China and the Responsibility to Protect

  • Catherine JonesEmail author


In 2001, the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) published a report which attempted to establish a framework for consistently responding to mass atrocity crimes. The report from the ICISS then evolved into the ‘norm’ of the Responsibility to Protect, as agreed in the World Summit Outcome document in 2005. This ‘norm’ has been considered a major reframing of the limits of sovereignty and therefore the application of non-intervention. Hence, it is seen as a major challenge to China’s respect for sovereignty and non-interference policy. This then presents a crucial case for exploring whether—in an instance China would be expected to challenge a norm—China presents a challenge to this liberal interpretation of the sovereignty norm.This chapter sets out the argument that China is a key player in the interpretation and implementation of the concept of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P). It makes two arguments. First, that China has used ad hoc objection in its approach to the implementation of the norm. In doing this, it has used the tools of populations (including ASEAN, NAM, BRICS and the G77). The result has been that the progress of the concept of R2P has been frustrated. The second argument is that China has been an unsuccessful norm entrepreneur.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of WarwickCoventryUK

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