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date: 21 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines China’s major concerns during the various phases of R2P’s development and determines which of Beijing’s positions are most likely to influence its efforts to shape the future trajectory of R2P. First, it discusses R2P’s normative characteristics to demonstrate how these have facilitated the Chinese government’s ability to play a shaping role. Next, it illustrates China’s preferences in the definition and development of R2P, before explaining these preferences. The chapter’s main argument is that Beijing’s beliefs in the primacy of the state have led it to promote the notion that humanitarian outcomes and peaceful state–society relations are best realized through state-led economic development and especially through the building of a state’s infrastructural capacity. These beliefs are sufficiently strong to sustain an approach to R2P that will overwhelmingly focus attention on economic, longer-term forms of preventive action rather than on the building of human rights-related institutions.

Keywords: China, responsibility to protect, economic development, paternalism, state primacy, humanitarian outcomes

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