MERICS Members Event: China as a peacemaker? Assessing Beijing's role in conflict mediation
China has tried to position itself as a credible international mediator by brokering the recent agreement for Saudi Arabia and Iran to restore their diplomatic relations. Over the last weeks, Beijing has also offered to mediate in the Israel-Palestine conflict and has reemphasized its wish to facilitate talks between Russia and Ukraine, including by sending Special Envoy for Eurasian Affairs, Li Hui, to Kyiv and other European capitals. Since 2018, China has mediated or offered to mediate in at least eight conflicts, including in Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa. Beijing’s current mediation push reflects its geopolitical competition with the United States and its ambition to expand its global influence at the expense of the West.
MERICS lead analyst Helena Legarda and guest experts Ilaria Carrozza and Jonathan Fulton shared their insights on key questions facing policy makers and companies in the months to come: What are the prospects for Beijing playing a constructive role as a mediator between Ukraine and Russia, or in any other conflicts? What role did Beijing play in the Iran-Saudi Arabia deal? How do China’s mediation activities in the Horn of Africa relate to the Global Security Initiative and Beijing’s broader security policy objectives?
- Helena Legarda, Lead Analyst, MERICS
- Ilaria Carrozza, Senior Researcher, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
- Jonathan Fulton, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Bernhard Bartsch, Director External Relations, MERICS
The event featured the most important findings from our MERICS China Security and Risk Tracker from May 31.
Please note that this online event was part of our portfolio for MERICS Members and key stakeholders.