19 December 2008
This report explores in detail China's position on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and a range of policy issues relating to R2P to highlight China's firm, but cautious, support for the principle. China has twice endorsed R2P at the UN, first at the World Summit in 2005 and later in Security Council Resolution 1674. Since then, China has clearly and consistently affirmed the R2P principle and issued corresponding statements in favor of bolstering the UNs capacity to avert mass atrocity. It is important to note, however, that China remains persistently averse to non-consensual force and is reticent to apply sanctions, particularly when these measures are not fully backed by relevant regional organisations. Despite these reservations, China is not altogether opposed to the use of force with a civilian protection mandate. China acknowledges that force may be a necessary last resort to protect populations from mass atrocities, provided that the Security Council is the authorising body and troops are deployed after the consent of the host state has been secured. This report locates China's policy preferences on R2PR2P related initiatives within the four programmatic dimensions for translating R2P from principle to practice identified by the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser apacity-building and rebuilding, early warning and assessment, timely and decisive response, and collaboration with regional and subregional arrangements.