China’s Evolving Attitudes and Approaches toward UN Collective Security

  • Jianwei Wang
Part of the Asia Today book series (ASIAT)


Since the 1970s, China’s perceptual and behavioral orientations toward UN multilateralism in general and collective security in particular have experienced sea changes—from initially viewing UN collective security as unwanted interference in another country’s affairs and as a manifestation of Western imperialism hence illegitimate to a great extent to becoming more tolerant but looking on unconcerned at the collective security measures of the UN to not just accepting the legitimacy of UN collective security measures, but also participating selectively in these operations. With China’s increasing involvement in UN multilateralism and collective security, Beijing’s views on national sovereignty, the legitimacy of use of force, and the role of UN in global order and governance, the boundary between international and intranational conflicts has been evolving more toward international norms. While initially Beijing’s changing orientation toward UN collective security might have been largely dictated by circumstances and practical necessity, in the long run, its UN multilateral diplomacy is not just an ad hoc or short-term reaction to outside stimulus. It does not merely serve the traditional function of external balancing or utility generating, but also indicates Beijing’s growing interest in establishing a less instrumental and more rule- and norm-based international order.


Foreign Policy Security Council Chinese Leader Major Power International Peace 
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Copyright information

© G. John Ikenberry, Wang Jisi, and Zhu Feng 2015

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  • Jianwei Wang

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