity happening inside states as international crimes. Beijing, too, showed a reluctance to acknowledge that the conflict had become inter­ nation­al­ized in terms of the state and non-state actors involved. This position became difficult to maintain, and undesirable to maintain once terrorist groups such as ISIS had established a presence in Syria, and which Beijing claimed were the primary cause of much of the civilian suffering. However, even as Beijing shifted into recognition that the Security Council did have a role to play, its official UN statements have never referred to the more interventionist aspects of R2P in response to Syrian governmental actions, or supported a more coercive diplomatic stance designed to back up a UN-led negotiating strategy. Despite China’s changing stance and greater willingness for the Council to play a role, image consequences at the international level, and to a lesser degree domestically, were initially serious for Beijing in the way that it has dealt with this devastating war. This was especially apparent after the February 2012 vetoes. However, to try to mitigate these negative outcomes it has emphasized that its stand on Syria has been one based on principle rather than interest. To mitigate earlier criticism, it has engaged in extensive diplomacy at the highest official l­ evels with a number of Middle Eastern states, from 2016 in particular when it launched its first ‘Arab Policy Paper’. In addition, it has cemented economic ties through the BRI, investment, and trade. During those encounters, it has reminded a generally sympathetic audience of the devastating consequences of Western military intervention in Iraq and Libya, and how that involvement has facilitated the rise of terrorist forces in the region that the Chinese and Middle Eastern governments need to confront. China’s overall goals, it stresses, have predominantly been to protect the UN from being taken over by those who have set out to undermine its foundational principles and replace these with ones that it believes take the UN well beyond the objectives of its founders. Thus, the PRC argues, the Syrian government—as with other governments in power—is the party to decide on the appropriateness or otherwise of a political transition, and its judiciary is to play the primary role in assessing the need for any accountability. Beijing has given some ground on matters of humanitarian access in Syria, but only in circumstances where Damascus was no longer in firm control of its territory. Moreover, to some considerable degree China’s image has been protected by the fact that Russia has taken more of the brunt of the criticism than China for its use of the veto, the forms of its involvement in the fighting, apparent unconditional support for Assad, and behaviour that has been regarded as obstructionist.102 China’s ‘principle versus interest’ statements were designed in some ways to set it apart from Russia’s stance, as were its later occasional decisions to abstain while Russia continued to veto. As the Syrian war began to wind down and, as a result of Russian intervention, the Assad government’s control of certain key cities returned, we see China adopting a familiar stance, though not one that is under the UN umbrella. Beijing

184  China, the UN, and Human Protection has started to show its interest in activity designed to re-build Syrian state cap­ acity with Beijing pledging its companies’ assistance with the reconstruction of cities destroyed in the fighting. Its attempts to envelop Syrian reconstruction into its Belt and Road Initiative are also evident. Where the UN is concerned, the larger intent of Beijing’s pledges and its regional diplomacy in response to the Syrian crisis is to reinforce support in the region and beyond for a narrowing of the UN role in human protection. The Chinese leadership favours a vision of world order that gives primacy to the centrality of the state, and the rebuilding of state capacity as the main route to future stability and security. This vision has also found expression in Beijing’s activity within the UN’s human rights bodies, the topic of the next chapter.

Notes 1. Emily Paddon Rhoads and Jennifer M. Welsh, ‘Close cousins in protection: the evolution of two norms’, International Affairs, 95(3), 2019: 613. 2. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, New York, ‘Populations at Risk: Syria’, updated 15 January 2019. 3. ‘The Toll of War: Economic and Social Impact Analysis (ESIA) of the Conflict in Syria—Key Facts’, Washington DC: The World Bank, 10 July 2017. At https://www. worldbank.org/en/country/syria/brief/the-toll-of-war-economic-and-social-impactanalysis-esia-of-the-conflict-in-syria-key-facts. 4. UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, at www.ohchr.org/ Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/ColSyria/ResS17_1.pdf. 5. ‘Syria worst man-made disaster since World War II’, at https://www.ohchr.org/en/newsevents/pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21373&LangID=E, 14 March 2017. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein decided not to seek a second term, he stated, because his re­appoint­ ment ‘in the current geopolitical context, might involve bending a knee in supplication; muting a state of advocacy; lessening the independence and integrity of my voice— which is your voice’. Quoted in Simon Adams, ‘ “If Not Now, When?” The Responsibility to Protect; the Fate of the Rohingya and the Future of Human Rights’ (New York: Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect), January 2019, 5. 6. Joel Wuthnow, Chinese Diplomacy and the UN Security Council (London: Routledge, 2013), chap.  1. In the past, China tended to signal its caution or opposition via an abstention rather than a veto, or in the 1970s, by what it described as ‘non-participation’ in the vote. 7. One partial exception of importance (important because BRICS countries were involved) was Resolution S/2011/612, 4 October 2011, during which Brazil, India, Lebanon, and South Africa abstained, but did not go so far as to join Russia and China in voting against. 8. S/2012/77, 4 February 2012; GA/11207/REV.1, 16 February 2012, https://www.un.org/ press/en/2012/ga11207.doc.htm.

The Syrian Crisis  185 9. A/RES/66/253 B, 7 August 2012. The August resolution passed 132 to twelve against with thirty-one abstentions. 10. Jennifer  M.  Welsh, ‘The Responsibility to Protect after Libya and Syria’, Daedalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 145(4), 2016: 80. 11. Bessma Momani and Tanzeel Hakak, ‘Syria’, Alex Bellamy and Tim Dunne (eds) The Oxford Handbook of the Responsibility to Protect (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), esp. 896–902; Salman Shaikh and Amanda Roberts, ‘Syria’, Sebastian von Einsiedel, David M. Malone, and Bruno Stagno Ugarte (eds) The UN Security Council in the 21st Century (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2015). Valuable for keeping track of developments is Security Council Report, ‘Chronology of Events: Syria’. It provides a timeline of action and has formed the source of much of the information used for the rest of this section of the chapter, at https://www.securitycouncilreport. org/chronology/syria.php. 12. Rhys Dubin, ‘A New Round of Syria Talks Start in Astana’, Foreign Policy, 14 September 2017. 13. Colum Lynch, ‘Dancing to Russia’s Tune in Syria’, Foreign Policy, 8 January 2018. 14. What’s In Blue, ‘Syria: Briefing on Alleged Chemical Weapons Attack in Douma’, 9  April 2018, at https://www.whatsinblue.org/2018/04/syria-briefing-on-allegedchem­ical-weapons-attack-in-douma.php, and ‘Syria: Vote on Competing Drafts’, 10 April 2018, at https://www.whatsinblue.org/2018/04/syria-vote-on-competing-drafts. php. See also ‘Following Air strikes against Suspected Chemical Weapons Sites in Syria, Security Council Rejects Proposal to Condemn Aggression’, SC/13296, 14 April 2018. The voting record with respect to the Russian Federation’s proposal to condemn the Western air strikes was eight votes against, with three in favour (Bolivia, China, Russia), and four abstentions. 15. For some detail on how vulnerable populations remain see What’s In Blue, ‘Humanitarian Briefing on Syria’, 29 July 2019, at https://www.whatsinblue.org/2019/07/ humanitarian-briefing-on-syria-2.php. 16. See chapter 4 for further detail on the Libyan events. 17. S/2011/612, 4 October 2011; Alex  J.  Bellamy, ‘From Tripoli to Damascus? Lesson Learning and the Implementation of the Responsibility to Protect’, International Politics, 51(1), 2014: 28; Shaikh and Roberts, ‘Syria’, 720–1. 18. S/2012/77, 4 February 2012. 19. Shaikh and Roberts, ‘Syria’, 722. 20. S/2012/2042, 14 April 2012; S/2012/2043, 21 April 2012. 21. S/2012/538, 19 July 2012. 22. BBC News, ‘Syria chemical attack: what we know’, 24 September 2013. At https:// www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-23927399. 23. ‘Security Council Requires Scheduled Destruction of Syria’s Chemical Weapons, Unanimously Adopting Resolution 2118 (2013)’, SC/11135, 27 September 2013. At https://www.un.org/press/en/2013/sc11135.doc.htm. 24. S/RES/2235, 7 August 2015. The JIM was to work jointly with the OPCW to identity individuals, groups or officials involved in the use of chemical weapons in Syria. See SC/12001, 7 August 2015 for further details.

186  China, the UN, and Human Protection 25. SC/11407, 22 May 2014; S/PV.7180, 22 May 2014. 26. Adams, ‘Failure to Protect’, 18. 27. S/RES/2165, 14 July 2014. Access improved but continued to remain very difficult and dangerous. 28. Jason Ralph and Jess Gifkins, ‘The Purpose of United Nations Security Council Practice: Contesting competence claims in the normative context created by the Responsibility to Protect’, European Journal of International Relations, 23(3), 2017: 644–7. 29. Interview with Australian diplomat, Canberra, October 2017; Email correspondence with Australian diplomat, February 2018. 30. Jason Ralph, ‘The Responsibility to Protect and the rise of China: lessons from Australia’s role as a “pragmatic” norm entrepreneur’, International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, 17(1), 2017: 54–5. 31. Fung, China and Intervention at the UN Security Council, 126; Shaikh and Roberts, ‘Syria’, 730–1. 32. SC/13620, 13 December 2018; S/2018/2449. China reported, however, that it was not entirely satisfied and that ‘some legitimate concerns where [sic] not taken into consideration during the drafting of the resolution’. SC/13620, 13 December 2018. 33. S/2016/846 and SC/12545, 8 October 2016. 34. See SC/12545, 8 October 2016, which discusses both draft resolutions and related statements. 35. S/2016/1026, 5 December 2016. 36. S/2017/172, 28 February 2017. 37. Security Council Report, ‘In Hindsight: the Demise of the JIM’, January 2018, Monthly Forecast, at https://www.securitycouncilreport.org/monthly-forecast/2018%9601/in_ hindsight_the_demise_of_the_jim.php. 38. Security Council Report, ‘In Hindsight’, January 2018. 39. Security Council Report, ‘In Hindsight’, January 2018; What’s in Blue, ‘Syria: Vote on Two Draft Resolutions on the Joint Investigate Mechanism Renewal’, Insights on the work of the UN Security Council, 16 November 2017, at https://www.whatsinblue. org/2017/11/vote-on-two-resolutions-on-renewal-of-the-syria-joint-investigativemechanism.php. 40. ‘Security Council fails to adopt three resolutions’, 10 April 2018, UN News, https:// news.un.org/en/story/2018/04/1006991. 41. What’s In Blue, ‘Syria: Draft Resolutions and Briefing on the Humanitarian Situation’, 18 September 2019, at https://www.whatsinblue.org/2019/09/syria-draft-resolutionsand-briefing-on-the-humanitarian-situation.php. 42. For example see Qu Pei, ‘Chinese envoy urges political solution to Syrian issue’ People’s Daily, 28 April 2018, at http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/0428/c90000-9454858.html; ‘Statement by Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu at Security Council Meeting in Syria’, 5 May 2018, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/hyyfy/t1561552.htm. 43. A/71/L.48, 19 December 2016. 44. Qu Pei, ‘Chinese envoy urges political solution to Syrian issue’ People’s Daily, 28 April 2018, http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/0428/c90000-9454858.html.

The Syrian Crisis  187 45. Michael Swaine’s analysis of the early phase of the Syrian war is supportive of these points. See his excellent, ‘Chinese Views of the Syrian Conflict’, China Leadership Monitor, 39(1), October 2012. See also Courtney J. Fung, China and Intervention at the UN Security Council: Reconciling Status (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019) for a more extensive analysis of this position. 46. Fung, China and Intervention, 1. ‘Protecting Peace, Stability is Top of Human Rights Agenda for Xinjiang’, Global Times, 12 August 2018, at http://www.globaltimes.cn/ content/1115022.shtml. 47. For three among such reports of Uighur participation see Kamal Alam, ‘The Dragon and the Lion: China’s Growing Ties with Syria’, Middle East Eye, 2 August, 2017; Ben Blanchard, ‘Syria says up to 5,000 Chinese Uighurs fighting in militant groups’, Reuters, 11 May 2017; and Blanchard’s ‘China Envoy Says No Accurate Figure on Uighurs Fighting in Syria’, Reuters, 19 August 2018. Note the concentration of these reports in 2017 and 2018. 48. Tim Dunne and Sarah Teitt, ‘Contested Intervention: China, India, and the Responsibility to Protect’, Global Governance, 21, 2015: 371–91, especially 382–3. Many of China’s UN statements make these points. 49. Qu Xing, ‘The UN Charter, the Responsibility to Protect, and the Syria Issue’, China International Studies, April 2012, Beijing: China Institute of International Studies, at http://www.ciis.org.cn/english/2012%9604/16/content_4943041.htm. 50. S/PV.6711, 4 February 2012; S/PV.6734, 12 March 2012; S/PV.6810, 19 July 2012. 51. Paul  J.  Bolt and Sharly  N.  Cross, China, Russia and Twenty-First Century Global Geopolitics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 190. See also ‘Head of Syrian opposition SNC to visit China this week’, Reuters, 4 January 2016, at https://www.reuters. com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-china-idUSKBN0UI0PG20160104; Li Xiaokun, ‘Syrian opposition leader to start 4-day China visit’, China Daily, 5 January 2016, at  http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2016%9601/05/content_22932562.htm. I am grateful to Andrew Garwood-Gowers for directing me to these two reports. 52. ‘China announces new proposal on Syria’, 31 October 2012, http://www.gov.cn/ misc/2012%9610/31/content_2255082.htm. 53. ‘Statement by Ambassador Liu Jieyi, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations at Security Council Open Debate on the Situation in the Middle East’, 22 July 2014, Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the UN, at http://www. china-un.org/eng/chinaandun/t1190117.htm. 54. ‘China Stands for Five Principles in a Political Settlement of the Syrian Issue’, 20 January 2014 at http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/zxxx/t1120623.shtml. See also Paul J. Bolt and Sharly N. Cross, China, Russia and Twenty-First Century Global Geopolitics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 190, for discussion of three of China’s diplomatic initiatives. 55. S/PV.7180, 22 May 2014. 56. SC/11407, 22 May 2014. 57. UN News, 22 December 2016, https://news.un.org/en/story/2016/12/548392-syriaun-approves-mechanism-lay-groundwork-investigations-possible-war-crimes. 58. SC/12609, 5 December 2016.

188  China, the UN, and Human Protection 59. SC/12609, 5 December 2016. 60. Xinhua, ‘Chinese envoy explains veto of UN Security Council draft resolution on Syria’ 20 September 2019, at http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2019%9609/20/c_ 138405906.htm. 61. Ruan Zongze, ‘Responsible Protection: Building a Safer World’, China International Studies, 15 June 2012, at http://www.ciis.org.cn/english/2012%9606/15/content_ 5090912.htm. 62. Zheng Chen, ‘China and the Responsibility to Protect’, Journal of Contemporary China, 25(101), 2016: 686–700; Courtney  J.  Fung, ‘Separating Intervention from Regime Change? China’s Diplomatic Innovations at the UN Security Council Regarding the Syria Crisis, 2011–2017’, The China Quarterly, no. 235, 2018: 123–42. See also Andrew Garwood-Gowers, ‘China and the “Responsibility to Protect”: The Implications of the Libyan Intervention’, Asian Journal of International Law, 2, 2012: 375–93 and esp. 388–91. For a more general discussion of R2P’s fate see Jon Western and Joshua  S.  Goldstein, ‘R2P After Syria: to Save the Doctrine, Forget Regime Change’, Foreign Affairs, 26 March 2013 at https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/ syria/2013-03-26/r2p-after-syria. 63. Alex J. Bellamy, ‘From Tripoli to Damascus? Lesson Learning and the implementation of the Responsibility to Protect’, International Politics, 51(1), 2014: 30. 64. S/PV.6531, 10 May 2011; and see also Fung, ‘Separating Intervention from Regime Change?’ esp. 4–5. 65. S/PV.6734, 12 March 2012. 66. Both in People’s Daily Online, the first entitled ‘Why China vetoes UN draft resolution for Syria issue’, 8 February 2012, at http://english.people.com/cn/90780/7723539. html, and ‘Regime change should not be determined by external forces’, 18 July 2012 at http://english.people.com.cn/90777/7879699.html. See also Chen, ‘China and the Responsibility to Protect’, 694. 67. Obama quoted in Fung, ‘Separating Intervention from Regime Change?’ 3–4. 68. Qu Xing, ‘The UN Charter’. 69. Ruan Zongze, ‘Responsible Protection: Building a Safer World’, China International Studies, 15 June 2012, at http://www.ciis.org.cn/english/2012%9606/15/content_ 5090912.htm. 70. Wang Jinglie, ‘Beijing’s Middle East Policy Justified’, published in China Daily, at chinadaily.com.cn, and also in the journal Qiushi, an organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, 15 February 2012. 71. Liu Tiewa and Zhang Haibin, ‘Debates in China about the responsibility to protect as a developing international norm’, Conflict, Security and Development, 2014: 17, DOI: 10.1080/14678802.2014.930590. 72. Fung, ‘Separating Intervention from Regime Change?’ 4. Swaine makes a similar point noting that China felt ‘betrayed and misled’. See ‘Chinese Views of the Syrian Conflict’, 6. 73. Undoubtedly, Russia has received more criticism than China, but China has still been the subject of much negative comment. Yan Xuetong of Beijing’s Qinghua University, at the earlier stages of the conflict, did not agree that there had been costs to China’s image and has argued that supporting Russia is much the best course of action. See his

The Syrian Crisis  189 ‘China’s veto on Syria: a view from China’, Carnegie Europe, 8 February, 2012, at http://carnegieeurope.eu/publications/?fa=47217, and Carnegie-Tsinghua, Center for Global Policy. 74. ‘Mobilizing collective action: the next decade of the responsibility to protect. Report by the Secretary General’, 22 July 2016, A/70/999-S/2016/620. 75. Adams, ‘Failure to Protect’, 5–6. 76. S/PV.6711, 4 February 2012: 7. 77. S/PV/7180, 22 May 2014: 7. 78. Imad Mansour, ‘Treading with Caution: China’s Multidimensional Interventions in the Gulf Region’, China Quarterly, 2019: 10, DOI: 10.1017/50305741018001777. Mansour notes that China’s diplomatic efforts eventually paid off, and criticisms from this quarter diminished over time. 79. Fung, China and Intervention at the UN Security Council, 119–20. 80. Wang Jinglie, ‘Beijing’s Middle East Policy Justified’. 81. Swaine details some of this in ‘Chinese Views of the Syrian Conflict’, 8 and note 44. 82. Qu Xing, ‘The UN Charter’, 16 April 2012. See also the earlier discussion of Qu’s art­ icle in this chapter. 83. Ruan, ‘Responsible Protection’, 15 June 2012. He does not detail the form of pressure directed at China. 84. S/PV.6734, 12 March 2012 and S/PV.7180, 22 May 2014. For a general discussion of this issue see Jamie Gaskarth, ‘Rising Powers, Responsibility, and International Society’, Ethics and International Affairs, 31(3), 2017: 287–311, esp. 301. 85. S/PV.7180, 22 May 2014: 14. 86. A report from the Syrian Arab News Agency quoted the Chinese ambassador as stating that China had given 800 million yuan since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, that is about £91 million at June 2019 exchange rates. See ‘Foreign and Expatriates Ministry Receives a Chinese Grant’, 7 March 2019, at https://sana.sy/en/?p=160414. The UK, in comparison, has given at least £2.71 billion to the humanitarian effort as at 2018. See ‘UK may increase aid to Syrian White Helmets as Trump pulls Funding’, The Guardian, 10 May 2018, at https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2018/ may/10/uk-aid-syria-white-helmets-trump-pulls-funding. 87. S/PV.6810, 19 July 2012. 88. Liu Xiaoming, ‘China Believes Syria Needs a Peaceful Solution’, The Guardian, 9 February 2012, at https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/feb/09/chinasyria-veto-un-resolution. 89. For example, ‘Special Envoy of the Chinese Government on the Syrian Issue Xie Xaoyan Attends International Symposium on the Syrian Issue’, 14 May 2018, at http:// me.chineseembassy.org/mon/wjbxw/t1559820.htm. 90. Beijing ratified the convention in 1997. See https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/ cwcsig. 91. SC/12791, 12 April 2017; SC/13072, 16 November 2017. 92. China’s desire to make swift progress on reconstruction in Syria, without political conditions, was confirmed in an interview with UN officials in Geneva, December 2018. Apparently, China would like to complete some small infrastructure projects in order to show movement towards peace and stability. Western countries, on the other

190  China, the UN, and Human Protection hand, have made reconstruction and development aid conditional on a political transitional arrangement in Syria. 93. Qu Pei, ‘Chinese envoy urges political solution to Syrian issue’, 28 April 2018, People’s Daily, at http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/0428/c90000-9454858.html. 94. ‘China’s special envoy calls for preserving sovereignty of Syria’, 27 July 2018, Xinhuanet, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018%9607/27/c_137350636_2.htm. 95. Interview with UN official, New York, 21 March 2019. 96. ‘Statement by Counselor Yao Shaojun at the Security Council Briefing on the Humanitarian Situation in Syria’, 27 July 2018, http://www.china-un-org/eng/hyyfy/ t1581038.htm. 97. ‘Remarks by Counselor Yao Shaojun at the Security Council Meeting on the Syrian Humanitarian Issue’, 30 August 2018, http://www.china-un.org/eng/hyyfy/t1589657. htm. 98. ‘Interview: Syria welcomes China in investments, reconstruction process: state minister’, New China, 11 September 2018, http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018%960 9/11/c_137461257.htm. 99. Kamal Alam, ‘The Dragon and the Lion: China’s Growing Ties with Syria’, Middle East Eye, 2 August 2017; Adam Taylor, ‘Bashar al-Assad says relations between Syria and China are “on the rise” ’, The Washington Post, 12 March 2017; ‘Interview: Syria welcomes China in investments, reconstruction process’, Xinhua, 11 September 2018. At http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018%9609/11/c_137461257.htm. 100. Liu Li and Wang Zeshang, ‘Belt and Road Initiative in the Gulf Region, Progress and Challenges’, Beijing: China Institute of International Studies, 9 November 2019, at http://www.ciis.org.cn/english/2017%9611/09/content_40063037.htm. 101. Logan Pauley, ‘China stakes out a role for itself in post-War Syria’, 3 October 2018, Asia Times, at https://www.asiatimes.com/2018/10/article/china-stakes-out-a-rolefor-itself-in-post-war-syria/; ‘BRI: The Chinese bid for Syrian reconstruction’, 5 December 2018, at http://mediterraneanaffairs.com/bri-china-syria-reconstruction/. The Middle East, in general, has become a major focus of China’s economic diplomacy, with Xi Jinping paying a landmark visit to Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt in January 2016, and Beijing’s launch of its first paper on its approach to the region, entitled ‘China’s Arab Policy Paper’, in the week preceding that visit. See Shannon Tiezzi, ‘Revealed: China’s Blueprint for Building Middle East Relations’, The Diplomat, 14 January 2016, at https://thediplomat.com/2016/01/revealed-chinas-blueprint-forbuilding-middle-east-relations/. Beijing companies also attended the 61st International Trade Fair in Syria held in September 2019. 102. In my several interviews with UN officials as well as with country missions in March and May 2019 in New York, the respondents often made this distinction between China and Russia.

6

The UN’s Human Rights Bodies Crucial to the advancement of human protection is the work of the UN’s human rights bodies. The veto power of the five permanent members of the Security Council, anticipated or actually used, has often prevented a Council role in reaction to egregious instances of human rights abuse inside states. This is so even when violations in one state spill over to affect the security of other states, and when such abuse breaches international humanitarian law. China itself has worked to constrain the Security Council’s ability to discuss or respond to widescale violations of human rights in countries such as Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and, as noted in chapter 5, Syria. However, in cases such as these, the UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR) or the replacement Human Rights Council (HRC), formed in 2006, has used various means to fill some of the gaps. These bodies’ tools include resolutions, presidential statements, the appointment of Commissions of Inquiry and of Special Rapporteurs, the convening of special sessions, and the actions and statements of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. These avenues are designed to bring some form of accountability to those states that choose to flout a UN Charter that calls for ‘universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms’. Although these discursive practices are far less consequential than Security Council actions under Chapter VII of the Charter, they can influence those states concerned about their international image in world politics, or fearful of the imposition of sanctions outside of the UN framework. The PRC itself came prominently to the attention of the CHR as the Cold War was drawing to an end, and particularly as a result of the Tiananmen bloodshed of June 1989. It has come to the attention of the HRC again in the last few years, indirectly as a result of its unwillingness, for example, to allow the Security Council to pass resolutions condemning Myanmar for its actions with respect to the Rohingya, and directly because of several reports of the mass detention of one million or more ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims in Xinjiang.1 Those detentions have led both the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN religious freedom investigator to request access to the region, so far unsuccessfully. With regard to Myanmar, the HRC, ignoring China’s disapproval, set up a fact-finding body to collect evidence of wide-scale human rights abuses in the country.2 This chapter briefly examines the evolution of the UN’s two human rights bodies and the norms that they have adopted. The chapter’s substantive focus is China, the UN, and Human Protection: Beliefs, Power, Image. Rosemary Foot, Oxford University Press (2020). © Rosemary Foot. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198843733.001.0001

192  China, the UN, and Human Protection on Beijing’s own chequered relationship with the two human rights institutions, as well as its international diplomacy with other state members of those two bodies. Against the background of China’s steady rise in material power, global influence, and diplomatic activism, it notes Beijing’s various attempts to influence the procedures of bodies designed to advance the UN’s human protection agenda, as well as the evolution of its discourse designed to ‘shift the centre of gravity of both the normative debate and the practical application of human rights’.3 The chapter also shows the delicate interplay between the promotion of China’s ideological beliefs in the area of human rights and attention to the maintenance of a positive inter­nation­al image. It concludes that, over time, Beijing has become less reticent and more confident in putting forward its world view about what best promotes human rights. The balance has shifted from adoption of an essentially defensive strategy that has involved attempting to protect its image and align itself with the human rights regime through treaty signature, towards an approach, more latterly, that aims to relate its own ideas about how best to protect and promote human rights domestically and internationally. Beijing typically relates those ideas to its claimed success in developing its material power in the context of rule by a strong party-state and long-term domestic social stability. In this regard, and in state-to-state terms, the PRC’s approach has shifted away from trying to form a defensive alignment with the democratic, mainly Western world, towards one that aligns unapologetically with significant parts of the developing world, including some of China’s Asian neighbours. In order to illustrate this evolution in China’s position, the chapter outlines four key moments in the history of Beijing’s relations with these two bodies— notably, the Commission’s (and Sub-Commission’s) role during and after the Tiananmen crisis of June 1989, the movement from Commission to Council in 2005–6, the impact of the ‘Arab Spring’, as well as the decision in the Xi period to become more active in promoting China’s beliefs and politico-economic model as a productive route to human rights protection. Defensiveness was apparent in the 1990s as it dealt with the human rights criticism it had attracted after the Tiananmen bloodshed of 1989. From 2006, China moved into a more active, though still defensive, phase as it attempted to shape the design of the newly established Council and its future operating procedures in ways that would protect its image in the event of continuing criticism. Beijing also began, indirectly at first, to advance its interpretation of how the human rights process should operate within international institutions. The fourth moment, starting around 2011, is treated more fully in what follows because of Beijing’s more active stance towards matters of human rights promotion. With the advent of the ‘Arab Spring’, China argued more forcefully for its own conception of human rights, and for what it saw as the necessary processes for rights protection. It sought allies for its positions among those states that broadly shared its perspectives on human rights and on the ways that the HRC

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  193 should proceed. In 2017 and 2018, for the first time, Beijing itself drafted two human rights resolutions with the direct aim of furthering its own conceptions on human rights and how the Council should act to promote the human rights cause. Beijing worked hard to shape the Council’s own internal review processes and acted more forcefully, often successfully, to prevent action that drew attention to China’s own shortcomings, including the security and safety of Chinese human rights defenders. It also set out to justify its policies towards the minority Muslim population in Xinjiang, claiming that Uighur attendance at ‘vocational and educational training camps’, as it termed the facilities, were helping to ensure a turn away from radicalism and violence. On balance, the HRC has become a more comfortable environment for the promotion of China’s diplomatic and domestic priorities. Nevertheless, while Beijing clearly is in a far more powerful position to push back criticism against its behaviour than was the case after the Tiananmen crackdown of 1989, it still cannot prevent some attention being paid to its internally repressive measures, including domestic measures directed at human rights lawyers and NGO activists. The internment of large parts of the Uighur population in Xinjiang also has garnered considerable attention in 2018 and 2019, although its global influence was also shown by the low levels of criticism its actions have attracted from the Muslim world compared to what would normally have been expected. Neither has China been able to prevent all censure of many of the states with which it has chosen to be in close alignment, including Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, and Venezuela.

The Establishment and Demise of the UN Commission on Human Rights The UN Charter, officially revered by the PRC, has provided an uneasy balance between matters considered the domestic affairs of states—as expressed in article 2 (7)—and those, such as human rights violations, that should lead to an expression of international concern and potentially mitigatory measures. Human rights is referred to in the Charter’s preamble and in six of its articles; article 1(3), for example, describing one of the purposes of the UN to be in ‘promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion’. The Charter also expresses an associative link between development, stability, respect for human rights, and peace: as article 55 affirms, the creation of ‘conditions of stability and well-being’ are ‘necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations’ and these in turn depend on ‘economic and social progress and development’ as well as on the ‘universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms’. In more recent times, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his successors have

194  China, the UN, and Human Protection regularly promoted the idea that the UN operates according to a three-pillar structure: development, peace and security, and human rights,4 though the UN at times has struggled to match the strength of that final pillar with the other two. Despite early UN decisions to create a Commission on Human Rights (CHR), together with an expert-led Sub-Commission, the rights regime took a long time to be built.5 It took nearly twenty years, for example, for the two core human rights covenants based on the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) to be established and then another decade before they came fully into effect. Unsurprisingly, the work of the Commission often fell victim to the pol­it­ical polarization that marked the Cold War era as well as the continuing high ­levels of support for the norm of the sovereign equality of states and noninterference in internal affairs. However, certain normative practices that today still continue to be features of the UN’s major human rights body, as well as the subject sometimes of intense debate, did manage to become established during the Commission’s existence. These practices each succeeded in promoting the idea of the Commission as a standard-setting body and one that implied that ­certain forms of state behaviour relating to human rights should be deemed either as appropriate or inappropriate, thereby attracting praise or blame. This elaboration of what it meant to be a state in good standing in international society and committed to the promotion and protection of human rights went beyond support for the creation and elaboration of a human rights treaty regime. It also included acceptance of ECOSOC Resolution 1235, which in 1967 authorized the CHR to engage in public debate of human rights violations in particular countries, from 1978 to name those countries subject to its decisions, and in 1984 to allow the Commission Chair to provide the names of countries that were being kept under consideration, together with those that had been dropped. In add­ ition, the Commission appointed Special Rapporteurs to work on particular countries and in particular thematic areas, such as the one in 1982 on Summary or Arbitrary Executions, and in 1985 on Torture. As a result of a recommendation made at the UN World Conference on Human Rights held in Vienna in 1993, that year saw the establishment of a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights reporting directly to the UN Secretary-General. This post-holder was expected to deal directly with offending governments, unencumbered by the procedures attached to the Commission’s activities but supportive of them.6 The CHR was also able to make use of the fact-finding activities of various human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs), despite Soviet complaints in 1969 that such NGOs were ‘ “weeds in the field” desecrating the UN landscape’.7 There was a rapid increase in the number of human rights NGOs from the 1970s, with a doubling in number between 1983 and 1993. This development became a particular matter of concern for some states that were suspicious of NGO activity once these non-state bodies, from 1980, were allowed to name countries of concern directly in their statements before the Commission.8

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  195 The Commission took advantage of the political relaxation of the early post-Cold War era to attempt to move beyond its status as a subsidiary body of ECOSOC and to play a larger role in UN Security Council deliberations. Two key events in 1991 and 1992 demonstrated the possibilities of the new political era, including an expanded definition of which actions represented threats to inter­nation­al security, as well as the potential for a closer working relationship between the Security Council and the CHR. Resolution 688, for example, condemned the ‘repression of the Iraqi civilian population in parts of Iraq’ and linked the consequences of such repression to the undermining of international peace and se­cur­ity in the region.9 In 1992, at a Security Council summit, most heads of state participating in the debate affirmed the importance of human rights to the maintenance of international peace and security. As Russia’s President, Boris Yeltsin, put it, the ‘Security Council is called upon to underscore the civilized world’s col­lect­ive responsibility for the protection of human rights and freedoms’. However, this view was not wholly shared: Premier Li Peng of China, for one, chose to demur and repeated his country’s opposition to ‘interference in the internal affairs of other countries using the human rights issue as an excuse’. India and Zimbabwe similarly advocated caution, leading to the adoption of a fairly anodyne presidential statement on the matter.10 It has since proven difficult to persuade some members of the Security Council, and especially Russia under Putin and the PRC more generally, either as a matter of course or regularly to receive information about human rights violations in countries already on the Council’s agenda. They have also made it difficult to interact at any level with human rights investigators, most sceptics preferring to keep human rights matters confined predominantly within the Commission and its replacement Council.11 The Commission’s chequered history with the Security Council was matched by its failures to react in a timely manner to various human rights crises, not least because it met in regular session only once per year, at first for just four weeks, and later extended to a six-week session. The Chinese government’s decision to move forcefully against demonstrators in and around Tiananmen Square on 4  June 1989 provided one clear example of the difficulties the Commission’s or­gan­iza­tion­al design placed in the path of effective action. The UN SecretaryGeneral called for the ‘utmost restraint’ by the Chinese government, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on Summary and Arbitrary Execution appealed to Beijing to curb its excesses, and more than 1,200 employees from the UN Secretariat requested the Secretary-General to call for the holding of a special session of the CHR. However, that meeting proved impossible to arrange. There were as yet no procedures that would allow the Commission to meet in emergency session. If it had not been for the fact that the Sub-Commission was due to meet in August for its annual meeting, there would have been no resolution on China in reaction to the Tiananmen events. The Commission took until the spring of 1990 before it started to deliberate on that resolution.12

196  China, the UN, and Human Protection Indeed, it was not until 1992 that the Commission could agree to hold its first special emergency session in response to the human rights violations that were occurring in the former Yugoslavia, following this with further emergency sessions in response to the crises in Rwanda, East Timor, and the Intifada in the occupied Palestinian territories.13 Yet even this promising evolution in its ­methods could not prevent continuing criticism of the Commission given the overwhelming rigidity of its operating procedures, its overt politicization, and the failure to deal with the mounting evidence of human rights violations around the world. Reform or replacement was only a matter of time. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in his March 2005 report, In Larger Freedom, prepared for the September 2005 World Summit of heads of state and government, strongly endorsed the need for change. He emphasized the need to raise the status of the main body devoted to human rights as well as to make it able to deal more expeditiously with human rights crises. As Annan put it to member states in what would be the last session of the Commission in April 2005: ‘My basic premise is that the main intergovernmental body concerned with human rights should have a status, authority and capability commensurate with the importance of its work.’ Pointing to the presence of two other UN councils that dealt with security and development, Annan suggested that adding another council, at the same level of authority, would complete the virtuous triangle of UN activity (the three-pillar structure), or as he put it, offer ‘conceptual and architectural clarity’.14

From Human Rights Commission to Human Rights Council Annan consulted with UN member states and produced a proposal to replace the Commission, with a view to reaching agreement on the design of the new replacement body by the time of the September 2005 summit in New York.15 Yet, while there was reasonable consensus that the CHR was ineffective and needed to be replaced, there was little agreement on the particulars of a successor body. Paul Gordon Lauren’s list of the issues dividing member states is long: they disagreed about the status of any new body within the UN organization, ‘its size and composition, whether a nation’s human rights record should be an eligibility requirement for membership, whether regional or geographic criteria should be used in determining membership, whether the permanent Big Five powers should be automatically guaranteed a seat on the Council, the procedures to elect members, the length of time for membership, the scope of the new body’s mandate, the powers that it should possess, and whether and how to retain special procedures and mechanisms for the active involvement of NGOs in any deliberations’.16 These divisions, together with the huge agenda associated with the September 2005 World Summit, meant that member states could agree only to endorse a

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  197 general call for reform. They requested the President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to produce detailed proposals and to begin negotiations in the hope of establishing the Council during the 2005 sixtieth session of the UNGA.17 That too proved optimistic as the March 2006 General Assembly resolution creating the Human Rights Council was silent on a number of specific features, such as the frequency and duration of Council meetings, procedures for the holding of special sessions, the details of the peer review process, and permitted levels of NGO involvement. It did agree, against Annan’s and some other states’ and non-state actors’ preferences, that there should be no strictly observed membership criteria and election by majority vote, rather than two-thirds of UN member states.18 When the new Council first convened in June 2006, it gathered as a body of forty-seven member states,19 with a more elevated status within the UN system, and a remit to meet in at least three sessions per year spread over ten weeks. It could also hold special emergency sessions, provided at least one-third of the membership agreed. Seats were redistributed along geographic lines and a simple majority vote in a secret ballot by all UN member states could ensure election to the body. No strong membership criteria were to be applied, except that a state’s contributions to the protection and promotion of human rights were supposedly to be taken into account. Each member was to be allowed two consecutive threeyear terms before standing down for a period of at least one year before becoming eligible for re-election. Despite agreement on these issues, however, the Council still had to engage in what turned out to be a year-long institution-building process in order to cover outstanding questions such as the remit of the body of expert advisers, as well as the complaints procedure. It also worked on setting up the new Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process—one designed to ensure that all UN member states had their human rights records reviewed on a regular basis. There was also disagreement over whether to continue with country-specific resolutions. Concerns about the latter were overridden, though not removed, and country resolutions were permitted to remain. Doubters were consoled to some degree by the protections that a more geographically representative body was thought likely to provide. During this initial period, many expressed high hopes for the new body, but cautioned about over optimism. That mixed prediction has turned out to be ac­cur­ ate, with the UPR process on a number of occasions having become, in one graphic phrase, a ‘mutual praise society’, and with the continuing presence of chronic violators of human rights as members of the Council.20 Accreditation for NGOs has also remained contentious and familiar battle-lines have been drawn up, not least as geopolitical rivalries have once again risen in intensity. As discussed in what follows, China’s role in the body has evolved, moving from a lower to a higher profile, particularly in the period since 2012, as it has increasingly acted to shape the direction of a Council in place to assist with human protection.

198  China, the UN, and Human Protection

China Joins the Commission on Human Rights China’s ‘Reform and Opening’ after December 1978, together with the raised expectations of other states in Beijing’s post-Mao era, induced the PRC, in 1979, first to acquire observer status at Commission meetings, and then in 1982, fully to join that body and have an expert elected to its Sub-Commission. Alongside its participation in the work of these two bodies, Beijing participated in drafting such human rights instruments as the Convention against Torture (which it signed in December 1986 and ratified in October 1988), and actively pushed to ensure the UNGA adopted a Declaration on the Right to Development in 1986. Having refused initially to take part in voting on UNGA resolutions referencing human rights concerns in Chile, El Salvador, and Guatemala, it moved cautiously to abstention in 1981, and then in 1985 voted in favour of a Commission reso­ lution investigating conditions in Chile. In 1984, the PRC supported the appointment of a Special Rapporteur to investigate the human rights situation in Afghanistan, and accepted the Commission procedure of adopting a number of resolutions by consensus.21 Much of Beijing’s behaviour, while indicative of some level of cooperation, seemed overwhelmingly political at this stage, subject largely to the alignment or otherwise of particular states with its ‘primary enemy’ of that time, the former Soviet Union. Its formal statements also still gave precedence to the protection and promotion of collective rather than individual rights. However, there were some indications in the less authoritarian 1980s suggesting that its perspectives on human rights were being destabilized by participation in the rights regime, and that it had become responsive to image concerns in this policy area. In celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the UDHR in 1988, for example, the official media tried to straddle past and present conceptions of rights, on the one hand arguing in a Renmin Ribao editorial that while racial segregation, genocide, the slave trade, and terrorism should be condemned internationally, most other matters related to domestic affairs, and thus legally could not become a focus of inter­ nation­al attention. On the other hand, however, the editorial also acknowledged that collective rights should not be stressed at the expense of individual rights, that such individual rights constituted ‘the basis for practising democratic ­politics’, and that ‘the more complete and perfect the democratic and legal ­systems . . . the more actively people will involve themselves in governmental and public affairs, and this is conducive to the country’s prosperity’. While this report repeated the official line that rights and obligations differed according to the social, economic, and political conditions in each country, and that no one country should impose its own standards on another, it also tried to reflect China’s new-found place within the human rights regime: ‘internationally-accepted standards should be respected when a country enacts laws to this end’22—an ­indication that Beijing had acknowledged that while the domestic normative and

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  199 legal order should take precedence, that domestic position needed to be developed with an eye to international norms.

The Tiananmen Bloodshed as Turning Point The apparent, if limited, unsettling of the Chinese discourse on human rights and Beijing’s tentative moves to make sense of its involvement in the CHR, as well as to provide justification of its signature of various human rights treaties,23 was to be firmly curtailed with the outbreak of anti-government demonstrations in China in the spring and early summer of 1989. These demonstrations, which spread beyond the nation’s capital, provoked a violent governmental crackdown on the protesters. That crackdown provoked in turn a series of condemnatory responses from international actors including the UN Secretary-General and members of the UN secretariat. The G7 and other European Community ­members as well as the IFIs imposed sanctions and initially curtailed high level government-to-government contact. Several attempts were made to pass condemnatory resolutions at the annual meetings of the CHR. As noted earlier, CHR procedures meant the body was unable immediately to react, but at the August 1989 session of the CHR’s Sub-Commission, Beijing came to be the focus of a mildly worded but nevertheless disapproving resolution that passed fifteen votes to nine in a secret ballot. This was the first time for a UN human rights institution to criticize a P5 ­member for its human rights violations. The resolution owed its passage in part to the graphic media depictions of the events in Beijing and the deadly governmental response, but also to the heavy-handed tactics that China deployed to try to ­prevent votes in favour of the resolution. It also helped that human rights NGOs  adopted a coordinated strategy at that Sub-Commission meeting. The International League for Human Rights did much of the legwork and prepared a detailed 101-page report on Tiananmen, itself engaged in extensive lobbying of Sub-Commission members, and assisted Chinese students and others from China in the presentation of their eye-witness testimony.24 Chinese diplomats offered several different, often contradictory, responses: they claimed that ‘not a single person’ had been killed; that the Chinese authorities had to take action in order to safeguard the human rights of other Chinese; and that the actions taken were entirely a domestic affair and ‘no foreign country or international organization had a right to intervene on any pretext whatsoever’. China’s independent expert on the Sub-Commission, Tian Jin, even made an unwise reference to article 2(7) of the UN Charter, but was swiftly reminded of the wording of article 55, quoted near the start of this chapter.25 China’s behaviour continued to come under UN scrutiny in the following months, in some instances as required by the ongoing process of reporting

200  China, the UN, and Human Protection that  arises from treaty membership, but in others as a result of the Tiananmen ­crackdown. The CHR, in the spring of 1990, considered the Sub-Commission reso­ lution. As instructed in that resolution, the UN Secretary-General submitted his report on China—a full thirty-three pages—outlining violations in the country and utilizing information provided by Amnesty International, the International League for Human Rights, and the International Committee of Health Professionals. This attracted a fierce Chinese rebuttal. Pakistan introduced a procedural ‘no-action’ motion, which passed narrowly, seventeen–fifteen–eleven, Beijing gaining the support of the former Soviet Union, Ukraine, plus Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, among others. Several African and Latin American states decided to abstain. That China strongly abhorred being the subject of a UN condemnatory reso­ lution is demonstrated by its sending of a forty-person delegation to the Commission meeting, including its Foreign Minister, and its use of economic and political threats and inducements to persuade governments to support the ‘noaction’ motion. However, its strategy had evolved somewhat from August 1989 in that Beijing also referenced its commitment to the ‘protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms’, and its good record of submitting information to the ‘relevant UN bodies as well as to the Special Rapporteurs of the Commission on Human Rights on torture, religion, summary or arbitrary executions and forced or involuntary disappearances’.26 China also made sure that it be understood that while it could be influenced by global norms, these would only come into effect where they did not breach state sovereignty. As its Ambassador put it: ‘In inter­ nation­al law, sovereignty was the most important attribute of a State, with the result that the realization and protection of human rights could not exclude the principle of sovereignty.’27 This experience also prompted Beijing to promote discursively the idea of a ‘dialogue’, as opposed to confrontation, on human rights between equal, sovereign, states—a position that came to be reflected later on in the way Beijing approached the UPR process, as well as the bilateral human rights dialogues it started to hold with a number of Western states.28 For this strategy to be effective, however, required a deepening in Chinese knowledge about human rights law and underlying philosophy in order better to be able to defend the country’s human rights record. Thus, China’s major universities were instructed to host conferences, establish research units, and to publish on the topic. Four main themes emerged: ‘the question of class and human rights; the relationship between individual and collective rights; the importance of social and economic rights versus political rights; and the question of international protection of human rights and state sovereignty.’29 Tian Jin’s speech at a 1990 conference was of particular interest because, as noted earlier, he held the role of ‘independent expert’ at the UN Sub-Commission. Tian emphasized the historically contingent nature of rights, and gave precedence to collective rights over individual rights. He claimed that the only common international standards were those relating to

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  201 ‘racism, colonialism, gross violations of human rights caused by foreign occupation and aggression’. Next—in a statement that bears a resemblance to China’s stance later on with regard to POC and R2P30—Tian argued that governments had the main responsibility for protecting human rights and that the principle of non-interference was still applicable in this domain, except in areas relating to genocide or apartheid. Finally, Tian argued for redirecting attention towards peace and development, with development being key to the protection of col­lect­ ive human rights. He also noted that the relationship between human rights and development was not receiving the attention it deserved.31 In the autumn of 1991, China published its first White Paper on human rights, which Premier Li Peng described as a Chinese strategy of offence against hostile enemy forces. It was prominently featured in the official party newspaper, Renmin Ribao, and led to the propagation of a reference booklet designed as a study guide for a national campaign, as well as the White Paper’s translation into several languages, indicating a desire to influence and inform international opinion. The preface to the White Paper noted the Chinese government’s commitment to human rights, but also argued for a relativist developmental perspective. The Paper described the basic right of subsistence as the most important of all human rights and an ‘issue of paramount importance in China today’. It maintained that ‘priority should be given to the safeguarding of the right of the people of the developing countries to subsistence and development, thus creating the necessary conditions for people all over the world to enjoy various human rights’.32 The dominance of these themes showed the continuing relevance of Marxist as well as anti-colonial perspectives in the shaping of China’s ideological response. The publication of the White Paper in multiple languages, as well as the national campaign, demonstrated that China was trying to convince both international and domestic audiences that its policy stance stood on firm ground. However, international exposure via the Commission and Sub-Commission had been a sobering experience for China. It had been damaged economically and the ‘responsible state’ image that it craved seemed to have been set back. Moreover, it could not prevent its record being the subject of further scrutiny in the years that followed, even as Western and Japanese political and economic sanctions quickly weakened.33 Neither were its tactics in generating support within the Commission subtle, with leverage being more prevalent than persuasion. Thus, Beijing was the subject of several more draft condemnatory reso­lutions— unsuccessful in all but one case—in the years to come. 1995 was a particularly bad year for a country concerned about image: China’s human rights record became the subject of every Special Rapporteur’s and Working Group’s reports. Beijing also chose that year to publish a new Human Rights White Paper, this one somewhat softening the stress on subsistence given China’s economic progress, and choosing instead to emphasize that China’s economic development had fa­cili­ tated Chinese citizens’ enjoyment of civil and political rights.34

202  China, the UN, and Human Protection As noted, all but one of these Western-sponsored condemnatory resolutions failed to pass because of the success of ‘no-action’ resolutions that China or its allies introduced.35 General support for drafting these condemnatory resolutions began to dwindle among the Western sponsors, in part because the sponsors chose not to match the intensity of China’s lobbying efforts within the Commission and overcome the voting blocks in support of China. In addition, China’s attractions as a major trading and investment market grew from the mid-1990s. Beijing also offered a range of well-timed concessions, such as individual prisoner releases, signature of the two core human rights covenants in 1997 and 1998, and bilateral dialogues on rights to those governments that would forego the introduction of condemnatory resolutions.36 Nevertheless, this criticism of the PRC had taken its toll and had generated a determination in Beijing, particularly after 1995, to reshape the design of the Commission and Sub-Commission in ways that would conform more closely to its ideological beliefs as well as to diminish any further damage to its inter­nation­al image. Working with like-minded others, China and other states saw to it that the Sub-Commission would experience some diminution in its independence and authority, agreeing to forgo discussion of country situations that were already on the agenda of the Commission. By the time of the creation of the Human Rights Council in 2006, this attack on the Sub-Commission had gone further: it became an Advisory Committee that acted only on instruction from the state members of the HRC, which elected the advisory body by secret ballot. In addition, country-specific resolutions came under attack, and at the August 1997 meeting of the Sub-Commission, the Chinese delegate tabled a resolution— attracting sponsorship from another twenty Sub-Commission members—that further affected the subsidiary body’s ability to ‘name and shame’. Referring to what China claimed as an unfortunate politicization of human rights issues, the resolution called on all those engaged in such work to carry out ‘constructive dialogue and consultations on human rights’.37 Moreover, the Commission itself had to reform, in China’s view, and give more time for dialogue over confrontation, to consider more frequently the right to development as well as economic, social, and cultural rights, and to improve the geographical representation of the Commission as well as the Centre for Human Rights. China’s delegates presented these as demands of the whole developing world, of which China was a part.38 To this day, and as will be shown in later sections, Beijing has not let any part of this agenda go.

China’s Role in the Creation of the Human Rights Council China undoubtedly wanted to see the gains it had made protected during the negotiations that ensued to install the new Human Rights Council. Indeed, so satisfied was Beijing by the constraints it had worked to place on Commission

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  203 activity that, by 2005, it had reversed itself and stated that ‘it was not yet convinced of the need to replace the Commission’.39 However, once the negotiations were underway it lent its support to a series of proposals designed to hobble aspects of the body’s activities that threatened criticism of human rights practices. Notably, it strongly supported the geographical redistribution of seats, which improved African and Asian state representation, but it opposed the introduction of membership criteria, election by a two-thirds vote, the creation of a smaller body, the upgrading of the Council’s status, and the retention of country-specific resolutions. It worked to restrict the advisory body of the Council, the confidential complaints procedure, opposed wide-scale NGO participation, and binding follow-up action connected with the UPR process. Many of its preferences attracted the support of vocal and powerful states such as Egypt, Pakistan, and Russia—the same states that were in alignment with China’s views on the ‘Responsibility to Protect’. On country-specific resolutions, however, China adopted a tougher stance than many of these like-minded states. Beijing proposed that these resolutions should be sponsored by one-third of the Council and passed by a two-thirds vote. Unusually, it found itself to be isolated, despite having lobbied strenuously for this proposal, and despite there being some underlying sympathy for it, especially among those states that had been the subject of such resolutions. Beijing cared deeply about this issue because of its own experience with the Commission after the Tiananmen bloodshed and initially refused to back away from this stance. It only changed its position when it came to understand that blocking this one area of reform, when so much else had been achieved, would have wrecked the negotiations. Moreover, China would be identified as chief ‘spoiler’. Press reports were already pointing the finger at Beijing for having obstructed the final stages of the negotiations. This development, together with the arguments of non-Western delegations that the issue was not worth pursuing to the point of damaging China’s international image, and the possible erosion of what had been accomplished so far, led Beijing to retreat on this point. Moreover, China’s partners suggested to it that the introduction of the UPR process meant that fewer country-specific resolutions would likely be introduced anyway. As the new Council began its work, Beijing adopted a series of familiar stances that indicated a continuing strong desire to protect itself and those with which it was in alignment from criticism. For example, it soon demonstrated that it had not reconciled itself to the continuing use of country-specific action, either as resolutions or through the appointment of Special Rapporteurs with countryspecific mandates.40 In an attempt to damage the legitimacy of these countryspecific behaviours Beijing underlined that they were disproportionately directed at developing countries, and were unnecessary duplication in light of the UPR process. It regularly voted against them.

204  China, the UN, and Human Protection Beijing, as well as other delegations, also learned how to use the UPR process to shield itself from criticism: it ‘encouraged friendly comments and re­com­ menda­tions and stacked the speakers list’.41 China’s 2018 UPR is a useful case in point: more than 150 countries spoke in response to China’s presentation of its report, the vast majority of which praised China’s record. Contributing states were so high in number that each delegation only had fifty-five seconds to make public their recommendations to China.42 Moreover, interviews indicated that the well-organized and very sizeable Chinese delegation in Geneva (more than sixty strong) meant that many human rights NGOs could not find space in the room either to watch or intervene in proceedings. In addition, Human Rights Watch, on behalf of a number of human rights NGOs, complained to the OHCHR about the apparent loss of at least seven NGO submissions from the final document made available to member states as a basis for the drafting of recommendations.43 On a number of other occasions Beijing has used various other procedural mechanisms to restrict NGO participation, a Human Rights Watch report recording a UN official confirming that ‘PRC delegates are very clear and regularly and systematically challenge NGO participation’. Estimates are that some ninety-five per cent of the requests for lists of NGO names come from China, and ‘not just before the Council sessions. China sends this “hit list” to New York as well.’44 Over the years, Beijing has also called on the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to be reformed: that the office do more to ‘promote a culture of diversity’,45 introduce the notion of geographical rotation in the appointment of staff including the High Commissioner him- or herself, be more transparent in terms of its budget, and give more emphasis to the promotion and protection of economic, social, and cultural rights.46 Much of this is, of course, self-regarding activity and is designed to shield China from being ‘named and shamed’, and it is notable that in 2018, the UN High Commissioner did point to a number of civil and political violations that her office encouraged China to remedy.47 However, China’s demands also reflect the PRC’s ideological belief in the importance of maintaining a predominant role for the state above that of UN officials in UN governance, and the idea that economic development—a priority, China argues, for all developing countries—needs to be at the heart of human rights protection and promotion.

China’s Increased Activism—the ‘Arab Spring’ and Beyond Despite China’s greater involvement in the UN’s human rights regime, there has been noticeable stability in the focus of its concerns and in its dominant beliefs, particularly after 1989. In this respect, its own direct experience of the UN’s human rights bodies has strongly influenced the way it wished to shape the workings of these institutions. Where there has been a difference over time, however, is

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  205 in China’s more sustained and active role in the deliberations of the Human Rights Council, notably after the advent of the ‘Arab Spring’ from 2011, and even more so after it came back onto the Council in 2014. That activism shows signs of deepening. Sceats and Breslin, for example, affirmed in their study that China generally did not take a leadership role in the Council from 2006 to early 2011, preferring to keep a low profile and letting others carry the burden when necessary. In this period, Beijing tended to work mainly with the so-called Like-Minded Group (LMG) to ensure the passage of particular resolutions and to shape the Council’s practices in favour of its preferred position of ‘dialogue and cooperation’ among legally equal sovereign states. Beijing’s voting coincidence between 2006 and 2011 with Egypt and Cuba, for example, reached the maximum 100 per cent, and ninety-nine per cent with Russia.48 However, at the eighteenth regular session of the HRC in September 2011, during a panel discussion on peaceful protests, Beijing itself ‘delivered a high-profile joint statement on behalf of 32 states, emphasizing the duties of governments “to take necessary measures to maintain public security, public order and social stability” in accordance with domestic and international law’. It also stressed the need for governments to curb the misuse of social media. At the nineteenth session, China again stepped forward, intervening in a panel discussion on freedom of expression and the internet, warning about the negative uses to which the internet had been put, even to include, it stated, ‘ideas of toppling legitimate authorities’. Alarm at the use of social media to organize protest in the Arab world, together with a growing confidence in its ability to operate in the HRC environment, appeared to be at the root of this more active approach. As a former Chinese diplomat remarked in reference to this increase in confidence, ‘China really knows how to operate in Geneva now’ and the feeling had grown that the country’s delegates ‘shouldn’t sit there quietly’ but ‘should take the initiative’ and lay out their ideas.49 And Beijing did, indeed, more often take the initiative once it had re-joined the Council in 2014 after a year’s required absence. It worked closely with Egypt and Russia to coordinate the actions of the LMG, supporting Egypt’s statement at the twenty-fifth session of the HRC in March 2014, which set out an ‘LMG Charter’. Among other things, the Charter called on the Council to put all human rights on an equal footing, and to avoid ‘confrontation, politicisation and double standards’.50 Beijing also stepped forward to initiate presidential statements and to cosponsor amendments to resolutions,51 and it worked hard to build support for its positions. As one interviewee in Geneva put it, Beijing used discourse, financial and budgetary muscle, and leveraged the reciprocal elements contained within the design of the UPR process.52 Another interviewee noted that China’s negotiating tactics designed to gain state support for its stances tended to ‘wear you down’, and less well-endowed delegations had to decide which of their own concerns

206  China, the UN, and Human Protection they wished to prioritize and which to let go.53 In addition, Beijing regularly staged exhibitions prior to meetings of the Council hoping to impress country delegations with its economic and social progress. It also provided hospitality for some of the regional groupings during which it made its case for support. Beijing took this more robust approach into the topic area of HRC reform, an issue that would become central in 2016 in light of the ten-year review of the Council. For example, in November 2015, Counsellor Yao Shaojun, in an inter­ active dialogue with the President of the HRC at a Third Committee meeting in New York, put forward a familiar list of complaints, if articulated more forcefully on this occasion: inter alia, Yao stated that the Council should not be used to interfere in internal affairs; it should ‘put an end to “naming and shaming” ’; it should respect countries’ diverse experiences, cultures, levels of development and history; and should strike a better balance between civil, political, and economic rights, and particularly the right to development. Yao asked the then President directly how he planned to reverse what his government saw as the negative developments within the Council.54 Yao repeated these criticisms in a similar debate in November 2017, outlining all the multiple challenges that faced the Council, this time adding an attack on special procedures whose post-holders, China felt, went ‘beyond their terms of reference’ and were too keen to ‘exert pressure publicly’. Yao also claimed that NGOs were abusing their consultative status and making ‘politically motivated malicious attacks against governments of member states’ and should have their participation better regulated.55 The Chinese government undoubtedly had decided to target human rights defenders more robustly from this period. For example, at the General Assembly in 2015, China and Russia blocked what was normally a biannual resolution agreed by consensus on support for human rights defenders.56 In a further sharpening of its position in 2017, and in response to a dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders, China launched a counter-attack against what it described as ‘unwarranted comments on China’, adding that ‘there is no clear and universal definition worked out through intergovernmental negotiation on “human rights defenders” ’, and that ‘countries have different views on who can be defined’ as a defender of rights. China would not accept some of those seen as rights defenders as legitimate representatives of civil society, but instead described them as those ‘who have violated law or engaged in criminal activities’, undermine the interests of the majority, and threaten public order.57 The Chinese government also criticized the UN Assistant SecretaryGeneral’s (ASG) report tasked to deal with allegations of intimidation and re­prisals against civil society defenders, and in which China was named as an offender. China described the report as ‘not up to standard’58 and made the general claim, as the ASG himself described it, that ‘the issue of reprisals against a civil society defender in a country is an infringement of sovereignty’. This cut

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  207 little ice with the ASG, his retort being: ‘That is China’s position on many issues, it is not the Secretariat’s and nor is it most Member States.’59 In June 2017, for the first time at the HRC, China took the step of introducing its own resolution on the ‘contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights’. An early draft introduced a number of paragraphs indicating Beijing’s particular preferences: for example, one preambular paragraph—recalling the LMG Charter referenced earlier—requested ‘the international community’ to ‘treat human rights globally in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing, and with the same emphasis’, and in one of its operative paragraphs stressed that the HRC recognize ‘the indispensable contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights by all’. The final resolution, however, and after intense negotiations, inserted the phrase before China’s statement on fair treatment that ‘all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated’. China’s reference in the operative paragraph to the ‘indispensable contribution of development’ was softened in the final text, which affirmed that ‘development contributes significantly to the enjoyment of all human rights by all’. Despite these linguistic compromises, China deemed the outcome of the voting (thirty in favour, thirteen against, and three abstentions) a success. Moreover, Chinese negotiators did manage to have inserted into the resolution’s final wording Beijing’s—particularly Xi Jinping’s—favoured phrases, including references to ‘win-win outcomes’, ‘people-centred development’, and the ‘common aspiration to build a community of shared future for human beings’—all slogans that are reflected regularly in Chinese official speeches and publications, and that were taken up in a number of other HRC resolutions in 2017. There was also a call for the Advisory Committee of the HRC to ‘conduct a study on the ways in which development contributes to the enjoyment of all human rights’ that enabled a return to the resolution some two years later.60 Thus, in July 2019, China sponsored the resolution once again, this time, and particularly in its initial draft, emphasizing development as ‘the basis for the improvement of living standards and welfare of the population of each State’, which thus made it ‘of foundational significance for the enjoyment of all human rights’. The draft also noted that ‘meeting the aspiration of the people for a better life is the priority of each State’ and spent considerable time in discussing the progress and problems of reaching the SDGs and the necessity of eradicating extreme poverty. These paragraphs thus tipped the resolution more towards the core idea of economic development as the primary right, and from which other rights might flow.61 Subsequent negotiations with EU member states led to some drafting changes, the final version often adding the word ‘sustainable’ before development, and more significantly somewhat softening the idea that development is of foundational significance. As it was put in the version voted on: ‘Acknowledging that development is the basis for the improvement of living standards and the welfare

208  China, the UN, and Human Protection of the population of each State, and hence contributes to the enjoyment of all human rights.’ Not entirely satisfied with these revisions, the EU pushed for a vote. China won comfortably, with thirty-three states in favour, none abstaining this time, and thirteen states voting against.62 China sponsored another controversial resolution in March 2018, finally en­titled ‘Promoting mutually beneficial cooperation in the field of human rights’. It began life in a draft entitled ‘Promoting the International Human Rights Cause through Win-Win Cooperation’ and throughout pressed ‘win-win cooperation’ as the solution and approach to many of the world’s problems, including the promotion of technical assistance and capacity-building in the field of human rights, and the assurance of sustainable peace and development. Indeed, as it was put in the preamble of the initial draft, ‘win-win cooperation is the only viable option in an increasingly interdependent, interrelated and integrated world where countries form a community of shared future’. In one of its operative paragraphs it hit out at all parts of the UN’s human rights system, including NGOs, calling on the ‘Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, special procedures, treaty bodies to fulfil their duties in accordance with their mandates and rules . . . and to follow credible information from reliable sources, with the aim of making more contributions to achieving win-win cooperation in the field of human rights’.63 China was pressed to compromise, especially by Western states, and the US delegation eventually called for a vote. Other delegations, together with NGOs, also had their concerns, with at least one non-Western delegation asking Chinese diplomats how they would deal with countries that refused to cooperate with the human rights mechanisms.64 The Chinese ambassador’s 1 March statement in support of the resolution may not have helped Beijing’s position. This statement tied the resolution strongly to Xi Jinping’s political slogans of ‘win-win’ and ‘shared community’, and additionally included the arguments that ‘[d]evelopment holds the master key to all challenges’, war is the root cause of mass violations of human rights, and cooperation is the ‘right way to promote the international human rights cause’.65 The shift to ‘mutually beneficial cooperation’ in the final version was one attempt to reduce the centrality of the ‘win-win’ language; the insertion of the phrase ‘all human rights are universal, indivisible, interrelated and interdependent and mutually reinforcing’ was a significant omission from the original Chinese text and was successfully introduced; and the operative paragraph obliquely attacking the UN’s human rights mechanisms became the far more mildly worded request that these bodies and procedures ‘continue to pay attention to the importance of mutually beneficial cooperation in promoting and protecting all human rights’. Thus, China moved quite a long way from its original text, though the final version did still include, in the preamble, China’s current political message that we should build ‘a community of shared future for human

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  209 beings’. The resolution passed twenty-eight in favour, one against (the United States), and seventeen states abstaining, many in the latter group arguing that China’s willingness to compromise needed to be acknowledged.66

Promoting Beliefs and Burnishing International Image China’s more forward position at the Council over the last five years or so provides direct insight into its officially articulated beliefs on human rights, with development being central to China’s official understanding of how rights are best promoted and protected, and social stability as necessary to a successful developmental outcome. Much of its behaviour also shows a determination to protect and burnish its international image. With respect to image, for example, China regularly highlights the positive aspects of its record, not simply in reference to its development achievements especially in relation to poverty reduction, but also in terms of its treaty signature and reporting. As Beijing stated in October 2017, the country had acceded to twenty-six international human rights instruments, and more importantly ‘has implemented in earnest its obligations under these human rights treaties, and seen to it that its domestic legislation’ is in alignment with these treaty provisions. It prepares and submits reports as required by the treaties, it stated, ‘offering a full account of the achievements and shortcomings in China’s implementation of the relevant human rights treaties’.67 At the tenth Beijing Forum on Human Rights held in September 2018, the shortcomings were, however, somewhat neglected, with Politburo member Huang Kunming claiming that China had ‘achieved unprecedented historical progress in the human rights cause’.68 That China cares about its international image has been recognized widely elsewhere. As one UN expert remarked: ‘First and foremost, I think it’s fair to say that China regards it as important to look good—to get a good report from a number of United Nations committees.’69 Another interview elicited the comment that this concern with image was the main lever that UN human rights bodies had to constrain China or effect some change in its behaviour, and that image concerns related both to domestic legitimacy as well as to international recognition.70 China’s delegation charged with presenting its 2018 UPR was large and organized. Beijing was willing to use its influence in country capitals and elsewhere to ensure dozens of favourable comments during the review process about its progress in human rights indicating its concern to receive a positive appraisal. However, since Beijing cannot be entirely certain that its record will be praised, or that its supporters will be protected from criticism, it has also become im­port­ ant to it, in this more active phase of policy, to shape the language and conceptions of rights at the Council in ways that align more closely with China’s own  ideological beliefs and preferred phrasing. Thus, references to the ‘shared future for humankind’ and the text of the resolution it successfully sponsored in

210  China, the UN, and Human Protection July 2017 on the ‘contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights’ are projected as major victories and as tangible measures of the widening support for its conceptions of world order as well as of human rights. In this respect, China is more obviously in the business of image construction, rather than simply being concerned with image maintenance or damage limitation. Belief in the positive role of development has been strongly promoted; indeed, as ‘the key to solving all problems related to human rights’, as stated in Yu Jianhua’s speech to the 37th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2018. Yu went further, advocating the need to put ‘the right of development in the first place’ and called on member states to ‘fully implement the UN’s 2030 agenda for sustainable development, [and] eliminate extreme poverty’. He alluded also to the importance of conditions within domestic society: in China’s view the development of human rights in a particular country could not be ‘separated from a safe and stable domestic environment’.71 This contrasts with the documents on the SDGs produced by the UN’s Human Rights Office that prefer to stress that the ‘2030 Agenda is unequivocally anchored in human rights’, including in the Charter, the UDHR, and international treaties.72 In a number of respects, Yao, Yu, and other Chinese spokespersons were mirror­ing the language contained in authoritative Chinese documents, such as the country’s 2016–20 National Human Rights Action Plan, and the State Council document entitled ‘The Right to Development’, which in its preamble described development as an ‘inalienable human right’.73 December 2018 also saw the publication of ‘Progress in human rights over 40 years of Reform and Opening Up in China’ which noted that China had ‘risen and become prosperous and strong’ on the basis of a CCP decision to give primacy to protecting the rights to subsistence and development.74 These themes already had appeared in several of President Xi Jinping’s speeches and thus were drawn on in related topic areas. During Xi’s speech at the opening of the Belt and Road Forum in May 2017, the President made much of the world’s cultural diversity, except when it came to development it seems. As Xi put it: ‘Development holds the key to solving all problems’,75 a phrase mirrored in the Chinese ambassador’s statement in Geneva at the beginning of March 2018. At the UN in Geneva in January 2017, Xi gave a ‘rare, invitation-only speech’ at the UN’s Palais des Nations entitled ‘Work Together to Build a Community of Shared Future for Mankind’ in which he laid out many of the themes that were to be followed by his country’s UN ambassadors in their subsequent statements. He affirmed sovereign equality as the ‘most important norm governing state-to-state relations’ and ‘dialogue and consultation’ as the most ‘effective way to bridge differences’. The ‘fundamental solution to end conflicts’ (presumably to include those also in the field of human rights) was to engage in ‘political negotiation’. He reiterated that ‘[d]evelopment is the top priority for all countries’, adding later in the speech: ‘We Chinese firmly believe that peace and stability is the only way to

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  211 development and prosperity.’ In one of the rare direct references to rights (col­lect­ive rather than individual), Xi stated: ‘We always put people’s rights and interests above everything else and have worked hard to advance and uphold human rights.’ However, his focus was on the Chinese people’s material gains linking that domestic progress to the global progress on human rights: ‘China has met the basic living needs of its 1.3 billion-plus people and lifted over 700 million people out of poverty, which is a significant contribution to the global cause of human rights.’76 Xi made it clear where China unapologetically stood: development, social stability, and collective, predominantly economic, rights were not only the best route for China but also for other states; state-to-state respectful and nonconfrontational dialogue was the only way to make progress on the development and implementation of human rights; states should play the dominant role in global governance in the human rights issue area since they were the only bodies with the authority to provide for human protection. One senior UN official in New York later described these perspectives as part of a ‘full out attack on our understanding of human rights’, reducing all prospects for ‘naming and shaming’ and transforming the UN role to one of a purely technical kind.77 That this message was to be promoted in venues beyond Geneva was made clear in other of Xi’s speeches, as well as by Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who in December 2017 gave an important address at the opening ceremony in Beijing of the first South-South Human Rights Forum—an institutional development suggesting China was moving to supplement the UN’s human rights institutions with one focused directly on the developing world. Wang placed China’s own experience at the centre of this speech, noting that ‘under the leadership of the C[ommunist] P[arty of] C[hina] and through unremitting efforts, the Chinese people have scored unprecedented achievements in human history and blazed an oriental pathway toward modernization’. The Foreign Minister also emphasized that China’s model for human rights protection was ‘people-centered’, gave ‘a top priority’ to development, was based on ‘the socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics’, and on ‘[r]eform and opening-up’. Wang stressed the need to ‘promote human rights through peace’ and stated that ‘[s]ecurity is the most im­port­ ant human right’, though he went on implicitly to define security as economic security by claiming that for developing countries the ‘right to development is the primary human right’. The Foreign Minister also promoted cultural diversity rather than universality: ‘Instead of imposing either eastern or western models, we need to advocate diversity and localization, and work for a rebalancing of human rights models. No one path or system is superior to others as each has its own distinctive features.’ Wang repeated earlier Chinese demands for human rights institutions to increase developing country representation in terms of their ‘rule-making, membership and staff structure’, ending with a call to tip the balance more firmly towards the right to development, and the promotion of economic, social, and collective rights.78 Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Li Baodong, made

212  China, the UN, and Human Protection a similarly forceful intervention on ‘human rights diplomacy with Chinese characteristics’ in which he noted China’s active role in ‘inter­nation­al human rights governance’, boldly stating that Beijing had ‘helped to enhance China’s soft power and influence . . . by translating domestic governance philosophies into international consensus’.79 These statements, then, represent a three-fold development in China’s involvement in the human rights institutions: first to engage in construction of a positive international image through highlighting China’s own developmental successes, and linking those successes to progress in domestic and global human rights, particularly with respect to the Millennium Development Goals and more latterly in reference to the Sustainable Development Goals. Secondly, Beijing is promoting a distinctive development-first model, together with cultural relativism, and col­lect­ive rights above individual rights. It is shifting the ‘centre of gravity’ in terms of the discourse on rights, as Zhang and Buzan have argued.80 China is also attempting to change what it refers to as international human rights governance, modelling a consensus around its own domestic governance model, as in its references to its socialist system and the commanding role of the Communist Party of China. Compared with the other areas of human protection discussed in this study, China has articulated its beliefs in the human rights area in a more forceful and consistent manner. This is because the terms of engagement have themselves been more direct and have directed attention at China itself, as well as at some of those that have chosen to align with Beijing. This contrasts notably with, for example, discussions over the protection of civilians in armed conflict, a topic more subject to debate about good practice and the behaviours that might best lead to effective outcomes. Beijing has also been recognized as the provider, through introduction of its peacekeeping troops, of some level of protection in the field. Moreover, human rights—through the treaty system, the presence of multilateral bodies, and post-holders at state and non-state levels devoted to human rights protection and promotion—is a well-embedded norm, requiring more effort to undermine or to exploit it than other related norms such as R2P.81

The Staying Power of Human Rights in the Multilateral System Despite this more active engagement in belief promotion and image construction, and Beijing’s obvious successes in shaping the HRC’s procedures and resolutions, its involvement in a multilateral body and treaty regime of this kind has meant that Beijing cannot entirely prevent itself and like-minded allies from being subjected to negative reporting. Those NGOs, Special Rapporteurs, the President of the Council, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as country delegations that remain vigilant still have some capacity to push back. Even as China’s

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  213 power has obviously grown over the period of the Council’s existence, it has been rebuked for its poor human rights record in certain areas, as have other likeminded states such as Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, and North Korea. In 2016, for example, China permitted the UN’s Special Rapporteur (SR) on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Philip Alston, to visit. In his end-of-mission statement he noted that he wished to ‘underline the magnitude of China’s achievements’ in bringing hundreds of millions out of poverty and advancing other social goals. In this regard, the SR referenced what had often been China’s key argument against critics of its human rights record. However, Alston also remarked that China had become one of the most unequal societies in the world, with some aspects of social legislation, such as the public pension system, actually working to heighten those inequalities. Alston acutely exposed the core problem at the heart of China’s promotion of the ‘Right to Development’, referencing the failure to treat economic, social, and cultural rights genuinely as rights to be claimed rather than simply as development goals. Three things were lacking, Alston argued, if we think of these as rights: they need to be recognized in legislative or other form; institutions, such as National Human Rights Institutions, need to be created to promote their realization; and accountability mechanisms, including a role for a robust civil society, need to be provided in order to ensure redress. In all cases, he found China to be deficient.82 Other SRs, such as the one focusing on the ‘Situation of Human Rights Defenders’, have added to the criticism, calling on China to conduct a full investigation into the death in 2014 in a Chinese prison of Cao Shunli, a Chinese human rights activist who was detained after she requested that the government take into account the views of civil society when it drafted its second UPR.83 We have also noted pointed criticism of both China’s conduct and its response after the ASG’s report on reprisals against human rights defenders in statements quoted earlier. Western delegations to the HRC have occasionally moved to rebuke China: in 2016 and led by the US delegation on behalf of a Western-based group together with Japan, a signed statement expressed concern about China’s deteriorating human rights record under Xi and especially the ‘arrests and ongoing detention of rights activists, civil society leaders, and lawyers’, the ‘unexplained recent disappearances and apparent coerced returns of Chinese and foreign citizens from outside mainland China’, as well as the ‘increasing number of individuals whose confessions have been aired on state media prior to any indictment or judicial process’. In making this statement, the group was giving additional support to one of a number of public criticisms of China that had been made by the then UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.84 Indeed, Beijing became increasingly dismissive of this UN High Commissioner because of his criticisms of its rights record. Authorities in Beijing refused to allow him to visit the country despite repeated requests.

214  China, the UN, and Human Protection However, on some issues, China has been able to fight back against the criticism, though not stop it entirely. In July 2019, for example, twenty-two member states of the HRC—made up of European states (though absent most of Central and Eastern Europe), Japan, Australia, and New Zealand—signed a letter addressed to the president of the HRC and to Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, calling on China to end its mass detention of Muslims in the Xinjiang autonomous region. This was quickly countered by a letter signed by thirty-seven states (with several Muslim-majority states included) supportive of China’s ‘counter-terrorism and deradicalization measures’ and praising China’s efforts to protect and promote human rights ‘through development’. A few months later, at a UN Human Rights Committee meeting in New York, the UK read a statement on behalf of twenty-three countries expressing concerns about ‘credible reports’ of mass detention in Xinjiang. On this occasion, Belarus next read a statement on behalf of fifty-four countries, praising ‘China’s remarkable achievements in the field of human rights’ and its efforts to counter terrorism among the Muslim population in Xinjiang.85 This evidence of support for China’s position is likely to complicate further Bachelet’s efforts to visit China, including the Xinjiang and Tibetan autonomous regions, though her pressure on Beijing to allow a visit does not seem to have diminished. As Bachelet put it in her first address as High Commissioner, and referring directly to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination’s (CERD) report that one million or more ethnic Uighurs were being detained and subjected to ‘re-education’ and indoctrination: ‘China’s review last month by the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination brought to light deeply disturbing allegations of large-scale arbitrary detentions of Uighurs and other Muslim communities, in so called re-education camps across Xinjiang.’ The statement went on: ‘CERD's concluding observations corroborate other reports we have received. Reports have also been received of patterns of human rights violations in other regions. In light of these reports, we would request the Government to permit access for the Office to all regions of China, and trust we will embark on discussion of these issues.’86 In January 2019, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang promised that China would host a visit, but only if the Office of the High Commissioner abides by ‘Chinese laws and fulfil relevant procedures’ and adopts ‘an objective and unbiased attitude’. As at November 2019, that visit still has not taken place despite further requests from Bachelet. It may not happen since Beijing’s conditions for the visit to be agreed are hardly likely to soften.87 Beijing’s responses to these criticisms have utilized a number of different tactics. Sometimes, it works to try to undermine the authority of the messenger— whether that is other (mainly Western) governments, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteurs, or representatives from human rights NGOs—often accusing them of overstepping their mandates, as biased in their reporting on China, or as showing disregard for China’s explanations and

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  215 information.88 Beijing can be blunt: in 2015, for example, when the High Commissioner for Human Rights released a statement indicating concern about the human rights implications of China’s National Security Law, the Chinese ambassador dismissed the statement as ‘groundless’ and ‘amateur’.89 More generally, it has sought to weaken human rights mechanisms through restriction of funding. In 2018, for example, the UN Secretary-General requested an increase in the budget to fund eleven new posts to support human rights treaty bodies. He received approval for five—a compromise between China’s position that there should be no extra resources and no additional posts, and the full eleven outlined in the original request.90 As a former member of the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ABACQ) noted, China might ‘prefer to tuck in behind Russia’ on a number of issues that come up at this Committee’s gatherings, but would break cover on human rights-related budgetary issues, working to trim wherever possible.91 Similarly, as noted in chapter 2, during UN peacekeeping budget consultations in 2017, China sought to cut the funding for UN human rights components of these missions,92 a move it may have felt emboldened to make given its stepped up contributions to the overall peacekeeping budget. Finally, as we have seen with the supportive letters written in response to criticism of Beijing’s repressive policies towards Muslims in Xinjiang, it can use to good effect its economic and political leverage, and groundswell of support for its discursive arguments placing development, social stability, and security above the protection of rights. This active response to international criticism at one level can be seen to derive from its confidence in its international position built on the success of its domestic model, as its officials regularly proclaim. It also can be seen to reflect its partial success in changing the discourse over rights and how they are best protected. However, the sources of that criticism are many and the subjects are several, including detentions inside China of human rights lawyers, attacks on human rights defenders, and the continuing suppression of ethnic and religious minority populations. Beijing’s determination to undercut these criticisms could also betray an underlying sense of vulnerability rather than confidence among the Party leadership, even at a time of increased material power and global influence. As is so often the case in attempts to understand Chinese motivations, both vulnerability and confidence can be read into its actions.

Conclusion China’s decision in the early 1980s to participate in the work of the Commission on Human Rights and then its signature of some of the core human rights treaties seemed to bode well for China’s future engagement with a human rights regime that is at the core of the UN’s human protection agenda. A somewhat more open era for political debate in China in the 1980s also led to some flexibility in its

216  China, the UN, and Human Protection approach to the concept of human rights. However, after the 1989 Tiananmen bloodshed, much of that potential progress on rights was set back. Although Beijing signed both of the core international human rights covenants in 1997 and 1998, the government returned to rhetoric familiar from an earlier era, including its emphasis on the sacrosanct nature of the norm of non-interference in internal affairs. The Chinese government felt keenly its status as target of a number of draft condemnatory resolutions after the Tiananmen bloodshed in 1989, the only permanent member of the Security Council ever to have been singled out in this way. Although these resolutions came to naught, they foreshadowed regular attention to the human rights condition inside China and there was always plenty to discover that would generate dismay and disapproval. Thus, Beijing worked out a strategy designed to defang the Commission, using its growing economic and political influence as well as its alignment with parts of the developing world to shield it from further criticism. At the same time, it pointed to its procedural compliance with aspects of the human rights regime and offered other kinds of political compromises, such as treaty signature and prisoner release. The PRC also worked later on to render the environment in the newly formed Human Rights Council as unthreatening as possible, in particular finding a means to make the UPR process more congenial an experience for itself and likeminded others, and making clear its view that actions such as country-specific resolutions were not a route likely to generate positive outcomes for rights protection. Instead, Beijing advocated ‘dialogue’ rather than ‘confrontation’. Attacks on the legitimacy of some of the human rights NGOs, the SRs, or High Commissioners similarly were designed to reduce the sense that human rights were the legitimate concern of humankind, rather than a matter that was subject to negotiation and debate among states. In the period after 2011, a China alarmed by developments in Libya and the wider ‘Arab Spring’ became more active at the HRC and tried to shape the discourse more overtly. Xi Jinping’s speeches outlining China’s beliefs in areas that could be applied to human rights came to provide the template for the discourse and policy initiatives to be adopted in the HRC and elsewhere. Beijing’s diplomats thus worked to construct or co-sponsor resolutions and presidential statements, and pressed to have Beijing’s officially sanctioned phrases inserted into their texts. China’s discourse on rights has obliquely cast doubt on both their indivisibility and universality given its frequent references to cultural diversity, and to a developmentalist logic that argues for a sequencing of rights. In particular, it has become more vocal in placing development as a core right and the starting point from which all other rights may eventually flow. In this regard, Beijing’s position in this period is reminiscent of its early post-Tiananmen engagement with the rights regime, an era where it drew comfort from some developing world support for its arguments amid a willingness to claim that all developing countries agreed

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  217 with the emphasis on a development-first approach, and the sanctity of the norm of the sovereign equality of states and non-interference in internal affairs. However, Beijing was much weaker materially and diplomatically at that stage than came to be the case later on. More frequent reference in the Xi Jinping era to the positive nature of its own developmental outcomes suggests that in terms of the ideological influences on its articulated positions, the post ‘Reform and Opening’ experience has become more central to the rationale offered for its positions at the HRC. There is frequent reference not only to development but also to the idea of social stability, as well as party-state guidance of the social realm, as being critical to the creation of an environment protective of people’s rights. These beliefs connect in important ways with international image in this era since the promotion of China’s own developmental successes (and now infrequent reference in major speeches to the negative consequences of its developmental model), implies that less burnishing of its image is required through regular and direct reference to its conformity with the human rights treaty regime. The Chinese leadership appears to believe that its image, both domestically and inter­ nation­ally, requires less support or maintenance in an era when the benefits of its politico-economic model have become plainer to many states in the global system, and especially at a time of setbacks to the liberal-capitalist model. Xi Jinping’s speech to the nineteenth Party Congress placed much emphasis on the idea that the path to independence and development—especially for the developing world—is via socialism with Chinese characteristics.93 China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi further explained: China ‘can provide a new path for all developing countries to modernization’.94 Attacks on the liberal-democratic politicoeconomic model have also multiplied, with commentators describing it as sclerotic, socially divisive, and often inefficient and eccentric in terms of its outcomes, compared with a Chinese model that supposedly is based on multi-party cooperation and political consultation, otherwise described as ‘institutionalized consultative democracy’.95 In this regard, the Chinese government has come to articulate a message at the HRC and elsewhere that development, via a socialist party-led politico-economic model that prizes domestic social stability, is the root not only to economic modernization and peace, but also to better rights protection. The hierarchy and sequencing embedded within these formulations cut across the grain of UN policies and international human rights treaties. UN SecretariesGeneral, the UN Secretariat, and UN review documents have emphasized the interdependent relationship among peace and security, development, and human rights. Article 55 of the UN Charter also provides an authoritative articulation of this interdependent relationship. Such texts have promoted a wide definition of inclusivity, as well as support for a robust civil society presence in policy de­lib­er­ ations in these issue areas.96 Thus, China’s formulations and actions represent a challenge to these long-held understandings.

218  China, the UN, and Human Protection However, that challenge, while powerful and apparently ascendant, may be contained by the embeddedness of this aspect of the UN’s human protection agenda. Despite Beijing’s apparent confidence in its own model, it still perceives a need regularly to test the depth of its support among those states that have chosen to align themselves with China’s positions at the HRC. The ascendance of its ideas relies, too, on the ability of Chinese voices to theorize credibly the benefits of the model and world view it now more overtly espouses. The credibility of this alternative perspective depends also on Beijing’s ability to persuade others that its unwillingness to discuss its constant resort to repression as a means of maintaining domestic stability does not invalidate its overall approach. The extent to which this theorizing of the Chinese world view has occurred is the subject of the next and final substantive chapter.

Notes 1. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, together with several of the UN’s human rights experts and Special Mandate holders have either requested access to Xinjiang or have drawn attention to China’s breach of fundamental human rights in Xinjiang. This is discussed later in this chapter. One useful report on this issue is ‘The Persecution of the Uighurs and Potential Crimes Against Humanity in China’ (New York: Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect), April 2019. 2. In 2018, the Human Rights Council voted to establish an Independent Investigative Mechanism for Myanmar, a move that found support in the UN General Assembly. See What’s in Blue, ‘Myanmar: Briefing by the Special Envoy’, 1 July 2019, at https://www. whatsinblue.org/2019/07/myanmar-briefing-by-the-special-envoy.php. 3. Yongjin Zhang and Barry Buzan, ‘China and the Global Reach of Human Rights’, The China Quarterly, 2019: 17, DOI: 10.1017/S0305741019000833. 4. See, for example, the Secretary-General’s report, In Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All, A/59/2005, 21 March 2005. Ban Ki-moon’s ‘Human Rights Upfront’ initiative was launched in November 2013 in order to remedy the comparative weakness of the human rights leg of the three-pillar structure. For further discussion see Alex J. Bellamy and Edward C. Luck, The Responsibility to Protect: from Promise to Practice (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2018), 140 and note 1. 5. Valuable for this and the subsequent paragraph is Tom J Farer and Felice Gaer, ‘The UN and Human Rights: At the End of the Beginning’, Adam Roberts and Benedict Kingsbury (eds) United Nations, Divided World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993); Philip Alston, ‘The Commission on Human Rights’, in Alston (ed.), The United Nations and Human Rights: A Critical Appraisal (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992). 6. A useful assessment of the Commission’s successes and failures is contained in Paul Gordon Lauren, ‘ “To Preserve and Build on its Achievements and to Redress its Shortcomings”: the Journey from the Commission on Human Rights to the Human Rights Council’, Human Rights Quarterly, 29(2), 2007: 307–45, with the achievements discussed at 317–25 and the weaknesses at 325–30.

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  219 7. William Korey, NGOs and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1998), 77. 8. Margaret E. Keck and Kathryn Sikkink, Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1998), 10–11. 9. For a detailed treatment of the Iraq question and China’s policy see Suzanne Xiao Yang, China in UN Security Council Decision-Making on Iraq (London: Routledge, 2013). 10. Both Yeltsin and Li are quoted in Security Council Report, ‘Human Rights and the Security Council – An Evolving Role’, Research Report, January 2016: 3, at https:// www.securitycouncilreport.org/research-reports/human-rights-and-the-securitycouncil-an-evolving-role.php. 11. See the discussion of Zimbabwe, Myanmar, and North Korea in Security Council Report, ‘Human Rights and the Security Council’ at 8. On each of these occasions China and Russia voted against in a procedural vote. In March 2018, China and Russia again blocked a US proposal to have the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, give a formal briefing to the Security Council on rights abuses in Syria. He did give an informal briefing. Colum Lynch, ‘At the UN, China and Russia Score Win in War on Human Rights’, Foreign Policy, 26 March 2018. 12. John Tessitore and Susan Woolfson (eds), Issues Before the 44th General Assembly of the United Nations (Lexington, Mass: Lexington Books, 1989), 158; Rosemary Foot, Rights Beyond Borders: the Global Community and the Struggle over Human Rights in China (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), 117–20. 13. Security Council Report, ‘Human Rights and the Security Council’, 3. 14. Security Council Report, ‘Human Rights and the Security Council’, 3–4. 15. Much of what follows draws on Rosemary Foot and Rana Siu Inboden, ‘China’s Influence on Asian Statues during the Creation of the UN Human Rights Council: 2005–2007’, in Evelyn Goh (ed.) Rising China’s Influence in Developing Asia (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), especially 240–2. A later section of this chapter 6 will also draw on 248–55 of the Foot and Inboden chapter in this edited volume and I am grateful to Dr Inboden for permission to draw on our earlier work. 16. Lauren, ‘To Preserve and Build’, 332. For an early Chinese assessment of the Council, its strengths and weaknesses, see United Nations: Towards a Harmonious World, edited by United Nations Association of China (Sichuan: Sichuan People’s Publishing House, 2008), 240–5; and Luo Yanhua, ‘Lianheguo renquan lishi hui de sheli ji qi beihou de douzhong’, 11 June 2014 [The creation of the United Nations Human Rights Council and the struggle behind it], at http://www.humanrights.cn/html/2014/3_0611/ 403.html. 17. ‘2005 World Summit Outcome Document’, 24 October 2005, A/RES/60/1. 18. A/RES/60/251, 3 April 2006. 19. Seats are distributed as follows: Africa—thirteen seats; Asia-Pacific—thirteen seats; Latin America the Caribbean—eight seats; Western Europe and other states—seven seats; Eastern Europe—six seats. As of 1 January 2018, 107 UN member states have served on the Council, a number, such as China, on several occasions. See ‘Human Rights Council’ at the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, www.ohchr.org.

220  China, the UN, and Human Protection 20. Interview with former member of NGO in Geneva, 14 December 2018; Sonya Sceats with Shaun Breslin, China and the International Human Rights System, London: Chatham House Report, October 2012, chap. 3. 21. Ann Kent, Between Freedom and Subsistence: China and Human Rights (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993), 101–3. 22. Foreign Broadcast Information Service-China (FBIS-Chi), FBIS-Chi-88–234, 6 Dec. 1998; and Foot, Rights Beyond Borders, 108. 23. China finally signed the two core human rights covenants in 1997 and 1998 but has still not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 24. Foot, Rights Beyond Borders, 188–20; William Korey, NGOs and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1998), 158. 25. Foot, Rights Beyond Borders, 141–2. 26. Quoted in Ann Kent, China, the United Nations, and Human Rights: The Limits of Compliance (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999), 61–2. 27. Commission on Human Rights, E/CN.4/1990/SR.50, 5 March 1990. 28. Katrin Kinzelbach, The EU’s Human Rights Dialogue with China: Quiet Diplomacy and its Limits (Abingdon: Routledge, 2015). 29. Zhou Wei, ‘The Study of Human Rights in the People’s Republic of China’, James Y.H. Tang (ed.), Human Rights and International Relations in the Asia-Pacific Region (London: Pinter, 1995), 83. 30. See chapters 3 and 4. 31. Beijing Review, 28 May–3 June 1990. 32. Information Office of the State Council, Human Rights in China (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1991). Li Peng’s remarks in FBIS-Chi-92–141, 22 July 1992. 33. Explanations for this are contained in my ‘China and the Tian’anmen Crisis of June 1989’, in Steve Smith, Amelia Hadfield, and Tim Dunne (eds), Foreign Policy: Theories, Actors, Cases (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 3rd edition 2016), 334–55. See also Rights Beyond Borders on the economic arguments for weakening sanctions, at 158–60. 34. Foot, Rights Beyond Borders, esp. 182–6. 35. China and its ally Pakistan used a no-action motion to overturn draft condemnatory resolutions in 1990, 1992–4, 1996–7, 1999–2002, and 2004. The no-action motion did not pass in 1995 but when the condemnatory resolution was introduced the next morning Russia’s change of stance (it had voted against the no-action resolution, then changed to oppose the resultant condemnatory resolution) caused it to be defeated. See Foot, Rights Beyond Borders, 177; Titus C. Chen and Rana Siu Inboden, ‘China’s Response to International Normative Pressure: the Case of Human Rights’, The International Spectator: Italian Journal of International Affairs, 47(2), 2012, 51, note 20. 36. Foot, Rights Beyond Borders, esp. 201–9. 37. Foot, Rights Beyond Borders, 209. 38. Foot, Rights Beyond Borders, 205; Kent, China, the United Nations, and Human Rights, 74–5. 39. Quoted in Foot and Inboden, ‘China’s Influence on Asian States’, 242, note 15. What follows owes much to this earlier publication, especially 248–53. See also, Chen and

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  221 Inboden, ‘China’s Response’, esp. 53–55, and Luo Yanhua, ‘Lianheguo renquan lishihui de sheli ji qi beihou de douzheng’ [The establishment of the United Nations Human Rights Council and the struggles behind it] 11 June 2014 at http://www.humanrights. cn/html/2014/3_0611/403.html. 40. Katrin Kinzelbach, ‘Will China’s Rise Lead to a New Normative Order: an analysis of China’s statements on human rights at the United Nations (2000–2010)’, Netherlands Quarterly of Human Rights, 30(3): 312–15. See also, Human Rights Watch report, ‘The Costs of International Advocacy: China’s Interference in United Nations Human Rights Mechanisms’, September 2017, 81. This report notes that China regularly opposes condemnatory country-specific resolutions on Iran, North Korea, Belarus, Syria, and Eritrea. 41. Chen and Inboden, ‘China’s Response’, 55. 42. Statements made can be heard at http://webtv.un.org/watch/china-review-31st-sessionof-universal-periodic-review/5858293845001. Only about 20 states made points that were critical of China’s rights record. 43. Interviews in Geneva, 11, 12, and 13 December 2018; ‘Joint Press Statement, China UPR’, 5 November 2018, 181105_joint_statement_Ohchr_chinaupr.pdf, and https:// www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/05/joint-press-statement-china-upr. Most, but not all, of these NGO statements were later reinstated. 44. Human Rights Watch, ‘The Costs of International Advocacy’, 46. 45. Kinzelbach, ‘Will China’s Rise Lead to a New Normative Order’, 310. 46. Sceats and Breslin, China and the International Human Rights System, 38. One of the most direct criticisms of the OHCHR has come in several resolutions sponsored by China’s HRC ally, Cuba. One such resolution recorded concern ‘at the imbalance in the geographical representation in the composition’ of the UNHCHR office, especially at senior management levels, linking that absence to ‘national and regional specificities’ including different ‘political, economic and legal systems’ relating to ‘the promotion and protection of the universality of human rights’ that ought to be reflected in personnel. A/HRC/RES/36/1, 5 October 2017. 47. Thus, some degree of shaming does still take place in the Council, as will be detailed later in this chapter. The High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet’s, response to China’s 2018 UPR is a case in point. See her letter to China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, dated 29 April 2019 at www.ohchr.org. And while China is not the subject of critical resolutions, it is still challenged by Western states over, for example, the repression in Tibet and Xinjiang. See Sceats and Breslin, China and the International Human Rights System, 12. The EU has made regular statements indicating its concern, with one major exception in 2017 when Greece refused to endorse the statement and in the absence of unanimity it was shelved. Helena Smith, ‘Greece Blocks EU criticism at UN of China’s Human Rights Record’, The Guardian, 18 June 2017, at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/18/greece-eu-criticism-unchina-human-rights-record. 48. Chen and Inboden, ‘China’s Response’. A list of the ‘Like-Minded’ members at that stage is provided at 52, note 28. Sceats and Breslin, ‘China and the International Human Rights System’, 21–2. 49. Sceats and Breslin, ‘China and the International Human Rights System’, 31–2.

222  China, the UN, and Human Protection 50. Amr Essam, ‘The Like Minded Group (LMG): Speaking Truth to Power’, blog for Universal Rights Group by invitation, 10 May 2016, https://www.universal-rights.org/ blog/like-minded-group-lmg-speaking-truth-power/. Amr Essam was then the Second Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Egypt to the UN in Geneva. 51. The Universal Rights Group based in Geneva usefully summarizes in its annual report the main aspects of China’s (and other state’s) behaviour during Council sessions, noting, for example, that from 2015–2017 Beijing took the lead on resolutions devoted to the protection of the family, promoting human rights through sports, enhancing public health through capacity building, and so on. It voted against all item 4 reso­lutions—that is country-specific resolutions—that came to a vote and against such resolutions as protecting human rights while countering terrorism, a resolution on peaceful protests, and one on human rights defenders. See ‘The Human Rights Council’, at www.universalrights.org. The China-drafted Presidential statement in September 2015 was on ‘the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health by enhancing capacity building in public health against pandemics’. A/HRC/PRST/302. It is discussed in the ISHR report, ‘China: Increased Engagement at Human Rights Council calls for Increased Responsibility, Scrutiny’, International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), 2 February 2016, at https://www.ishr.ch/news/china-increased-engagement-human-rights-councilcalls-increased-responsibility-scrutiny. A useful analysis of resolutions that China either sponsored or co-sponsored in the period from March 2016 to June 2018 is in Ted Piccone, ‘China’s Long Game on Human Rights at the United Nations’ (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution), September 2018, at https://www.brookings. edu/research/chinas-long-game-on-human-rights-at-the-united-nations/. 52. Interview with country delegation in Geneva, 11 December 2018. 53. Interview with country delegation in Geneva, 13 December 2018. 54. ‘Statement by Counsellor Yao Shaojun at the Third Committee of the 70th Session of the GA at the Interactive Dialogue with the President of the UN Human Rights Council’, 17 November 2015, at http://www.china-un-org/eng/lhghyywj/t1315938. htm. For further background on the reform process and the Like-Minded Group’s (notably China, Cuba, Russia, Saudi Arabia, among others) tactics for dealing with that process, see the Universal Rights Group’s Insight blog, 15 December 2018, https:// www.universal-rights.org/blog/council-efficiency-drive-ends-with-important-changesbut-also-disappointments. 55. ‘Statement by Counsellor Yao Shaojun at the General Debate on Agenda 67 Report of Human Rights Council at the Third Committee of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly’, 2 November 2017, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/hyyfy/ t1507212.htm. 56. This vote attracted only fourteen ‘no’ votes, against more than 100 votes in favour, with China and Russia being joined by such states as Iran, Saudi Arabia, and North Korea. Before the vote China said it had ‘no choice’ but to vote against because the defenders were used by Western countries to interfere in the internal affairs of developing countries and ‘disrupt their social stability’. See, ‘China: Increased Engagement at Human Rights Council calls for Increased Responsibility, Scrutiny’, ISHR, Geneva, 2 February 2016 as well as Piccone, ‘China’s Long Game’.

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  223 57. ‘Statement by Ms Qu Jiehao during the Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders’, 25 October 2017, http://www.china-un.org/ eng/hyyfy/t1505674.htm. 58. See A/HRC/36/31, 29 March 2018 for the 2017 report and a follow up report A/HRC/39/41, 13 August 2018. China’s dismissive remarks on the findings are at http://webtv.un.org/watch/id-asg-on-sg-report-on-reprisals-21st-meeting-39thregular-session-human-rights-council/5837002438001/. 59. ‘Concluding comments by the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights of the report of the Secretary-General on cooperation with the UN, its representatives and mechanisms in the field of human rights’, 39th Session Human Rights Council, Agenda Item 5, 19 September 2018 (unofficial transcript.) 60. I am grateful to have received a copy of an earlier draft of the resolution. See also A/HRC/35/L.33/Rev.1, 20 June 2017, A/HRC/RES/35/21, 7 July 2017, and Kata Isenring-Szabo, ‘China’s Views on the UNHRC’, in Francois Godemont, et al., The United Nations of China: A Vision of the World Order (Paris: European Council on Foreign Relations), April 2018, esp. 22–3. The final resolution split the South from the North; the three abstainers were Georgia, Panama, and the Republic of Korea. Other reso­lutions that included the phrase ‘building a community of shared future’ were ‘Question of the realization in all countries of economic, social and cultural rights’, A/HRC/34/L4/Rev. 1, 21 March 2017; and a resolution on ‘The right to food’, A/HRC/ 34/L.21, 21 March 2017. 61. The ‘O’ draft, as the first version is typically termed, was circulated to HRC members on 20 June 2019. I am grateful to have received a copy. 62. The US had pushed for a vote on the 2017 resolution. The EU agreed unanimously to do the same in 2019, the US having withdrawn from the Council. See A/HRC/41/L.17/ Rev.1, 10 July 2019. The Universal Rights Group has argued that ‘[a]lthough—as was the case two years ago—China did take on board some proposals from Western States during the open informal negotiations, in the end the text still appeared to suggest to many States and NGOs, that development is an essential precondition for the enjoyment of human rights (i.e. development first, human rights second). For example, although China did include paragraphs (in the preamble and in the operative part of the text) recognising that “development and the realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms are interdependent and mutually reinforcing,” on each occasion these paragraphs were preceded by paragraphs reaffirming, for example, “the significant contribution of development to the enjoyment of all human rights by all,” or that “development is the basis for the improvement of living standards and the welfare of the population of each State, and hence contributes to the enjoyment of all human rights” ’. At https://www.universal-rights.org/uncategorized/report-on-the-41st-sessionof-the-human-rights-council/, 15 July 2019. 63. I am grateful to have received a copy of the ‘0’ draft. 64. Interview with country delegation in Geneva, 13 December 2018. 65. ‘Win-Win Cooperation for the Common Cause of Human Rights’ 1 March 2018, http://www.china-un.ch/eng/dbtyw/rqrd_1/thsm/t1538784.htm. 66. A/HRC/RES/37/23, 6 April 2018. China’s general suspicion of a Council that shows any independence of its member states is indicated by its vote against a resolution

224  China, the UN, and Human Protection entitled ‘The contribution of the Human Rights Council to the prevention of human rights violations’. That resolution, sponsored cross-regionally by Colombia, Norway, Sierra Leone, and Switzerland, passed twenty-eight in favour, nine against, with eight abstentions, China in a group of nine that contained Burundi, Cuba, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the UAE, and Venezuela. See A/HRC/ RES/38/18, 17 July 2018. 67. ‘Statement by Ms Shao Wu of the Chinese Delegation on the Agenda Item “Implemen­ tation of Human Rights Instruments” during the Third Committee of the 72nd Session of the General Assembly’, 13 October 2017, at http://www.china-un.org/eng/ chinaandun/socialhr/3rdcommittee/t1502038.htm. Ms Shao’s statement, however, could not resist calling for states to be given a ‘leading role in the reform of the treaty body system’, adding that the ‘compliance reports provided by the governments of states parties demand full attention’. While China ‘welcomes the participation of civil society . . . [t]he materials they submit should be screened by the relevant treaty bodies to ensure their factual accuracy and reliability’. 68. Huang Kunming, ‘China willing to cooperate with world in human rights’. The State Council, Information Office, Xinhua, 19 September 2018. In 2016, Li Baodong, then China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, proudly noted that China had been elected to the UN Human Rights Council ‘with as many as 180 votes, becoming one of the few countries which have sat in the Council for four times, thanks to international recognition of China’s role’. ‘China is Committed to a Human Rights Development Path with Chinese Characteristics’, 10 December 2016, at https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/ wjdt_665385/zyih_665391/t1423058.shtml. 69. Human Rights Watch, ‘The Costs of International Advocacy’, p. 43. 70. Interview with UN official in Geneva, 12 December 2018. 71. ‘Spotlight: Chinese diplomat calls for fair, impartial global human rights governance system’, Xinhua, 1 March 2018, at http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018%9603/01/ c_137006913.htm. 72. See, for example, ‘Transforming our World: Human Rights in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, September 2015, at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/ post2015/transformingourworld. 73. The State Council of the People’s Republic of China, ‘Full text: National Human Rights Action Plan of China (2016–2020)’, 29 September 2016, http://english.gov.cn/archive/ publications/2016/09/29/content_281475454482622.htm; and State Council, ‘Full text: the Right to Development: China’s Philosophy, Practice and Contribution’, 1  December 2016, at http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2016%9612/01/c_ 135873721.htm. One of China’s best-known international lawyers has also supported these interpretations, noting that ‘human rights protection remains in relative terms for every country, subject to the level and degree of its development’. The author went on to argue that China did not consider this incompatible with the principle of universality because no country could ignore its own history or its ‘economic, political, and cultural realities’. See Xue Hanqin, Chinese Contemporary Perspectives on International Law (Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2012), 145. 74. The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China, December 2018, ‘Progress in human rights over 40 years of Reform and Opening Up in China’ (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 2018).

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  225 75. ‘Full text of President Xi’s Speech at Opening of Belt and Road Forum’, Xinhua, 14 May 2017, at http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2017%9605/14/c_136282982.htm. 76. ‘Work Together to Build a Community of Shared Future for Mankind, Speech by H.E.  Xi Jinping’, United Nations Office at Geneva, 18 January 2017, at http://www. xinhuanet.com/english/2017%9601/19/c_135994707.htm, 19 January 2017. In an unusual if indirect reference to the time of Nationalist China, Xi also claimed a special status for China, noting that it was a ‘founding member of the United Nations and the first country to put its signature on the UN Charter’. The Chinese President also ranged beyond statements that related directly to China’s thinking on human rights when he called for ‘common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security’, claiming too that ‘peace has been in the blood of us Chinese and a part of our DNA’. ‘Rare, invitation only’ comes from Andrea Worden, ‘With its Latest Human Rights Council Resolution, China Continues its Assault on the UN Human Rights Framework’, China Change, 9 April 2018, at https://chinachange.org/2018/04/09/with-its-latesthuman-rights-council-resolution-china-continues-its-assault-on-the-un-humanrights-framework/. 77. Interview with UN official in New York, 26 March 2019. 78. ‘Advance the Global Human Rights Cause and Build a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind’, Address by H.E.  Wang Yi, 7 December 2017, at http://www. china-un.ch/eng/dbtyw/rqrd_1/thsm/t1519207.htm. 79. ‘Writing a New Chapter of International Human Rights Exchanges and Cooperation’, China Daily, 8 December 2017, at http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201712/08/ WS5a29e8a2a3101a51ddf8da09.html. 80. Zhang and Buzan, ‘China and the Global Reach of Human Rights’, 17. 81. For example, though China has attempted to water down funding for human rights posts in peace operations, according to one report in April 2019, there were then as many as 622 human rights personnel involved in twelve UN peace operations. See What’s In Blue, ‘Human Rights in Peace Operations: Arria-formula Meeting’, 16 April 2019, at https://www.whatsinblue.org/2019/04/human-rights-in-peace-operationsarria-formula-meeting.php. 82. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, ‘End-of-mission statement on China, by Professor Philip Alston, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights’, 23 August 2016, at https://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/ Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20402&LangID=E. 83. Human Rights Watch, ‘The Costs of International Advocacy’, p. 2. See also Sophie Richardson, ‘Ending China’s Retaliation Against Activists at the UN: New SecretaryGeneral Report Details State Abuses’, 20 September 2017, https://www.hrw.org/ news/2017/09/20/ending-chinas-retaliation-against-activists-un. 84. ‘Item 2, Joint Statement – Human Rights Situation in China, Delivered by U.S. Ambassador to the HRC Keith Harper’, 10 March 2016, at https://geneva.usmission.gov/2016/03/10/item-2-joint-statement-human-rights-situation-in-china/. Interviewees in Geneva in December 2018 indicated that this development stung the Chinese delegation, and Beijing authorities castigated officials in Geneva for not having anticipated it and taken steps to derail it. 85. For a breakdown of the voting see, Catherine Putz, ‘Which Countries are For or Against China’s Xinjiang Policies?’ The Diplomat, 15 July 2019. See also Human Rights

226  China, the UN, and Human Protection Watch, ‘UN: Unprecedented Joint Call for China to End Xinjiang Abuses’, 10 July 2019, at https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/07/10/un-unprecedented-joint-call-chinaend-xinjiang-abuses; Joshua Berlinger, CNN, ‘North Korea, Syria and Myanmar among countries defending China’s Actions in Xinjiang’, 15 July 2019, at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/07/15/asia/united-nations-letter-xinjiang-intl-hnk/index.html. For an official Chinese response see Xinhua, ‘China appreciates 37 foreign ambassadors’ joint letter supporting Xinjiang policy’, 15 July 2019, at http://www.xinhuanet. com/english/2019%9607/15/c_138229200.htm. The 2019 HRC activity is covered in Edith M. Lederer, ‘China and West clash over claims Beijing oppresses Uighurs’, The Washington Post, 30 October 2019. 86. ‘39th Session of the Human Rights Council, Opening Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’, 10 September 2018. At https:// www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=23518& LangID=E. 87. Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, ‘The Persecution of the Uighurs and Potential Crimes Against Humanity in China’ (New York) April 2019, 5. See Bachelet’s later statements, including in March 2019 a call for China ‘to engage on this issue’ and for her office to be granted ‘full access to carry out an independent assessment of the continuing reports pointing to wide patterns of enforced disappearances and arbitrary detentions, particularly in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region’. ‘Bachelet Presses China for U.N. Access to Xinjiang’s Uighurs’, Reuters, 6 March 2019, at https://www. reuters.com/article/us-china-xinjiang-un/bachelet-presses-china-for-un-access-toxinjiangs-uighurs-idUSKCN1QN12B. For a further detailed report see Nick CummingBruce, ‘U.N. Panel Confronts China over Reports that it Holds a Million Uighurs in Camps’, New York Times, 10 August, 2018. Subsequent to this, two caches of secret documents detailing the repressive conditions inside the camps have made their way to the New York Times, and to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. See Austin Ramzy and Chris Buckley, ‘ “Absolutely No Mercy”: Leaked Files Expose How China Organized Mass Detentions of Muslims’, New York Times, 16 November 2019, and ‘Exposed: China’s Operating Manuals for Mass Internment and Arrest by Algorithm’, 24 November 2019, at https://www.icij.org/investigations/china-cables/?g clid=EAIaIQobChMI5eeN76uZ5gIVAbDtCh277Q4iEAAYASAAEgJLhfD_BwE. One particularly major concern about the international diplomacy surrounding this issue is that while the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has been highly critical of Myanmar for its vicious campaign against Rohingya Muslims, promoting a resolution at the HRC to set up an ‘independent mechanism’ to collect evidence of serious crimes (a resolution that China voted against), the OIC has not acted forcefully with respect to the fate that has befallen the Uighurs in China, though a few individual leaders of Muslim faith have spoken out. Nick Cumming-Bruce, ‘Human Rights Council Ratchets Up Pressure on Myanmar’, New York Times, 27 September 2018. On the OIC response see Mustafa Akyol, ‘China’s Gulag for Muslims’, New York Times, 2 January 2019, at https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/02/opinion/uighur-muslims-china-gulag. html; and Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, ‘The Persecution of the Uighurs’, 3–4. 88. Human Rights Watch, ‘The Costs of International Advocacy’, covers much of this. See for example pages 53, and 73.

The UN ’ s Human Rights Bodies  227 89. ISHR, ‘China: Increasing engagement with Human Rights Council must be matched by respect for civil society at home’, 28 July 2015, at https://www.ishr.ch/news/ china-increasing-engagement-human-rights-council-must-be-matched-respectcivil-society-home. 90. ISHR, ‘UNGA72: Human Rights funding takes a hit but key mandate reaffirmed’, 4 January 2018 at https://www.ishr.ch/news/unga72-human-rights-funding-takes-hitkey-mandate-reaffirmed. See also Piccone, ‘China’s Long Game’, esp. 13–14. 91. Skype interview with former Committee member, 28 December 2018. 92. Human Rights Watch, ‘The Costs of International Advocacy’, 4. 93. ‘Full text of Xi Jinping’s report at 19th CPC National Congress’, Xinhua, 3 Nov. 2017, www.xinhuanet.com/english/special/2017–11/03/c_136725942.htm. 94. ‘Wang Yi talks about the essence of major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics’, 19 October 2017, at http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/zxxx_662805/t1503756. shtml. 95. ‘Commentary: Enlightened Chinese Democracy Puts the West in the Shade’, Xinhua, 17 October, 2017; Zhong Sheng, ‘Op-ed: China’s new type of party system enlightens world’, en.people.cn/n3/2018/0312/c90000-9435991.html. 96. This is one reason why it is particularly regrettable that NGO participation was restricted during President Xi Jinping’s speech at the Palais des Nations in Geneva in 2017, referenced above.

7

Positioning Development in Human Protection This chapter adopts a different lens for analysing the relationship between China, the UN, and human protection. It concentrates on Beijing’s attachment to a perspective on human protection that is triadic in form and that points to economic development, social stability, and the strong state as the three major elements that in combination are best able to produce protective outcomes for humankind (see figure  7.1). This official-level attachment to a triadic model (not a term that Beijing itself uses to describe its position) represents a cumulative finding of the previous chapters, even as those chapters also note China’s envelopment within an alternative UN normative structure that is often described as predominantly liberal in form.1 Beijing is sometimes willing to countenance envelopment, it has been argued, partly in order to generate recognition of its image as a ‘responsible state’ or ‘responsible great power’. However, chapters prior to this one have also suggested that, over time, as a result of China’s increased material power, higher levels of confidence in operating within the UN, together with greater ambition on the part of China’s leadership, Beijing has come to experience a UN environment that in a number of respects has become an enabling one for it. It has become an environment where its beliefs, power, and image can move more closely into alignment. Among the factors of importance in this respect, UN reform efforts and various forms of introspection as a result of failures of protection have helped to establish a closer relationship between official Chinese perspectives and those extant within UN circles.

Development

Conflict Prevention

Strong State

Social Stability

Protection of People

Conflict Resolution

Figure 7.1  China’s Triadic Model China, the UN, and Human Protection: Beliefs, Power, Image. Rosemary Foot, Oxford University Press (2020). © Rosemary Foot. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198843733.001.0001

Positioning Development in Human Protection  229 For example, there is longstanding uncertainty among troop contributing countries, the General Assembly, Security Council, as well as the UN Secretariat about how best to protect civilians in armed conflict, how to reduce the perceived association between R2P and militarized forms of humanitarian intervention, and how to give greater traction to political dialogue over coercive means as the primary method for managing international conflict. This questioning has provided Beijing with enhanced opportunities to express its officially held beliefs and to attempt to shape the UN’s human protection agenda in ways that conform more closely with those beliefs. So too, more latterly, has US unwillingness to invest in peace operations, continue its membership of the UN Human Rights Council, or to sustain a budgetary contribution to the UN at previous levels.2 US eschewal of multilateralism during the Trump presidency, together with the cutting of its contribution to UN operations, stands in marked contrast with China’s praise for multilateralism and increased material assistance to various of the UN’s central activities. This enabling environment is not entirely untrammelled for the Chinese leadership, however. Central to this suggestion of convergence and to the capacity for Beijing’s beliefs in the triadic model to have persuasive power is that these beliefs should rest on firm foundations, should resonate with others, and show rea­son­ able congruence between the lived domestic experience and the external projection of that experience. In these combined circumstances, these beliefs are more likely to convince significant other member states, officials within the UN Secretariat, and states experiencing high levels of conflict of the model’s efficacy. One method for assessing this degree of alignment is to focus on Chinese scholarly and official arguments in support of its articulated beliefs with the aim of situating these perspectives within a larger, mostly UN-centred, policy literature that explores the relationship between development and the management of international peace and security. As noted in the Introduction to this book, Chinese scholarly voices are important to uncover because, while they often are constrained by official discourse, they can also be reflective of the range of debates that are taking place at official levels. Alternatively, the central leadership may decide to source these ideas because of the need for a policy response in areas where the policy terrain is unfamiliar to it. Chinese scholarship may additionally suggest the potential future direction of Beijing’s policies in a particular issue area. Although much of the literature explored is particularly relevant to the ­topics covered in chapters 2, 3, and 5 of this study, nevertheless the views expressed also have direct bearing on positions taken in the topics covered in chapters 4 and 6. Under President Xi, China’s triadic model has been particularly strongly ar­ticu­lated, and thus the chapter concentrates on the past five or so years of official and scholarly Chinese discourse. Before a domestic audience in 2013, Xi stated that ‘reform and development are conditioned on national security and

230  China, the UN, and Human Protection social stability, without which wider reform and development cannot be further advanced’. Xi went on: ‘[at] present, China is faced with the dual pressure of safeguarding national sovereignty, security, and development interests externally and maintaining political security and social stability internally.’ To an international audience at the Munich Security Conference in February 2014, Fu Ying, as chair of the National People’s Congress Foreign Affairs Committee, noted that ‘the security for people to survive and develop is fundamental to all forms of se­cur­ ity’.3 Xi himself put it more directly still in May 2014, stating that ‘development is the foundation of security, and security the precondition for development’. For ‘most Asian countries’, he added, ‘development means the greatest security’.4 Xi and other leaders mean by security not just security in reference to external ­others, but also internal security related to levels of social stability and national unity. Xi reinforced this sentiment at the May 2017 Belt and Road Forum meeting in Beijing where he unabashedly exaggerated the multiple roles that development can play. As Xi put it: ‘Development holds the master key to solving all problems.’5 Matthew Ferchen is correct to argue that these ideas predate Xi’s period as President.6 However, with increased references in China to ‘Chinese wisdom’, and the ‘China model’, together with an apparent loss of confidence in the West’s politico-economic approach, especially noticeable after the global financial crisis of 2007–8, Beijing itself has more frequently articulated these beliefs, and global attention to these formulations has heightened. Participation in and discussion of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and more latterly the linking of the BRI with the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, has further raised the profile of these Chinese ideas. In what follows, detailed attention is first given to UN thinking on the relationship between economic development, the onset and recurrence of violence, and its impact on human protection. The chapter samples some of the major inter­ nation­al organizational policy writings on the inter-linkages between these phenomena, with UN and other UN Specialized Agency reports and reviews, as well as major research publications, providing the main focus. Chinese officials and scholars needed to respond to the findings of these reports, developed some level of familiarity with the arguments they postulated, and were prompted to compare these arguments with those they wished to advance. Thus, the chapter next explores some of the key Chinese writings on the relationship between development and security and, in particular, examines both official and scholarly Chinese perspectives on how China’s triadic model helps to bring about better human protection outcomes. At this point, the chapter delves into Chinese conceptions of how best to prevent and resolve conflict, what forms might early warning of human peril take, as well as the perceived limits of the UN role in promoting protection objectives. This section also investigates the extent to which there is a gap between UN and Chinese thinking on how best to prevent conflict, how to comprehend the root causes of violence, and how development

Positioning Development in Human Protection  231 and security objectives intersect. More significantly, however, it asks, if there are these gaps in understanding and argumentation, how significant are those gaps and what might they portend for the future of the UN’s human protection agenda in an era of greater Chinese activism. The overall objective is to discover the extent to which official Chinese statements and positions relating to human protection are underpinned by a body of work that represents well-conceived and articulated conceptual and theoretical argumentation and thus are likely to have persuasive power. A number of different perspectives influence that body of work: those focusing particularly on China’s diplomacy at the United Nations; those writing about China and a specific geographical area—most frequently Africa; and those thinking about how to achieve and sustain a particular form of the state in a state-based order. Additionally important to one of the central goals of this book is that exploration of these Chinese ideas allows for a conclusion to be reached about which of the beliefs outlined in chapter 1 carries most explanatory weight in the contemporary era. This latter point will be taken up in the final section of the chapter. Depending on the findings from this investigation, three positions potentially may be arrived at. First, in the absence of a convincing intellectual underpinning for Beijing’s triadic model, we might conclude that much of what China is arguing is instrumental in intent. In these circumstances, instrumentalist arguments are most likely to relate to protection of the party-state regime in China itself, and the perceived need to bolster the wider international legitimacy of the politicoeconomic model that has ensured the Chinese Communist Party remains paramount in Chinese society. In addition, China’s promotion and adherence to the triadic model may relate to a desire to protect relationships with governments that are of importance to Beijing as economic, strategic, and political partners and that for their own reasons find that support for the Chinese triadic model generates material and political benefits. Second, however, we could regard that lack of an intellectual argument as relating to a sense that it is unnecessary to articulate what is generally deemed to be obvious, not least given the economic and social transformation that China itself has undergone. Were this absence of detail to indicate a ‘taken-for-granted’ understanding of the causes of conflict, ways to prevent violence, and to ensure human protection, this would suggest the depth of the belief in the framing itself. Third, we may find in what follows that there is indeed a well-formulated argument being promulgated by Chinese scholars, including those close to policymakers, and that these arguments are grounded in a nuanced appreciation of China’s domestic experience, as well as in broader research findings deriving from the study of other societies and conflict-related events. Indeed, we may find indications that some scholars are attempting to expand the horizons of the official discourse in order to add nuance and develop a higher quality of official-level argumentation.

232  China, the UN, and Human Protection A major supposition behind these three potential strands in China’s a­ rgumentation is that the authority and therefore persuasiveness of China’s stance on human protection is likely to pose a larger normative challenge to the prevailing normative environment within the United Nations—and particularly within the Secretariat—as Beijing moves towards this third position. China’s discourse needs to attract followers through consent rather than coercion through the use of forms of leverage. Coercive approaches are ineffective in legitimating a new order or in facilitating rejection of the extant order. Beijing needs to offer new content, but that content needs to resonate with others’ experiences and understandings.7 My findings are that Chinese voices are closest to the second position outlined here: that is, Chinese officials and most scholars assume that China’s resurgence is sufficient justification for supporting the triadic model Beijing has chosen to articulate.

The UN’s Development-Security Turn from the 1990s The post-Cold War era has become associated with two intellectual and policyrelated developments that are often inter-linked: the first has involved the broadening of the concept of security from a focus on the state to embrace the idea of human security; and the second has argued for a strong relationship between a lack of development and violence within and between states. These two analytical moves have influenced the UN’s human protection agenda in ways that have been described in the chapters that have preceded this one. To some degree, these ideas appeared in the UN’s two major reform documents of the twenty-first century— the 2000 Brahimi and 2015 HIPPO reports, discussed earlier in chapter 2—but neither of these landmark reports debated the development-security nexus in particularly detailed ways, compared with the reports described in what follows.8 The reports of primary interest in this chapter, all emphasizing the relationship between development and conflict, are illustrative of an environment in which China’s ideas have been percolating, and in which its officially sanctioned beliefs have held the potential to gain greater traction. In particular, deeper consideration in these reports and writings of the various outbreaks of violence and wide-scale atrocities in the 1990s has played a major role in shifting the UN’s focus to civilian protection and conflict prevention, including the prevention of a relapse into conflict. This has entailed consideration of root causes, what is implied by human security, and how peace is made sustainable. Attention to root causes has sharpened the focus on ‘development shortcomings’ and led to ‘the assumption that poverty and hopelessness . . . encouraged violent behavior’. The deliberations on human security have revolved around the two ideas of freedom from want and freedom from fear, with the former feeding into the development-security nexus in the argument that economic de­pri­va­tion,

Positioning Development in Human Protection  233 or an unequal disbursement of economic resources, is the cause of instability and conflict both within states and between states. The economic empowerment of individuals also has been deemed vital to human security, promising greater stability in state-society relations borne out of a sense of individual well-being.9 UN Secretaries-General, the Security Council, the UN’s Specialized Agencies, as well as specially created Commissions have played significant roles in ad­van­ cing arguments such as these. Important among the former have been the ideas articulated in Boutros-Boutros Ghali’s Agenda for Peace (published in 1992), as well as his An Agenda for Development (1994), the former of which attributed the sources of conflict to a lack of ‘respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms’, as well as to the need ‘to promote sustainable economic and social development for wider prosperity’, and the curtailment of ‘the existence and use of massively destructive weapons’.10 The 1994 report put it more straightforwardly, recording that the lack of development contributes to international tension and the perceived need to spend scarce resources on military power, thereby heightening the insecurity of neighbours. Societies thus become locked into a vicious cycle that could lead to ‘confrontation, conflict or all-out warfare’.11 Reflected in the thinking behind both reports was an initial hoped for ‘peace dividend’ after the ending of the Cold War leading to an associated decline in military expenditures. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan was a critical actor in these debates, developing these ideas at a number of different junctures. In his 1998 response to a Security Council request to analyse the prevalence of conflict in Africa, he linked sustainable development strongly with conflict prevention and the maintenance of a durable peace.12 Annan’s report argued that ‘resource scarcity, low levels of growth, inequitable development, and the impact of structural adjustment’ were major sources of tension, and that social development, such as improving public health care, fostering social justice, and dealing with gender discrimination, were all vital to social stability and a sense of well-being.13 However, Annan’s report also noted the absence of civil and political rights protection as a significant source of tension. As the report put it in the section dealing with the building of durable peace and the promotion of economic growth, good governance was also vital: ‘A number of African States have continued to rely on centralized and highly personalized forms of government and some have also fallen into a pattern of corruption, ethnically based decisions and human rights abuses.’ What was essential to make peace durable was respect for human rights, rule of law, and democratic forms of governing in order ‘to foster an environment where peace and development can flourish’. It went on: ‘unless people feel that they have a true stake in society lasting peace will not be possible and sustainable development will not be achieved.’14 Annan’s 2004 High Level Panel Report categorically highlighted in its Executive Summary the importance of development. As it put it, ‘[d]evelopment has to be

234  China, the UN, and Human Protection the first line of defence for a collective security system that takes prevention ser­ ious­ly. Combating poverty [emphasis in original] will not only save millions of lives but also strengthen States’ capacity to combat terrorism, organized crime and proliferation. Development makes everyone more secure.’15 Based on data provided by the World Bank, the Department of Peace and Conflict Research at Uppsala University, and the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo, paragraph 22 of the report pointed to a correlation of factors that could explain the incidence of civil war: ‘Poverty, infectious disease, environmental degradation and war feed one another in a deadly cycle. Poverty (as measured by per capita gross domestic product (GDP)) is strongly associated with the outbreak of civil war.’ However, when the report changed the focus from the structural causes of conflict and longer-term solutions to consider urgent action and the need to prevent imminent threats to international peace and security evolving into large-scale conflict, the report strayed into what some UN member states saw as more controversial terrain. For example, it highlighted the need for the Security Council to monitor the development of tension and conflict, with the proviso that it could use its powers under the Rome Statute to threaten to refer cases that showed a potential breach in international humanitarian law to the International Criminal Court (ICC). In addition, it advocated, inter alia, the sharing of information with regional organizations that had developed early warning systems, and the strengthening of the Secretariat’s early warning capacity. Famously, it advocated sovereignty as responsibility and the need for states to do all in their power to prevent the wide-scale abuse of their own peoples, to consider a role for the inter­ nation­al community to help build a state’s capacity to perform that protection function, as well as to supply that protection where a state failed in its duties as responsible sovereign, with force being considered as a last resort.16 A few months later, Annan introduced his report entitled In Larger Freedom, a document that involved the monitoring of progress made towards the implementation of the Millennium Declaration of 2000. This report was to be debated before the World Summit meeting of heads of state and government in New York in September 2005. It began with a discussion of freedom from want, moved to freedom from fear, and in its third part, entitled ‘Freedom to Live in Dignity’, called on states to strengthen rule of law, human rights, and democracy, including a request for states to embrace the concept of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’. As the Secretary-General’s report firmly stated in its Executive Summary, ‘[t]he world must advance the causes of security, development and human rights together, otherwise none will succeed. Humanity will not enjoy security without development, it will not enjoy development without security, and it will not enjoy either without respect for human rights.’17 The UN Secretariat’s own triadic model—or more precisely, the UN’s three-pillar structure as it is known—outlined succinctly for the post-Cold War era had been firmly articulated. As noted in

Positioning Development in Human Protection  235 chapter 6, it was also a formulation that could find strong support from within the UN Charter itself, article 55 of which reads that the creation of ‘conditions of stability and well-being’ are ‘necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations’ and these in turn depend on ‘economic and social progress and development’ as well as on the ‘universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms’. The relationship between development, security, and human rights was to be referenced in this short-hand form in many subsequent speeches and statements from that time. Many of these recommendations gathered together in the reports of successive Secretaries-General had been bolstered by research elsewhere in the UN system (such as at the World Bank, and UNDP), as well as in independent bodies, such as the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict (1997).18 For example, Carnegie’s 1997 report underlined the need to focus on prevention, having been spurred to investigate and respond as a result of the wide-scale slaughter in Bosnia and Rwanda that decade. Carnegie’s report argued that ‘[e]ffective pre­ vent­ive strategies rest on three orientations: early responses to signs of trouble; a comprehensive, forward-looking approach to counteract the risk factors that trigger violent conflict; and an extended effort to resolve the underlying causes of violence’. As Alex Bellamy and Edward Luck have noted, one important consequence of this ‘landmark report’ is that it has become ‘common to separate prevention into two components: operational prevention, aimed at preventing violence that is imminently apprehended, and structural prevention, aimed at reducing or mitigating the underlying risks of violent conflict’.19 In an explicitly holistic and liberal framing, the Carnegie report went on to conclude that the prevention of violent conflict required the creation of ‘capable states with representative governance based on the rule of law, with widely available economic opportunity, social safety nets, protection of fundamental human rights, and robust civil societies’.20 Unsurprisingly, given their bureaucratic foci, the UNDP as well as the World Bank pointed up the development deficit as the source of conflict more directly than some other analyses, though each in rather different ways. The UNDP’s 1994 Human Development Report highlighted the concept of human security and promoted the argument that too great a focus on war at the intra- or inter-state levels underplayed key sources of insecurity in the post-Cold War era.21 Its definition of human security was a multi-faceted one, and it adopted an almost ethnographic approach to understanding what it is that makes an individual feel secure: ‘Most people instinctively understand what security means. It means safety from the constant threats of hunger, disease, crime and repression. It also means protection from sudden and hurtful disruptions in the pattern of our daily lives—whether in our homes, in our jobs, in our communities or in our environment.’ With a clear goal to tip the freedom from fear and freedom from want discussion towards the latter, the report tasked the UN with a new mandate to promote and sustain

236  China, the UN, and Human Protection human development, and advocated the establishment of an Economic Security Council that would ‘consider more basic issues—such as global poverty, un­employ­ment, food security, international migration and a new framework for sustainable human development’. The world could never be at peace, it stated in its opening paragraph, ‘unless people have security in their daily lives’. In its view, ‘[f]uture conflicts may often be within nations rather than between them—with their origins buried deep in growing socio-economic deprivation and disparities. The search for security in such a milieu lies in development, not in arms.’ The report also argued that all of the international community’s central goals would remain out of reach—that is, peace, environmental protection, human rights protection, democratization, reductions in fertility, and social integration— ‘except in the context of sustainable development that leads to human security’. Importantly for the argument to be developed in this chapter, however, it also stated that economic growth on its own is not enough to enhance human se­cur­ ity, but requires political choices to be made: for example, that any growth in income be spent on public services such as basic education and primary health care.22 State attention to social development involving redistribution of resources through the provision of public goods was deemed essential to the provision of genuine security. The World Bank has also been an important voice in this debate. In 2003, for example, a research report entitled Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy focused attention on the negative consequences of civil war at the state, regional, and international levels. Using econometric techniques, it discovered two types of countries at greatest risk of civil war: those ‘whose low income status have failed to sustain the policies, governance, and institutions that might give them a chance of achieving reasonable growth and diversifying out of dependence on primary commodities’; and a second group mired in the ‘conflict trap’—so-called because quantitative research showed that those countries that have experienced conflict are in the greatest danger of experiencing a renewal of conflict.23 The messages sent in this publication were, however, somewhat mixed. The foreword put the relationship between civil war and development in the simplest of terms: ‘civil war . . . is development in reverse . . . development can be an effective instrument for conflict prevention’, and ‘[c]ivil war reflects not just a problem for development but a failure of development’24 (emphases in original). Subsequent chapters elaborated this somewhat and repeated that civil war is ‘heavily concentrated in the poorest countries’, and that ‘low, stagnant, and unequally distributed per capita incomes that have remained dependent on primary commodities for their exports face dangerously high risks of prolonged conflict’. However, as the argument unfolded, several interrelated factors were un­covered as being important to consider in the relationship between levels of development, the probable onset of civil war, and the consequent diminution in levels of human

Positioning Development in Human Protection  237 protection, though causal flows became more difficult to discern. The study repeated that ‘if a country is in economic decline, is dependent on primary commodity exports, and has a low per capita income and that income is unequally distributed it is at high risk of civil war’. However, it also noted that the likelihood was that the state would be ‘weak, nondemocratic, and incompetent, offering little impediment to the escalation of rebel violence, and maybe even inadvertently provoking it’. Nevertheless, despite this reference to forms of domestic governance, overall, the book gave development the key role in the argument, because it was found that in its absence, ‘neither good political institutions, nor ethnic and religious homogeneity, nor high military spending provide significant defences against large-scale violence’. Moreover, the authors added an important se­quen­ cing element to the argument: economic policy would only become less im­port­ ant in the reduction of violence, it argued, as the level of income rose. At higher income levels, stable political institutions would become more important.25 When some of the authors of this original study later turned their attention to the risks of conflict recurrence, the findings they presented in a scholarly journal were that risks of recurrence were higher in low income countries; faster growth significantly reduced the risk in the year that the growth occurs; and ‘unfortunately, severe autocracy appears to be highly successful in maintaining the postconflict peace’.26 That latter finding seems to have had less traction in other UN reports than did the 2003 study. For example, a 2011 World Bank study entitled World Development Report: Conflict, Security and Development took on the basic premise of the 2003 study but gave a more equal weighting to development and political institutional factors, particularly in the context of the recurrence of conflict. The central message this report wanted to convey was that ‘strengthening legitimate institutions and governance to provide citizen security, justice, and jobs is crucial to break cycles of violence’. As with the 2003 World Bank publication, it noted that ‘90 per cent of the last decade’s civil wars occurred in countries that had already had a civil war in the last 30 years’, that ‘[o]n average, a country that experienced major violence over the period from 1981 to 2005 has a poverty rate 21 percentage points higher than a country that saw no violence’. The report also noted that there is a robust association between lower GDP per capita and ‘largescale political conflict and high rates of homicide’. However, the study also gave attention in its section on internal sources of violence to research that showed how ‘political exclusion and inequality affecting regional, religious, or ethnic groups’ heightened the risk of civil war. It noted too that the absence of economic opportunity demoralized the young, making them prone to join rebel movements or urban gangs.27 A final example shows the UN joining directly with the World Bank to produce in 2018 another report focusing on approaches to the prevention of violent conflict.28 This study was prompted by the unexpected tripling in the incidence of

238  China, the UN, and Human Protection violent conflict in the period after 2010, the world having experienced a steady decline not only in inter-state war but also in civil war before then. From 2011, the Middle East and Africa witnessed the greatest expansion in the numbers of conflicts and an escalation in the levels of violence—a matter of significant importance to both agencies given their development programmes and struggle to protect civilians caught up in violence in both regions. Fearful, in particular, that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of 2030 would not be reached, its main messages were that ‘[g]rowth and poverty alleviation are crucial but alone will not suffice. Preventing violence requires departing from traditional economic and social policies when risks are building up, or are high, and seeking inclusive solutions through dialogue, adapted macro-economic policies, institutional reform in core state functions, and redistributive policies.’ The report put a great deal of emphasis on the need for inclusive and sustainable development, and the addressing of grievances that arise from inequitable distribution of resources on gender, religious, ethnic, or geographical grounds—from the delivery of schooling and health care, to the provision of jobs.29 In reference to the SDG, this joint report repeated the UN’s preferred conflict prevention model that links development with security and human rights protection: ‘The 2030 Agenda emphasizes that peace, development, human rights, and humanitarian responses are inextricably linked and mutually reinforcing. It includes a focus on building peaceful, just, and inclusive societies, not only as an enabler but also as a fundamental component of development outcomes.’ The Pathways report went on to note that SDG 16, which proved difficult to include in the list of goals because of some states’ (including China’s) dislike of the references to security in a document focusing on development, ‘is dedicated to ensuring equal access to justice; reducing corruption; combatting illicit financial flows and organized crime; creating effective, accountable, inclusive, and transparent institutions; and ensuring inclusive, participatory, and representative decision making’.30 Due homage was also paid to the pre-eminent role of the state in this joint report: it was the state that had the ‘primary responsibility for preventive action’. However, the report tried to make plain the complexity of the modern state and invited readers to observe the seamlessness between those forces internal to the state and those external to it. The report also noted that though states in the contemporary world had primacy, they were only one authoritative actor among many, and that states were being ‘increasingly called to work with each other and with other actors to keep their countries on a pathway to peace’.31 In addition, the Pathways report paid close attention to the need for early warning of conflict, as an important dimension of prevention. It stressed not just timely and coordinated action, but a greater willingness to act quickly to address the risk factors that had been uncovered. It covered extensively the early warning mechanisms that do already exist, pointing approvingly to such arrangements in Kenya, Indonesia, and Ghana.32

Positioning Development in Human Protection  239 In sum, these reports, and especially over time, show a steadily increasing focus on the relationship between levels of development, violence, and the boosting or otherwise of human protection and human security. In this regard, the UN has moved into territory that appears responsive to states that have championed a ‘right to development’ and that have called for a better balance between civil and political rights as well as economic, social, and cultural rights. As Andrew Mack noted, by the early 2000s, the major international development agencies had had some success in promoting the argument that levels of development affected the propensity for conflict and therefore had been brought into the UN’s peacebuilding architecture.33 However, important to add is that, in these international reports, the conceptualization of the strong and stable state capable of generating productive and wellgoverned societies derives from actions and policy decisions that work to bolster a state’s authority and legitimacy. Levels of development, it is accepted, are im­port­ ant. But necessary to add is that when governments are inclusive rather than discriminatory in formulating policies that work for all, and when they act within a non-discriminatory legal framework that is perceived as just, then se­cur­ity is more likely to be attained and sustained. Although these studies do not offer a firm consensus on how best to understand the causes, continuation, and recurrence of violence, broadly they agree that there is a need to foster economic development, and the breakdown of horizontal inequalities among groups.34

Chinese Voices Undoubtedly, there are arguments in these reports that align to a considerable degree with some of Beijing’s articulated beliefs covered in earlier chapters of this study, none more so perhaps than the 2008 scholarly work of Collier, Hoeffler, and Söderbom, quoted earlier in this chapter. The degree of compatibility can more convincingly be assessed, however, via exploration of both Chinese official statements and scholarly writings on the concept of human security as well as the country’s debates over the causes of conflict, conflict prevention, and the ways in which UN action can help to sustain peace and human protection. Chinese scholarly writings about human security are not extensive, as Shaun Breslin in his helpful, wide-ranging, review of this literature has discovered.35 Most of it substantiates the official position, and only minority parts of it attempt to shift the argument. Breslin finds that, typically, the term is rephrased in Chinese writings to encompass ‘collective humankind’. The security of humankind as a whole or of groups is given precedence over the security of individuals. The concept of human security is also often discussed alongside other conceptions of nontraditional security with a frequent blurring of the two ideas.36 Freedom from want is viewed as being of greater import than freedom from fear, with the former sometimes linked explicitly to the absence or prevalence of conflict.

240  China, the UN, and Human Protection As with the concept of human rights (see chapter 6) where, as has been shown, Chinese official positions have given greater stress to the claim that it is the developmental stages of each state that condition the quality and degree of comprehensiveness of human rights protection that the state offers, the state again is given the primary role in Chinese conceptions of human security. The state is the source of human security, and cannot be viewed as challenging it.37 The state is also preeminent in another way: it is up to each individual country on the basis of its own ‘unique circumstances’ to define what human security means and how it can best be protected. However, alongside this emphasis on freedom from want as a primary goal of the state in its search for collective human security, there is some writing in China that goes beyond the dominant view and emphasizes not simply growth and development, but also that a state needs to be effective and able to deliver ‘good’ policies. Wang Yizhou of Peking University, for example, has referred to this as ‘the Somali phenomenon’, explaining that ‘bad state policies result in individuals losing their loyalty to the state, which undermines the government’s ability to operate, resulting in total society breakdown and massive insecurities of many different types’.38 Though this does not lead smoothly into an extensive discussion in Chinese writings of how such ‘bad policies’ emerge or can best be remedied or prevented in the future, it suggests potential sensitivity to the argument that development is not the solution to all ills. The development-security nexus as well as the development-social stabilitystrong state triad have been discussed extensively in Chinese official statements that deal with China’s own economic advancement, in reference to UN peace operations, as well as in respect of policies towards Africa. Key references to the need for social stability in China include one by paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, for example, who stated that ‘in China, the overriding need is for stability’. This statement is frequently quoted as it has a domestic legitimating function. Deng went on: ‘Without a stable environment, we can accomplish nothing and may even lose what we have gained.’ His concern was that without social stability, China would not present itself to outsiders as a favourable investment op­por­tun­ ity and economic reform would not succeed.39 During Hu Jintao’s presidency, China produced a White Paper outlining its ‘peaceful development road’, chapter two of which focused on China’s own growth as a source of world peace and development. That section began with the statement that ‘peace is the foundation for development while development is fundamental for peace’, where peace is taken to equate with the idea of social stability. The White Paper averred that ‘China’s sustained economic growth and social stability and its people’s peaceful life’ had benefited its neighbouring countries as well as the wider world.40 As noted already, President Xi’s rhetoric and policy enactments have emphasized the perceived powerful interlinkages between development and security both at the domestic and the international levels. As his 2013 statement (quoted earlier) put it, successful reform and development in China depended on national security

Positioning Development in Human Protection  241 and social stability, and international audiences were informed in 2017 that development solves all problems. Chinese officials have articulated this belief in the triadic relationship frequently within UN settings. For example, China’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN described the triad succinctly and clearly in 2001: ‘Poverty leads to social instability, which will in turn be a threat to peace and security at the national and even regional levels . . . In order to uproot the causes of conflicts, we must help developing countries, especially the least-developed countries, to seek economic development, eradicate poverty, curb diseases, improve the environment, and fight against social injustice’,41 sentiments that would not be out of place in World Bank reports on the causes of conflict. In explaining Beijing’s often controversial positions with respect to Darfur, Sudan, and South Sudan, its diplomats again have emphasized poverty as the root cause of conflict. During the 2007 crisis in Darfur, for example, China’s UN ambassador noted: ‘It is broadly agreed that a root cause of the Darfur crisis is poor development in the region. We need to attach high importance to rehabilitation, reconstruction and development in Darfur . . . so as to fundamentally improve the lives of the people and uproot the source of conflict.’42 Much the same was reportedly said with respect to South Sudan: ‘People don’t have enough to eat. Most are illiterate.’ This Chinese diplomat went on to ask: ‘Does Western democracy really work [in South Sudan]?’ As far as Chinese officials are concerned, the West places ‘too much emphasis on procedural legitimacy at the cost of stability’ whereas what is required in Beijing’s view is a strong government, especially in the early years of nation-building. Apparently, Beijing has organized workshops in Juba for senior party officials in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement to help with that nation-building exercise. Topics have included methods of poverty alleviation, social and economic development, the guidance of public opinion, as well as approaches to building the party.43 That this is a well-embedded and long-standing position that Beijing has advanced at the UN is shown in its responses to the UN operation in East Timor in 1999 (UNTAET) where China’s statements, even at that stage of its involvement in peace operations, put the emphasis on stability, economic development, and good-neighbourly relations; as China’s ambassador put it, ‘[w]e sincerely hope that the people of East Timor, with United Nations assistance, will be able as soon as possible to restore stability, develop their economy and establish amicable and good-neighbourly relations with their neighbours.’ Moreover, Chinese amendments along these lines were incorporated into the final agreed resolution, as Chinese officials confirmed themselves: ‘The Chinese delegation participated in the consultations on the draft resolution in a constructive spirit. We wish to thank the sponsors for accepting our amendments. We will vote in favour of the draft resolution before us.’44 Indeed, Lisa Macleod has argued that the final UNTAET mandate reflected a coming together of a ‘liberal peace through democracy paradigm and China’s peace and development paradigm’, a sentiment that

242  China, the UN, and Human Protection Chinese scholar He Yin (see below), among others, would support as an oftentimes optimal design for the UN’s peace operations.45 Inevitably, the priorities that are articulated at the highest levels of the Chinese Communist Party and government affect some scholarly arguments on China and the UN’s human protection agenda. These official statements are almost operating as tifa 提法—phrases that not only guide the descriptive language but also eventually are assumed to influence thinking and behaviour and constrain alternative ways of analysing and behaving. In line with Chinese official statements, many Chinese scholars criticize the liberal model of peace for putting too much emphasis on military or other coercive means, for focusing on security to the neglect of sustainable development, and for failing to put in place national stabilization strategies before contemplating gradual political and democratic reform.46 There is also a reluctance, similar to that expressed in official statements, to embrace or explore the operational form of prevention as described in the Carnegie report referenced earlier. Chinese scholars instead prefer to emphasize preventive diplomacy.47 During a discussion of the Pathways for Peace report in Beijing in October 2018, one Chinese scholar raised questions about the em­phasis on conflict prevention in the report, equating that idea, not with attempts to reduce the onset of conflict, but instead to what he depicted as a Western-led typ­ ic­al­ly militarily interventionist response to rising violence.48 Most of these Chinese scholarly writings also give support to official statements emphasizing Beijing’s own triadic model. Some scholars have characterized the dominant Chinese approach as a ‘developmental peace’ or ‘sovereignty plus development model’. These concepts provide some intellectual grounding for those official positions, especially since these scholars sometimes draw on non-Chinese scholarly literature or UN and World Bank publications to bolster their arguments. References to secondary scholarly literature critical of the ‘liberal peace’ model is particularly ubiquitous: Wang Xuejun and He Yin, for example, regularly reference Western scholarship on peace missions that is similarly crit­ic­al of the ‘liberal’ approach.49 Chinese scholarship also notes the devastating economic consequences of conflict, Xue Lei, for example, repeating figures from World Bank reports that show how civil war can cost fifteen to thirty years of GDP growth. Xue also references the World Bank’s 2011 development report, discussed earlier, and its exploration of the ‘close connection between maintaining security and pursuing development goals’.50 Zhang Chun quotes Kofi Annan’s In Larger Freedom statement linking development, security, and respect for human rights and the rule of law,51 though he only goes on to discuss the development-security legs of that three-pillar structure. One Chinese interviewee appeared to adopt China’s official position entirely, explaining that Beijing’s triadic model requires a strong leader or government that would be able to impose a level of stability in a  country desirous of succeeding with an economic development strategy,52

Positioning Development in Human Protection  243 a position that could find support from the 2008 quantitative analysis undertaken by Paul Collier, Anke Hoeffler, and Måns Söderbom.53 He Yin’s 2017 discussion of his ‘developmental peace’ idea provides one of the most detailed arguments. He Yin, an influential scholar who is an Associate Professor at China’s Peacekeeping Police Training Center based in Langfang, outside Beijing, brings together a wide range of sources. These include interviews with diplomats and scholars from countries that have hosted UN peace op­er­ ations, and readings of some of the Western scholarly literature that have criticized the Western-influenced liberal peace model (He Yin describes this as a neo-liberal model that focuses on the ‘theory of democratic peace’). He Yin add­ ition­al­ly references some of the major UN review reports put forward for debate in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, such as the Brahimi report of 2000 and HIPPO report of 2015.54 This appraisal has led him to conclude that it is time for those interested in the evolution of UN peace operations to give greater attention to China’s normative contribution to such operations, most notably its focus on economic development, and its attention to domestic peace— or stability as He Yin prefers to term it—and the relationship between these two features and inter­nation­al peace or stability. As he puts it, ‘[d]evelopmental peace is based on . . . the premise of maintaining domestic political and social stability.’ Domestically, ‘no matter what kind of political system is implemented, peace can be achieved as long as economic construction is at the center of development’. For him, the two pillars of developmental peace that are important in terms of its successful inter­nation­al application are first to adhere to Westphalian norms, especially non-interference in internal affairs, and second the promotion of economic development through state-led investment. In his view, the former leaves more room for the expression of the host country’s norms in determining the political, economic, and social areas of policy, and reduces the impact of any rad­ical institutional changes that might accompany outside involvement in a host state. He Yin has come to these conclusions because he perceives the liberal peace model to be overly focused on institution building, on liberal values such as freedom and democracy, and on the imposition of a particular notion of good governance through the attachment of political conditions before assistance is offered. Developmental peace, on the other hand, prefers to prioritize economic development over institution building, accepts a plurality of values, the priv­il­eging of national conditions over some externally imposed reformist model, and effective governance over some normative vision of good governance. With regard to nongovernmental organizations, the developmental peace model advocates that their role be marginalized in favour of the promotion of a strong national government able to play the central role in economic and social development, and especially in macro-economic policy-making. Obviously, China’s understanding of its own development experience influences his promotion of this model for the wider world.

244  China, the UN, and Human Protection Zhou Yuyuan writing on Africa in 2018 similarly focuses on development as a core idea, arguing that African countries are most concerned about establishing the root causes of conflict and sustaining peace through development. Zhou notes that this era represents a key moment for China to take advantage of the trans­ form­ation in UN peacekeeping that he sees as being underway, a moment where Beijing can ‘actively explore the effective links between development and security and provide useful experience for achieving sustainable peace’. In his view, China’s role as an ‘important development partner for Africa’ can be used to the advantage of its image. Beijing can engage in post-conflict reconstruction in the African continent, especially in those projects where construction can be achieved rapidly, thus enhancing ‘its role and status through substantive cooperation’.55 However, a number of Chinese scholars working in these areas also record absences in the argumentation, tensions, and even flaws, in the Chinese official position, as does He Yin himself. Sometimes this is a result of fieldwork experiences in Africa or elsewhere. For example, Zhang Chun as well as Wang Xuejun warn against China’s overwhelming focus on governmental-level cooperation and neglect of civil society. Zhang also notes the gap between China and some African governments and societies over how firmly to adhere to the non-interference principle.56 Xue Lei cautions that enhancing the capacity of governments in power may mean perpetuation of both the rule of those who commit serious crimes against civilians as well as of those who are not committed to peace processes. As he puts it, ‘the strengthening of state authority should always be coupled with an inclusive national dialogue and reconciliation process.’57 In his view, stability has to be balanced against justice. Li Dongyan goes further and has argued for Beijing to establish a new peacekeeping concept entirely, one that is less restrictive, more comprehensive, and more integrative to include protective, legal, societal, as well as economic dimensions. Beijing should not only promote development, but also promote peace, or ‘security governance’ as she terms it, the latter requiring cooperation between those working in development and those working to reconcile and mediate. She describes the pathway to advancing this concept as movement from ‘community security, to national security, to international or regional security’. Li also advocates the establishment of a new bureaucratic department in Beijing to go beyond the military and police bodies involved in peace operations, and to include those working in politics, diplomacy, law, education, culture, health, and so on—all areas of importance in the UN’s complex peace operations. A new department would be required to coordinate responses among this large group of relevant actors. In her view, China is too wedded to traditional peacekeeping and needs to innovate in this policy area.58 In a number of respects, Li, as well as other scholars quoted already such as He Yin, Wang Xuejun, and Zhou Yuyuan, show some tolerance for the ‘liberal peace’ idea as expressed in UN peace operations. While pointing to the contrasts

Positioning Development in Human Protection  245 between the liberal and developmental peace models and offering critiques (or,  more often, repeating the Western-led critiques) of the former, they also highlight some of the complementarities between them. In somewhat of a softening of his stance quoted earlier, He Yin has also written that what he objects to particularly is the hegemonic role of the liberal model and an unwillingness to accept that the two models can complement each other. As he puts it, the developmental peace idea does not oppose the liberal model’s emphasis on freedom and democracy, ‘but only the exclusive institutional hegemony based on “western centrism” ’. On the basis of his comparative study of peacebuilding practices in Timor-Leste, Haiti, and Liberia, he argues that when the two models ‘are promoted at the same time, they can not only coexist peacefully, but also improve the effect of peacebuilding efforts’.59 Timor-Leste’s experience is seen as important to reflect upon because it has avoided what He Yin describes as a confrontational approach: it has established a consensual form of democracy over a confrontational model, and rather than seeking accountability for atrocity crimes through the ICC, Timor-Leste has chosen to establish a truth and friendship commission.60 As He Yin understands the situation, ‘[c]onsensus-based democracy lays the foundation for domestic political and social stability, while reconciliation with Indonesia ensures a stable external environment. A stable domestic and international environment can promote economic development and enhance the certainty of investment returns.’61 During confidential interviews in Beijing and Shanghai, a number of scholars reinforced some of these points, one (but only one) even going so far as to argue that the UN’s three-pillar structure of development-security-human rights should be Beijing’s position too. Others argued that the Chinese leadership needed to give more emphasis to reconciliation strategies in conflict-ridden states to encompass all parts of society, and that Beijing should be less project-oriented in its overseas involvements and more people-centred. Another interviewee argued for a Chinese peacebuilding strategy that emphasized not only the search for stability and economic development but also the building of the rule of law and engagement in transitional justice processes. In conversation with an expert in Beijing the scholar noted that even advanced countries can experience violent conflict, suggesting that factors other than economic growth needed to be considered if conflict is to be prevented or resolved.62

Assessing Convergence and China’s Persuasive Power In a number of respects, therefore, Chinese scholarship and UN thinking has moved closer together, though the emphases on particular factors necessary to conflict prevention and the sustainability of a durable peace still differ. Lowincome countries are associated strongly with violence and failures in human protection, both parties would agree; but UN documents are more likely to

246  China, the UN, and Human Protection include other factors of importance, including the presence of horizontal ­inequalities, as well as the absence of a civil society that defends the rights of individuals and groups legally to express a plurality of perspectives. One interviewee summarized Beijing’s opposing position succinctly: China tends to perceive development as primary, stability as being equivalent to peace, and good governance as corresponding to ‘pragmatic, effective governance’.63 Moreover, Chinese scholarship infrequently has much to say about the concept of conflict prevention in the context of rising tensions and conflict that is imminent, or to explore risk factors in the ways that these are discussed in UN reports. The preference instead is to uncover ‘root causes’ as a preventive strategy, and to think about that idea through a concentration on long term causal factors rather than work to prevent a short-term crisis spilling over into a wider conflagration. Neither is there much, if any, attention to what might be needed for an early warning system to be put in place. Chinese formulations still indicate a wariness about mechanisms that might be thought of as domestically intrusive, and that wariness is only reduced where it can be shown that domestic or regional bodies (such as the African Union) act to provide the information needed to perform this function. Indeed, one interviewee stressed that Beijing would much rather build the African Union’s capacity to gather the necessary information as well as the AU’s ability to deploy rapidly in order to avoid the challenge that early warning poses to China’s non-interference principle.64 However, while there is some nuance and creativity expressed in the private statements and public writings of Chinese scholars, China’s stated official posi­ tions still seem locked into a more rigid formulation, at least at the discursive level. This rigidity to some degree decreases the persuasive power of the Chinese triadic model because it only resonates with a part of the UN’s normative structure and not with norms embedded in the Secretariat and wider body of democratic states. Undoubtedly, as some analysts have observed, where Beijing’s ‘policy engagement [has] appeared to encounter the practical limits and problems’ of promoting ‘the efficacy of economic development as the main driver of peace’, it does make minor adjustments.65 One Chinese interviewee noted that where internal violence spills over into neighbouring states, the Chinese government will consider either supporting a regional mediator or involve itself directly in the mediation process by inviting relevant parties to come together in Beijing or elsewhere.66 Yet, these signs of limited flexibility have not meant a formal embrace of the complementarities that could be drawn upon when considering liberal and developmental peace models. In addition, earlier chapters in this study have recorded some attempts by the Chinese government to weaken the liberal elem­ ents of the human protection agenda through verbal attacks on such elements of peace operations as security sector reform, and constraints on funding the human rights posts within peace operations, in the Secretary-General’s office, and in the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Beijing has also

Positioning Development in Human Protection  247 introduced resolutions at the Human Rights Council that attempt to give primacy to economic development as a foundational right from which others may (eventually) flow.

Sources of Chinese Official and Scholarly Beliefs This chapter turns finally to the sources of these beliefs, casting back to the ideas that were presented in chapter 1 of this study. Where do these beliefs in the efficacy of the economic development-social stability-strong state model come from? Are these beliefs rooted in China’s deep historical experience, its troubled colonial encounters, the period of state consolidation, or in something more contemporary? Cui and Li’s discussion of China’s frontier security strategy and of Beijing’s response to what it sees as the three contemporary threats of ‘terrorism, separatism and extremism’ briefly reference Mencius’s statement that ‘when there is unity there will be peace’ as initially being at the basis of Chinese governmental thinking with respect to its own western regions. However, this, they argue, has not been a stable position in Beijing, preference later being given to a policy (the western regional development policy) that underscored the importance of economic development as the major weapon in the improvement of security and stability.67 Wang Xuejun also refers to China’s own developmental experience, but valu­ ably for our purposes, he relates that domestic experience to Beijing’s attitudes towards UN peace operations. Wang contrasts the Maoist era, which he describes as a serious impediment to China’s development, with a post-Mao leadership that emphasized the development of the strong sovereign state as the basis for reform; subordinated political democratic reform in favour of national stability; integrated the economic and intellectual elites into the governmental policy-making process; and created dependent rather than independent NGOs in order to ensure a ‘strong state-weak society’ model.68 Neither Wang nor other writings that have been sampled pertaining to China’s role in promoting human protection through the UN reference implicitly or explicitly China’s imperial traditions as the source for their ideas in this policy area. Almost without exception, publications and interviews on this question instead refer to China’s experience over the last forty years of ‘Reform and Opening’, very often repeating that China’s development model has brought about stability, national unity, and prosperity and all in the context of the strong party state.69 Casting back to the three potential explanatory positions outlined near the beginning of this chapter, interviews in particular did indeed evince a ‘takenfor-granted’ quality in the various responses—that the outcomes in China were sufficiently impressive that the wider applicability of its model should be obvious to all, and the intellectual steps relating development to international peace and

248  China, the UN, and Human Protection security did not require spelling out. He Yin, for example, in his scholarly writing quotes Liberia’s former finance minister, the home of a major UN peace operation from 2003 to 2018, who stated: ‘Most of China’s achievements in poverty ­eradication have occurred in the past decades. That kind of experience interests us very much.’70 China’s paramount leader, Deng Xiaoping, as original architect of ‘Reform and Opening’, received prominent mention during interviews, one interviewee noting that Deng’s decision initially to give a low priority to military modernization as part of this policy gave an important early boost to economic reform.71 However, another scholar based in Beijing holds a particularly nuanced if minority position in reference to Beijing’s promotion of a triadic model, noting that China’s experience was not suitable for all, that development alone cannot solve intractable problems, and that political reconciliation strategies, including electoral processes, were often vital to the encouragement of stability and the bringing about of eventual peace. In this interviewee’s view, the arguments linking development and peace require greater attention to the necessary prior or intervening steps.72 He Yin has also quoted other work that denies the centrality of China’s own experience, pointing out that much of China’s developmental approach reflects the East Asian region’s own long-standing preference for state-led development, that the term ‘developmental state’ was first introduced by the American scholar Chalmers Johnson and in relation to Japan’s ‘economic miracle’, and that the concept of special economic zone owes much to Hong Kong’s experimentation.73 The economist Zhang Weiying has weighed in to add his influential voice to some others, in his case arguing that the ‘China model’ as articulated in many recent Chinese writings is factually wrong and dangerous. Zhang has stated that China’s economic successes stemmed not from a ‘China model’ but from a ‘universal model’ that relied on ‘marketisation, entrepreneurship and three centuries of accumulating technology in the West’.74 As yet, however, these perspectives are not influencing official statements or the majority scholarly viewpoint. Neglected in many of the discussions that have suggested the validity for some other UN member states of China’s own experiences after ‘Reform and Opening’ are consideration of the violence and repression that Chinese citizens have ex­peri­ enced. Unrest among minority peoples in China’s frontier regions, particularly in the 2000s and which has included terrorist violence, as well as the political protests resulting in the Tiananmen bloodshed of 1989 both indicate that social stability is hard to achieve and maintain. Domestic security spending in Xinjiang apparently increased from 5.45 billion Renminbi (RMB) in 2007, to 58 billion RMB ten years later, and police recruitment figures shot up by 90,000 in the twelve-month period over 2016–17.75 Yet, my reference in interviews to an in­tern­al security budget greater than China’s spending on external security evoked little comment. Indeed, one interviewee chose to emphasize that the budgetary costs related not to the need to suppress the social grievances of the Chinese people but

Positioning Development in Human Protection  249 to the expenditure associated with China’s need to prevent terrorist attack, guard against crime, and protect against an unsafe environment—an attempt to externalize the sources of insecurity.76 According to Ian Taylor, writing in 2011 on China and Africa, China does receive external praise and support in the continent for a model that is perceived to have so spectacularly benefitted its economy. Rarely do African officials question, he states, whether the China model might be appropriate for their own countries. Instead, ‘[t]here is a constant stream of African officials making trips to China to learn about this or that aspect of the post-1978 economic development model’.77 Taylor quotes one commentary to the effect that what has been at­trac­ tive both to Western businesspeople and to authoritarian leaders is a model that combines ‘economic growth, free trade and stability with the power of a politicalcum-industrial oligarchy’.78 During China’s 2018 Universal Periodic Review of its progress in the area of human rights at the Human Rights Council, some 150 states offered commentary on China’s report. The overwhelming majority of these states heaped praise on China’s strong economic position, repeating Beijing’s claim that this favourable position derived from the wisdom of China’s adoption of the ‘Reform and Opening’ policy.

Conclusion The PRC’s triadic model referencing the socio-economic factors that bring about international peace and security and thereby enhance protection for humankind has been articulated at a time when the United Nations, development agencies, as well as NGOs have highlighted the concept of human security and have been exploring how the levels of violence that particularly target civilians can be diminished. Beijing has moved itself into a position of greater influence at the United Nations, in part as a result of its increased budgetary contributions and obvious commitment to the peace operations agenda. Importantly, these advances in its positions have come in a period when the UN and its Specialized Agencies have been exploring the linkages between development, conflict reduction, and more effective ways of providing human protection. Indeed, UN thinking has shown greater receptivity to the role that economic factors, especially under­devel­op­ ment, play in generating violence against civilians, as we have moved through the post-Cold War era. UN Secretary-General Guterres has developed a reputation for being receptive to Chinese arguments, and, as chapter  2 has illustrated, has accepted with some alacrity an association between the SDGs and China’s BRI in the belief that the former may fail without the financial support of the latter. However, the message from the UN Secretariat, some of the UN’s Specialized Agencies, as well as from most democratic states has been consistent in arguing that development is not enough on its own and must be combined with attention

250  China, the UN, and Human Protection to the grievances that result from inadequate protection of human rights, the discriminatory application of economic and social benefits, and inadequate core state institutions incapable of administering justice or fairly redistributing resources. Although it is the case that the development arm of the UN’s threepillar structure has become more conspicuous in the post-Cold War era, the argument in favour of a combination of development, security, and human rights still has support in the search for the prevention and amelioration of conflict, and the sustainability of international peace. Indeed, the incorporation of goal 16 within the UN’s SDGs, and against the wishes of Beijing and other state actors who viewed its inclusion as an unfortunate securitization of development issues, indicates the continuing influence of the UN’s normative three-pillar structure. Despite the stickiness of UN norms, officials in China continue to promote their own triadic model, and remain neglectful of the human rights dimension of the UN’s three-pillar structure. Moreover, much Chinese scholarship supports the main features of Chinese governmental statements, and avoids detailed study of the intervening steps linking development and security. However, we should not neglect the several attempts to introduce more nuanced positions in the Chinese scholarly literature, much of which suggests pragmatic flexibility and the melding of the UN and Chinese approaches as Chinese encounter the practicalities of operating in hostile overseas environments. This section of the Chinese scholarship draws on UN and other reports, is based on field work, and explores the non-Chinese literature on the topic to boost its arguments. Some among these scholars advocate that China’s official positions should be more creative and acknowledge some of the benefits of the liberal peace model or the UN’s own triad of requirements. This suggests some, though minority, voices realize that persuasive power is more likely to derive from establishing broad-based arguments that resonate widely, reducing the weight of those voices that put the emphasis largely on the socio-economic approach that China itself has undertaken since December 1978. In a different era, these voices may gain in influence. In the meantime, however, China’s ‘Reform and Opening’ policy is put forward as the major source of inspiration and basis for generating domestic stability, economic development, as well as forms of international peace and security that provide protection for humankind. This is the case that is made in many official speeches. Notably, however, in the Xi era the Party’s role in the promotion of socialism has been given greater prominence in the explanation for China’s development outcomes. Indeed, General Secretary Xi Jinping, in what is quoted below, goes beyond some of the scholarly voices recorded in this chapter in the emphasis he gives to China’s wise decision to adopt ‘scientific socialism’. As Xi boldly stated at the 19th Party Congress in 2017: The Chinese nation, which since modern times began had endured so much for so long, has achieved a tremendous transformation: it has stood up, grown rich,

Positioning Development in Human Protection  251 and is becoming strong; it has come to embrace the brilliant prospects of re­ju­ven­ation. It means that scientific socialism is full of vitality in 21st century China, and that the banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics is now flying high and proud for all to see. It means that the path, the theory, the system, and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics have kept developing, blazing a new trail for other developing countries to achieve modernization. It offers a new option for other countries and nations who want to speed up their development while preserving their independence; and it offers Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach to solving the problems facing mankind.79

Notes 1. David Chandler disagrees with this depiction of the UN’s extant order, arguing that the liberal nature of the adopted policy frameworks has been exaggerated, and the critiques of it are therefore misguided. See Peacebuilding: The Twenty Years’ Crisis, 1997–2017 (Cham: Springer for Palgrave/Macmillan, 2017), esp. chap.  2. However, other studies emphasize the liberal ambitions of the UN in the post-Cold war era, not always favourably, as chapter 1 has noted. 2. Some of these ideas are taken up in Zhou Yuyuan, ‘Feizhou weihe huoban guanxi: Lianheguo weihe gaige yu zhongguo de juese’ [Peacekeeping Partnership in Africa: UN Peacekeeping Reform and the Role of China], Waijiao pinglun [Foreign Affairs Review], 2, 2018: 65–83. For a broader discussion of the ‘fading’ of US liberal hegemony, see Yan Xuetong, ‘Chinese Values vs. Liberalism: What Ideology will Shape the International Normative Order?’ The Chinese Journal of International Politics, 11(1), 2018: 1–22, DOI: 10.1093/cjip/poy001; and Colum Lynch and Robbie Gramer, ‘Senior Officials Concede Loss of U.S.  Clout as Trump Prepares for U.N.  Summit’, Foreign Policy, 5 September 2019. 3. Xi Jinping and Fu Ying are both referenced in Ren Xiao, ‘Human Security: China’s Discourses and Experience’, Journal of Human Security, 12(1), 2014: 113–4. 4. Xi Jinping, ‘New Asian Security Concept for New Progress in Security Cooperation, Remarks at the Fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia’, Shanghai, 21 May 2014, at http://www.china.org.cn/ world/2014%9605/28/content_32511846.htm. 5. ‘Full text of President Xi’s Speech at Opening of Belt and Road Forum’, Xinhua, 14 May 2017, at http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2017%9605/14/c_136282982.htm. 6. Matthew Ferchen, ‘How New and Crafty is China’s “New Economic Statecraft”?’ Beijing: Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, 11 March 2013, https://carnegieendowment.org/files/How_New_and_How_Crafty_is_Chinas_New_Economic_Statecraft_ CTC_Web_Version.rd2.pdf. 7. Ian Clark, ‘International Society and China: the Power of Norms and the Norms of Power’, Chinese Journal of International Politics, 7(3), 2014: 315–40, esp. 338. 8. The Brahimi report quoted the Secretary-General’s Millennium Report (A/54/2000) on the need to reduce poverty, achieve broad-based economic growth, as well as to

252  China, the UN, and Human Protection protect minority rights, human rights, and promote political inclusion in its section on preventive action. See A/55/305-S/2000/809, 21 August 2000. The HIPPO report, in a section on sustaining peace, noted that past efforts had foundered partly ‘owing to a failure to establish inclusive political arrangements, a fair sharing of resources and just accommodation of ethnic and religious diversity’, para.14, A/70/95-S/ 2015/446, 16 June 2015. 9. An excellent source on the evolution of these ideas and on which this section of the chapter draws is S. Neil MacFarlane and Yuen Foong Khong, Human Security and the UN: A Critical History (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2006), esp. 139–201, direct quote at 143. I have also found helpful Alex J. Bellamy, East Asia’s Other Miracle: Explaining the Decline of Mass Atrocities (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), esp. chapters 3 and 4. 10. An Agenda for Peace: Preventive Diplomacy, Peace-making and Peace-keeping, A/47/277, 31 January 1992, at http://www.un-documents.net/a47-277.htm, para. 5. 11. An Agenda for Development: Report of the Secretary-General, A/48/935, 6 May 1994, at https://www.globalpolicy.org/un-reform/32314-an-agenda-for-development-reportof-the-secretary-general.html, para. 18. 12. Note the inter-relationships summarized in the title of this report: The Causes of Conflict and the Promotion of Durable Peace and Sustainable Development in Africa: Report of the Secretary-General, A/52/871-S/1998/318, 13 April 1998, at http://undocs. org/A/52/871. 13. MacFarlane and Khong, Human Security and the UN, 153. 14. The Causes of Conflict, esp. paras. 71–8. 15. The full report is entitled A More Secure World: our shared responsibility. Report of the High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, A/59/565, 2 December 2004. 16. A More Secure World, paras. 29, 35–6. The need for early warning in relation to conflict prevention appears frequently in the report. A longer discussion of sovereignty as responsibility is contained in chapter 4 of this book. 17. In Larger Freedom: Towards Security, Development and Human Rights For All, A/59/2005, 21 March 2005. 18. Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, https://www.carnegie.org/media/ filer_public/b2/0e/b20e1080-7830-4f2b-9410-51c14171809b/ccny_report_1997_ ccpdc_final.pdf 19. Alex  J.  Bellamy and Edward  C.  Luck, The Responsibility to Protect: from Promise to Practice (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2018), 141. 20. Carnegie Commission, xiv and xviii. 21. Human Development Report (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), at http://hdr. undp.org/en/content/human-development-report-1994. 22. Human Development Report, at 1, 3, 10 and 17. 23. Paul Collier et al., Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003), x. 24. Breaking the Conflict Trap, ix. 25. Breaking the Conflict Trap, quotations taken from 4, 53, 123, and 176. 26. Paul Collier, Anke Hoeffler, and Måns Söderbom, ‘Post-Conflict Risks’, Journal of Peace Research, 45(4), 2008: 469–70.

Positioning Development in Human Protection  253 27. World Bank, World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security, and Development, at https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/4389, 1, 2, 6. Andrew Mack reports that ‘the most robust finding to emerge from the econometric research in this period was that as income per capita increased, the risk of conflict declined.’ See his ‘Conflicts and Security’, Amitav Acharya (ed.), Why Govern? Rethinking Demand and Progress in Global Governance (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016), 110. 28. United Nations; World Bank, Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict (Washington DC: World Bank, 2018), at https://openknowledge. worldbank.org/handle/10986/28337. The Executive Summary is lengthy and helpful to promoting the main messages of the report. 29. Pathways for Peace, xviii–xvix. 30. Pathways for Peace, xxviii. 31. Pathways for Peace, xviii. 32. Pathways for Peace, 212–13. 33. Andrew Mack, ‘Conflicts and Security’, 108–10. 34. Other helpful overviews of the literature are contained in Bellamy and Luck, The Responsibility to Protect; and Richard Caplan, Measuring Peace: Principles, Practices, and Politics (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019). 35. Shaun Breslin, ‘Debating Human Security in China: Towards Discursive Power?’ Journal of Contemporary Asia, 45(2), 2015: 243–65. See also, Ren Xiao, ‘Human Security.’ He Yin has applied the concept of human security to UN peacebuilding. See ‘Lianheguo jianshe heping yu ren de anquan baohu’ [United Nations Peacebuilding and the Protection of Human Security] in Guoji anquan yanjiu, [International Security Studies] 3, 2014: 75–91. Here, He Yin argues for an approach that combines freedom from fear with freedom from want. 36. See for example Li Kaisheng, Human, State and Security Governance: Non-traditional Security Theories in International Relations (Beijing: China Social Sciences Press, 2012); William  T.  Tow, David Walton and Rikki Kersten (eds), New Approaches to Human Security in the Asia-Pacific: China, Japan and Australia, part 1, Chinese perspectives (Basingstoke: Routledge, 2016); Ren Xiao, ‘Human Security’, 117–19, singles out air pollution, food safety, and cyber security as the most pressing human security issues. 37. Ren Xiao quotes Shi Bin who argues in World Economics and Politics that ‘People’s security and welfare, and the improvement of their living condition and life quality, are an important base for national identity, social stability and political legitimacy. In this sense, “human security” and state security are not necessarily contradictory.’ ‘Human Security’, 115. 38. Referenced in Breslin, ‘Debating Human Security’, 258. 39. Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping: Vol. III (Beijing: Renmin Publishing House, 1993); and quoted in Shunji Cui and Jia Li, ‘(De)securitizing Frontier Security in China: Beyond the Positive and Negative debate’, Cooperation and Conflict, 46 (2), 2011: 149. 40. State Council Information Office, China’s Peaceful Development Road, 2005, http:// www.china.org.cn/english/2005/Dec/152669.htm#1. 41. Statement made 5 February 2001, and quoted in Zhao Lei, ‘China’s Global Peace Engagement Strategy’, 353. See also China’s statement at the UN debate on ‘the role of the Security Council in humanitarian crises’, S/PV.5225, 12 July 2005, where the

254  China, the UN, and Human Protection Chinese representative stated, ‘most humanitarian crises take place in less-developed areas and are closely linked with poverty and underdevelopment’, 20, at http://www. un.org/en/sc/meetings/records/2005.shtml. 42. S/RES/1769, 31 July 2007 and quoted in Lisa MacLeod, ‘China’s Security Council Engagement: the Impact of Normative and Causal Beliefs’, Global Governance, 23(3), 2017: 394. 43. ‘China’s Foreign Policy Experiment in South Sudan’, International Crisis Group, Report no 288, Africa, 10 July 2017, 11–12. Zhang Chun and Mariam Kemple-Hardy, in their study of South Sudan, have described China’s approach to conflict resolution in that country as based on ‘the three nos’: no stopping of China’s development effort even while conflict is on-going; no securitization of development policy; and no interference in internal affairs. See their report ‘From Conflict Resolution to Conflict Prevention: China in South Sudan’, in Saferworld, Conflict Prevention Working Group briefing 1, 31 March 2015, at: https://www.southsudanpeaceportal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/ from-conflict-resolution-to-conflict-prevention-china-and-south-sudan.pdf. 44. S/PV.4057, 25 October 1999, 13. 45. MacLeod, ‘China’s Security Council Engagement’, 390. He Yin, ‘Guifan mian zheng yu hubu’ [Norms Competition and Complementation: Peacebuilding as Case Study], Shijie jingyi yu zhengzhi [World Economics and Politics] 4, 2014: 105–21. 46. See for example Wang Xuejun, ‘Developmental Peace: Understanding China’s Africa Policy in Peace and Security’, Chris Alden, Abiodun Alao, Zhang Chun, and Laura Barber (eds) China and Africa: Building Peace and Security Cooperation on the Continent (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2018), 69. One of my Chinese interviewees approvingly described a conversation he held in Ethiopia, where his interlocutor said the country needed ‘bread first and then could have cake’, meaning it was only later on that matters of human rights and political reform could be attempted after development had taken off. Shanghai, October 2018. 47. For a helpful discussion of this finding see the Saferworld report, ‘Conflict Prevention in the 21st Century: China and the UK’, February 2016, 7–8. 48. Chinese audience participant at ‘Launch Event of the United Nations and the World Bank Joint Study “Pathways for Peace: Inclusive Approaches to Preventing Violent Conflict” ’, Beijing: China Institute of International Studies, 15 October 2018. 49. Wang, ‘Developmental Peace’, 74–5; He Yin, ‘China Rising and its Changing Policy on UN Peacekeeping’, Cedric de Coning and Mateja Peter (eds), United Nations Peace Operations in a Changing Global Order (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), 270. 50. Xue Lei, ‘China’s Development-Oriented Peacekeeping Strategy in Africa’, in Alden et al., China and Africa, 86. 51. Zhang Chun, ‘China-Africa Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Security’, Alden et al., China and Africa, 132. 52. Interview in Beijing, October 2018. 53. Collier et al., ‘Post-Conflict Risks.’ 54. He Yin, ‘Fazhan heping: Lianheguo weihe jian he zhong de zhongguo fang’an’ [Developmental Peace: China’s Approach to United Nations Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding], Guoji Zhengzhi Yanjiu [International Political Studies], 4, 2017. In what follows I draw from pages 7, and 12–16.

Positioning Development in Human Protection  255 55. Zhou Yuyuan, ‘Feizhou weihe huoban guanxi: Lianheguo weihe gaige yu zhongguo de zuoyong’ [Peacekeeping Partnership in Africa: UN Peacekeeping Reform and the Role of China], Waijiao pinglun [Foreign Affairs Review], 2, 2018: 79–80. 56. Zhang Chun, ‘China-Africa Cooperative Partnership’, 129; Wang Xuejun, ‘Developmental Peace’, 76. 57. Xue Lei, ‘China’s Development-Oriented Peacekeeping Strategy’, 92. 58. Li Dongyan, ‘Zhongguo guoji weihe xingdong: Gainian yu moshi’ [International Peacekeeping Operations: Chinese Concept and Framework] Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi [World Economics and Politics], 4, 2018: 90–105, esp. 104 and 102. In her view, a more expansive Chinese approach would also allow for reinforcement between China’s role in UN peace operations and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. At 102. 59. He Yin, ‘China Rising’, 270, and see in particular his ‘Guifan mian zheng yu hubu’ [Norms Competition and Complementation] in Shijie jingji yu zhengzhi, [World Economics and Politics], April 2014: 105–21. One Chinese interviewee in Shanghai (October 2018) argued that the UN Secretariat is ‘sympathetic to the Chinese pos­ ition’ and critical of Western approaches which are seen as ‘not pragmatic but ideo­ logic­al.’ However, the UN-World Bank publication Pathways for Peace report argues forcefully that economic growth and poverty alleviation are not enough to prevent conflict. See the discussion of this publication in the body of this chapter. 60. In the Xi era, there has been frequent reference in official speeches to the need for consensus rather than confrontational approaches in international relations (see chapter 6 in particular). 61. He Yin, ‘Developmental Peace’, 16–19. 62. Interviews with Chinese scholars in Shanghai and Beijing, October 2018. 63. Email communication with a scholar based in Shanghai, October 2018. 64. Interview in Shanghai, October 2018. 65. Daniel Large, ‘Sudan and South Sudan: a testing ground for Beijing’s peace and se­cur­ity engagement’, Alden et al., China and Africa, 173. 66. Email communication, October 2018. My study has recorded instances of Beijing’s engagement in some forms of mediation in chapters 2, 3, and 5. 67. Shunji Cui and Jia Li, ‘(De)securitizing Frontier Security in China: Beyond the Positive and Negative Debate’, Conflict and Security 46(2), 2011: 144–65. Mencius is quoted at 155; see also 151–58. Their analysis does not take account of the harshly repressive policies that have been undertaken in Xinjiang, and which lately have entered a particularly dark stage and have become the source of condemnatory commentary at the UN Human Rights Council and beyond. (See chapter 6 of this study.) 68. Wang Xuejun, ‘Developmental Peace’, 72–4. 69. Of course, a number of the scholarly responses made in October 2018 were probably influenced by the widespread official campaign to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of China’s ‘Reform and Opening’ policy. 70. He Yin, ‘Guifan mian zheng yu hubu’ [Norms Competition and Complementation], 119. A recent official statement issued by the State Council Information Office is  en­titled ‘China’s governance system impresses foreign political parties’, Xinhua, 22 November 2019. 71. Interview in Shanghai, October 2018.

256  China, the UN, and Human Protection 72. Interview in Beijing, October 2018. Zhou Yuyuan in his 2018 article also introduces a note of caution and states, ‘there is still room for how to establish an effective link between development and security.’ 18. 73. He Yin, ‘Guifan mian zheng yu hubu’ [Norms Competition and Complementation,] 115. See also Bellamy, East Asia’s Other Miracle, chapter 4. 74. See ‘Economist Zhang Weiying slams “China model” that “inevitably leads to confrontation with the West” ’, South China Morning Post, 26 November 2018, at https:// www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/2170447/economist-slams-china-modelinevitably-leads-confrontation-west. 75. Sheena Chestnut Greitens, ‘Domestic Security in China Under Xi Jinping’, China Leadership Monitor, 1 March 2019, at https://www.prcleader.org/greitens. See also Chestnut Greitens, ‘Rethinking China’s coercive capacity: An examination of China’s domestic security spending, 1992–2012’, The China Quarterly, no. 232, December 2017: 1002–25. 76. Interview in Beijing, October 2018. 77. Ian Taylor, The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2011), 96. 78. Taylor, The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, 97. 79. Xi Jinping, ‘Secure a Decisive Victory in Building a Moderately Prosperous Society in all Respects and Strive for the Great Success of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era’, 18 October 2017, p. 9, at http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/download/Xi_Jinping%27s_report_at_19th_CPC_National_Congress.pdf. In conversation with a country diplomat at the UN in New York, March 2019, prominent mention was made of China’s wisdom and what its experiences had to offer to the UN.

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Index Note: Figures are indicated by an italic ‘f ’, following the page number. For the benefit of digital users, indexed terms that span two pages (e.g., 52–53) may, on occasion, appear on only one of those pages. Action for Peacekeeping (A4P)  67, 82–3, 87 Advisory Group of Experts (AGE)  66–7, 82–3 Afghanistan  36, 86, 198 African Union (AU)  65–6, 77, 82–3, 114, 265 China’s support for  35–6, 69, 84–5, 109–10, 122–3, 246 establishment of  29–30, 136 and Libya  146–8 and Sudan  79 al-Assad, Bashar  165–6, 171–2, 174, 177, 180–3 see also Syria, humanitarian access Al Hussein, Zeid Ra’ad  163, 184n.5, 213, 219n.11 Algeria  71–2, 137–9, 143 Alston, Philip  213 see also UN Special Rapporteurs Angola  114, 170 Annan, Kofi  28–9, 79, 135, 165, 167–8, 172, 174, 193–4, 196, 233–5, 259 protection of civilians  99, 101–2 redefinition of state sovereignty  20n.12, 45–6, 101–2, 136–8, 145 see also development-security nexus; sovereignty as responsibility Arab League  146–8, 163–5, 167–8, 172, 174, 177, 179, 181–2 see also Libyan intervention and impact on China; Syria Arab Spring  17, 145–6, 165, 192–3, 204–5, 216–17, 258 see also UN Human Rights Council (HRC); Libyan intervention and impact on China Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)  36–7, 50, 56n.49, 76, 265–6, 275n.28 Australia  152, 158n.50, 168–70, 214 see also Syria, humanitarian access Bachelet, Michelle  214, 221n.47, 226n.87 see also Universal Periodic Review process (UPR); Xinjiang Ban, Ki-moon  37, 65–6, 73, 142, 145–6, 163–4, 178–9, 259 protection of civilians (POC)  99

Responsibility to Protect (R2P)  4–5, 30–1, 133, 139, 151–2, 154 see also Libyan intervention and impact on China; sovereignty as responsibility Bangladesh  113–14, 199–200 see also Myanmar Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995)  105–6, 116–17, 125n.33, 270 Belarus  138, 214, 221n.40, 264 Belgium 171 Belt and Road Forum (2017 and 2019)  36–7, 50, 85–6, 210–11, 229–30 Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)  33–7, 50, 74–6, 85–6, 181–4, 229–30, 265–6 see also Guterres, António; Sustainable Development Goals; Syria, reconstruction and China’s role Bolivia  113–14, 170, 185n.14 Boutros-Ghali, Boutros  4–5, 28–9, 233, 259 Brahimi, Lakhdar  64–5, 165, 172 Brahimi report  64–5, 72, 83, 93n.48, 102, 110, 232, 243, 251n.8 Brazil  42, 138–9, 143, 146–7, 153–4, 167, 184n.7 see also Responsibility while Protecting; Syria BRICS 34, see also Brazil; Russia; India; China; South Africa Burundi  114, 151, 189n.75, 223n.66 C34 Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations  68–9, 104, 265 Cambodia  68–9, 143 Cameron, David  177, see also United Kingdom; Libyan intervention and impact on China; Syria Canada  74, 101–2, 136–7 Capstone review  65, 90n.19 China alignment with Russia at UN  5–6, 41, 63–4, 86, 91n.27, 114–15, 119–21, 139, 146–7, 149–50, 163–4, 167–71, 173, 206–7, 263–4, 268–9, see also Libyan intervention and impact on China

304 Index China (cont.) Commission on Human Rights  29, 191, 194, 197–9, 201, 258 conflict prevention  76–7, 81–3, 118, 236, 242, 246, 268 deployment in UN peace operations  69–70, 81, 104, 109, 259–60 Human Rights Council (HRC)  191–3, 202–6, 216–17 mediation  36, 74–5, 79, 81–3, 88, 109–10, 115–16, 119, 153, 172, 174–5, 180–3, 246–7 sponsorship of UN human rights resolutions 207–9 troop and police contributions to UN peace operations  3, 14, 36–7, 50, 63–4, 69, 71–3, 80–1, 84–5, 89, 99–100, 104–5, 108–9, 112–13, 212, 259–61, 265 use of force  61, 75, 78, 80–1, 86–8, 112–13, 137, 141, 145, 147, 180–3 use of or threat of veto  113–15, 119–21, 150–1, 154, 163–4, 171, 188n.66, 260, see also China and international image view of UN  1–2, 40–1, 261–2 see also EWIPA (Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas); Syria China and international image  2, 9–10, 35, 48–52, 70, 134, 143, 153–4, 191–2, 198–9, 209–10, 212–13, 217, 224n.68, 244, 264 conflict related sexual violence (CRSV)  99–100, 119–22, 263–4 as responsible great power (RGP)  7–8, 11–12, 23–4, 26, 37, 39–40, 72–4, 84, 140, 154, 258–9 Tiananmen 201–3 veto  163–4, 173, 178–81, 183 see also Tiananmen Square bloodshed; international image definition and larger meaning China’s ideological beliefs  2, 5–12, 50–1, 75, 87, 209, 247–8, 257–8 ‘China dream’  7, 44, 48–50 developmental peace  76–7, 88, 242–5, 250, 268 early warning of conflict  83, 118, 153–4, 230, 246, 262 host state consent  61, 64–5, 123, 132–4, 137, 145, 261–2 human protection  43–8, 109–10, 117–18, 261 human rights  191–2, 209, 216–17 human rights defenders  192–3, 206–7, 213, 222n.56, 262–3 human security  100–1, 140–1, 239–40, 258 inclusiveness  76, 83–4, 173, 267–8

preventive diplomacy  76–7, 118, 152, 242 root causes of conflict  76–7, 110–11, 115–16, 118, 122–3, 151, 161n.91, 244, 246, 268 Responsibility to Protect (R2P)  140–1, 145 sovereign equality  4–5, 42, 45–6, 144, 210–11, 257–8 triadic model  3, 228–31, 228f, 240–3, 261 see also civil society and NGOs; ideological beliefs, role of and definition China’s material and social power  2, 7, 9–10, 12, 24–5, 27, 32–7, 49–50, 73–4, 84–5, 89, 191–3, 228, 249, 260–1, 263–4, 271, see also Chinese contributions to and restraints on UN budget Chinese Communist Party (CCP)  1, 11–12, 47, 77, 173, 210, 231, 242 Chinese contributions to and restraints on UN budget  33–4, 73–4, 84, 89, 205–6, 215 Chinese nationals as heads of UN Specialized Agencies  6, 21n.18, 74–5 civil society and NGOs  45, 66, 94n.67, 106–7, 178–9, 244, 267–8 China’s challenge to  76, 83–4, 87–8, 110, 120–1, 217, 243, 245–6 see also China’s ideological beliefs; Xinjiang Côte d’Ivoire  171 conflict prevention  31, 66, 107, 232–3, 236, 238, 266, see also China; Guterres, António; HIPPO (High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations) Cruz report  67, 86–7, 125n.20 Cuba  137–8, 143, 212–13, 221n.46, 222n.54, 223n.66 Dag Hammarskjold principles  64, 75, 108 Darfur  72–3, 79, 88, 94n.68, 108, 139, 241, 260, see also Sudan Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)  31, 35, 158n.50, 193, 212–13, 219n.11, 222n.56, 268–9 Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)  80, 122 Deng Xiaoping  34–6, 47–9, 240–1, 248 Deng, Francis  53n.17, 135–6, 145, 153 development-security nexus  232–7, 240–1, 266–7 developmental peace, see China’s ideological beliefs Djibouti base  85 early warning of conflict  134–5, 142, 230–1, 234, 238, 246, 262, 267–8 see also China’s ideological beliefs East Timor  69, 79, 143, 196, 241–2, 244–5 ECOWAS 110

Index  305 Egypt  114, 118, 137–8, 143, 167–8, 170, 172, 175–6, 190n.101, 203, 205–6, 223n.66 Equatorial Guinea  113–14, 171 Ethiopia  113–14, 170, 254n.46 European states/European Union  199, 214 EWIPA (Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas)  119, 122, 181–2, 262 Force Intervention Brigade, see Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC)  69–70, 84–5 France  41–2, 63–4, 146–7, 166–70, see also P3 Fu Ying  229–30 G20 36–7 G77  3, 34, 100, 265 Gaddafi, Muammar  1–2, 79, 112, 145–9, 167, see also Libyan intervention and impact on China Germany  74, 86, 119–20, 146–7, 167, 171, 175–6, 263–4 global financial crisis (2007–8)  229–30, 266 Global South  12, 27, 34, 265 Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)  147–8, 163–4, 179 Guterres, António  4–5, 24–5, 50, 66–7, 73–5, 82–3, 85–7, 99, 115, 151 and Belt and Road Initiative  50, 74–5, 85–6, 249, 265–6, 269 Hammarskjold, Dag, see Dag Hammarskjold principles He Yafei  42, 49–50 High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO)  65–7, 81–3, 102–3, 107, 110, 232, 243, 251n.8, 266 host state consent, see China’s ideological beliefs; United Nations Hu Jintao  36, 48, 70–1, 91n.29, 240–1, 257–8 Huang Xia  74–5 human protection definition  1–2, 5–6, 29–31 human rights defenders, see China’s ideological beliefs human rights resolutions, see China Human Rights Watch  204 human security  29–30, 101–2, 232–3, 235–6, see also China’s ideological beliefs humanitarian access, see Syria, humanitarian access ideological beliefs, role of and definition  9–12, 23, 26–7 see also China’s ideological beliefs

India  34, 42, 74, 104, 137–8, 143, 146–7, 153–4, 167, 195, 199–200, 265 Indonesia  79, 86, 171, 238, 244–5 International Criminal Court (ICC)  29–32, 79, 102, 108, 120–1, 165, 168–9, 174–5, 234, 244–5, 257 International Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM)  172, 175, see also Syria international image definition and larger meaning  8, 11–12, 26, 40, 51–2, 191, see also China and international image International Monetary Fund (IMF)  48, 77 intervention, see Libyan intervention and impact on China; Responsible Protection; Syria Iran  5–6, 42, 137–8, 165–6, 172, 182, 193, 212–13 Iraq  41, 49, 80, 137, 165, 177, 183, 195 Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)  165, 182–3 Japan  33–4, 45–6, 84, 143, 201, 213–14, 248 Jiang Zemin  36, 48, 91n.29 Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM)  168–72, 180–1, see also Syria Jordan 167–70 Kazakhstan  113–14, 170 Kenya 238 Kigali principles  103–4 Kuwait  167–71, 175–6 Lavrov, Sergey  127n.55 League of Arab States, see Arab League Lebanon  117, 126n.52, 146–7, 167, 172 Li Baodong  112, 147, 176, 180, 211–12, 224n.68, 271 Li Peng  195, 201 Liang Qichao  45–6 liberal order  5–6, 28–9, 31–2, 78, 217, 228, 265, 268 liberal peace  62–3, 76–8, 87–8, 235, 241–7, 250, 268 Libyan intervention and impact on China  1–2, 16–17, 32, 34, 70–1, 79–80, 108, 112, 133–4, 145–50, 169–70, 173, 176–8, 183, 216–17, 258 see also sanctions Like-Minded Group (LMG)  205 Liu Jieyi  175–6 Liu Zhenmin  77, 97n.107 Luxembourg 168–70 Ma Zhaoxu  97n.105 Mali  63–4, 69, 71–2, 81, 87–8, 100, 104–5, 109, 112–13 Mao Zedong  45–7, 121, 247

306 Index mediation  11–12, 66–7, 102, 266–7, see also China, mediation methodological approach  24–8 Morocco  115, 167–8 Myanmar  109–10, 113–14, 151, 182, 191, 193, 212–13, 260, 268–9, see also sanctions National Action Plan (NAP) on Women, Peace and Security  106–7, 117–18 New Horizon Initiative and report  65, 81, 102, 110–11 New Zealand  170, 175–6, 214 North Korea, see Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Obama, Barack  41, 54n.27, 98n.115, 177 Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)  168–9 Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)  113–14, 147, 226n.87 P3  41, 63–4, 103–4, 106–7, 109–10, 163–4, 170, 173, 179, 258, 263–4, see also France; United Kingdom; United States Pakistan  137–8, 143, 157n.30, 168, 199–200, 203, 220n.35 peacekeeping training centres  32, 36, 69–70, 93n.48, 122–3, 259–60 Portugal 167 power definition  25–6 material and social consequences  10, 12, 23–4, 27, 51–2, 229 preventive diplomacy, see China’s ideological beliefs Protection of Civilians and Responsibility to Protect inter-relationship  111–12, 123, 132 Putin, Vladimir  100, 166, 195 Qian Qichen  137 Qu Jiehao  223n.57 Ramos Horta, José  65 Republic of Korea (ROK)  143, 168–9, 223n.60 Responsibility to Protect (R2P): definition 134–5 implementation structure  134, 139, 141–2, 144–5 ‘National Focal Points’  143, 152, 158n.50 see also World Summit Outcome Document (WSOD) Responsibility while Protecting  34, 112, 144, 149 see also Brazil

responsible great power image, see China and international image Responsible Protection  112, 149–50, 177 root causes of conflict  66, 232–3, 266–7, see also China’s ideological beliefs Russia  34, 68, 87–8, 100, 113–14, 118, 127n.55, 137–9, 143, 146–7, 163–6, 168–72, 178–9, 182–4, 195, 263–4 see also China, alignment with Russia at UN Ruan Zongze  37, 144, 149–50, 176–7, 179–81 Rwanda  29–31, 61–2, 101, 103–4, 113, 135–6, 145–6, 196, 235 sanctions  82, 102, 120, 191, 262–3 China after Tiananmen  199, 201 Libya  79, 146 Myanmar 113–14 South Sudan  114–15, 119 Syria  167–8, 170, 172, 175, 182–3 Sarkozy, Nicolas  177 Saudi Arabia  167–8, 172, 179, 190n.101 Sierra Leone  109 Somalia  30–1, 79, 101 South Africa  34, 119–20, 143, 153–4, 160n.72, 167–8, 171, 184n.7 South Korea, see Republic of Korea (ROK) South-South Human Rights Forum  211–12, 263, 271 South Sudan  36, 64, 69–71, 79, 81, 90n.7, 96n.92, 100, 104–5, 109, 112–15, 117, 119, 122, 126n.52, 127n.68, 241, 254n.43, see also sanctions, South Sudan; Sudan sovereign equality  5, 41, 46, 133, 140–1, 144, 179–80, 182–3, 194, 216–17, see also China’s ideological beliefs sovereignty as responsibility  4–5, 135–6, 140–1, 145, 234 Spain  170, 175–6 Srebrenica  61–2, 101 Sri Lanka  31, 191, 260 Sudan  72, 79, 108–10, 126n.46, 135–6, 154n.3, 241, 260, see also Darfur; South Sudan Sun Yatsen  46 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)  3–4, 7, 33, 56n.59, 74–5, 85–6, 88, 116–17, 122–3, 207, 210, 212, 229–30, 237–8, 249, 265–6, 268–9, see also Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Sweden 169–70 Syria China’s position on use of chemical weapons  170–2, 174–5, 180–1

Index  307 civilian casualties and use of chemical weapons  163, 165–6, 168–9, 178–9 humanitarian access  169–72, 183 reconstruction and China’s role  181–4, 189n.92 UN Supervision Mission  168 see also Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM); sanctions Tang Jiaxuan  45–6 Tiananmen Square bloodshed  147, 191–3, 195, 199–200, 203, 215–16, see also China and international image; sanctions Tibet  143–4, 159n.52, 214, 221n.47 Timor-Leste, see East Timor triadic model (development-strong state-social stability), see China’s ideological beliefs, triadic model Trump, Donald J.  5–6, 20n.15, 50–1, 63–4, 84, 122, 229, 265 Turkey 165–6 Uighurs, see Xinjiang United Nations Charter  4–5, 41, 43, 45–6, 58n.79, 61–2, 72–3, 99, 133–5, 167–8, 173–4, 179–80, 182–3, 191, 193–4, 199, 217, 234–5, 259, 270–1 General Assembly voting relevant to China  150–1, 163–4, 172, 206–7, 263, 268–9 host state consent  78–80, 102–3, 132–4, 145–6, 154n.3, 169–70, 257 see also China’s ideological beliefs human rights budget  29, 87–8, 215, 225n.81 institutional design  23–4, 28–9, 40, 67, 74 Peacebuilding Architecture (PBA)  65–6, 77, 239 three-pillar structure  24–5, 234–5, 238, 249–50 UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), see Afghanistan UN-AU Hybrid Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), see Sudan UN-China Peace and Development Trust Fund (PDTF)  7, 37, 67, 84–7, 97n.103 UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR) establishment and demise  191, 194–6, 199 UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)  38–9, 214, 269 UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)  6, 33, 74–5, 85, 88 UN Department of Field Support (DFS)  65, 102–4, 112 UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)  29, 65, 69, 80, 102–4, 112

UN Department for Political Affairs (DPA)  29, 117 UN Development Programme (UNDP)  36–7, 117, 235–6 UN Fourth World Conference on Women 1995 105–6 UN Human Rights Council (HRC)  5–6, 13, 31, 34, 38–9, 118, 122–3, 145–6, 163, 191 establishment of  29, 137, 202–3 see also UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR) UN Informal Expert Group on Protection of Civilians  110–11, 262 UN Informal Expert Group on Women, Peace and Security  107, 118–20, 262 UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET), see East Timor UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), see Sierra Leone UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), see South Sudan UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), see Mali UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)  29, 102, 112 UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights  29, 163, 168–9, 191, 194, 204, 208, 210, 212–16, 246–7, 262, 269, see also Al Hussein, Zeid Ra’ad; Bachelet, Michelle UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), see Democratic Republic of the Congo UN Secretaries-General, see Annan, Kofi; Ban, Ki-moon; Boutros-Ghali, Boutros; Guterres, António; Hammarskjold, Dag UN Special Rapporteurs  119, 191, 194–5, 198, 200, 203, 206–7, 212–15 UN Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS), see Syria UN Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG)  68–9 UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), see Cambodia UN-Women  37, 116–18, 129n.89 United Kingdom  113–15, 146–7, 165, 167–9, 214, see also P3 United States  5–6, 31, 33–4, 41, 49–51, 63–4, 69, 75–6, 86, 119–20, 137–8, 144, 165, 175–6, 208–9, 213, 229, 257–8, 265, 269, see also P3 Universal Periodic Review process (UPR)  202–6, 209, 213, 216, 249, 263 establishment of  197

308 Index Universal Rights Group  222n.51, 223n.62 use of force  63–5, 102–4, 107–8, 149, see also China’s ideological beliefs use or threat of veto, see China

World Bank  33, 48, 77, 163, 233–8, 241–3, 266–7 World Summit Outcome Document (WSOD)  29, 65, 111–12, 134–5, 137–43, 145, 150–1, 270

Venezuela  114, 137–8, 170, 193

Xi Jinping  35–9, 42, 47–50, 69–70, 73–4, 84–6, 88, 116–17, 207–8, 210–12, 216–17, 229–30, 240–1, 250, 258 Xie Xiaoyan  172, 181–2 Xinjiang  38–9, 84, 143–4, 173, 191–3, 214, 248–9, 264, 269

Wang Guangya  79, 140–1 Wang Min  113, 140–1, 175, 180, 262–3 Wang Xuexian  65, 91n.21 Wang Yi  73, 87, 211–12, 217 Wang Yingfan  110 Westphalian order  45–6, 75–6, 108, 243, 259, 270–1 Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda  14–15, 19n.5, 29–30, 51–2, 99–100, 105–8, 115–21, 261 global study  107 UN Resolution 1325  65, 99–100, 105–7

Yang Jiechi  37–8, 45, 266 Yao Shaojun  151, 181–2, 206, 210 Yu Jianhua  210 Yugoslavia (former)  30–1, 177, 196 Zhang Jun  175–6 Zimbabwe  191, 195, 219n.11