Photo credit: Daniel Vegel/SPP
Photo credit: Daniel Vegel/SPP


As the world's second largest economy, China wields enormous political and economic influence. China is a major player on matters relating to global security. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, with a growing role in UN peacekeeping operations, and a party of the Arms Trade Treaty since 2020. 

Globally, China has an increasing share of the global arms market and a substantial infrastructure project (known as the Belt and Road Initiative) that spans over 152 countries, including conflict-affected parts of the world. In addition, China has in recent years unveiled a few new key policy instruments, such as the Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative, to strengthen its role in the global governance arena. 

Our work

Saferworld has been working on China-related initiatives since 2004. Together with Chinese official institutions, research institutes, scholars and businesses, we work to ensure that China's engagement in conflict-affected contexts makes positive contributions towards conflict prevention and peacebuilding by putting the communities living in those contexts first.

Our work focuses on two main themes:

“The future of China’s Belt & Road Initiative depends on whether it will truly create equitable and inclusive benefits, especially in conflict-prone contexts. To do so, businesses need to understand national contexts better, become more conflict-sensitive in their practices and adopt a people-centric engagement approach.”

Leon Yu Liang, Saferworld’s Beijing Operations Manager

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