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Protecting China’s Overseas Interests: The Slow Shift away from Non-interference
Mathieu Duchâtel, Oliver Bräuner and Zhou Hang
SIPRI Policy Paper No. 41
ISBN 978-91-85114-85-6

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Non-interference is one of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence that is core to China’s foreign policy and to its self-image. But in a pragmatic and incremental adaptation to its globalizing economic and security interests, Chinese foreign policy is slowly shifting away from a strict interpretation of this principle. However, the debate on China’s overseas interests and noninterference is far from over. There is still a degree of uncertainty regarding whether China will continue on the path of pragmatic adaptation within the non-interference framework, and the degree of change in concrete policy outcomes that such an evolution would entail.

The authors show that the possibility of a dramatic policy change cannot be ruled out, as dramatic and unforeseen events could precipitate change. China’s foreign policy could also strictly remain within the boundaries of non-interference. Its ultimate strategic choice will certainly have far-reaching effects on global governance and international security.


1. Introduction
2. Chinese debates on non-interference
3. Protecting China’s energy interests overseas
4. Protecting Chinese nationals overseas
5. Conclusions

About the authors

Dr Mathieu Duchâtel (France) is head of SIPRI’s China and Global Security Project and is SIPRI’s representative in Beijing. His research interests include China’s foreign and security policies in North East Asia and Europe–China relations.

Oliver Bräuner (Germany) is a Researcher with SIPRI’s China and Global Security Project. His research interests include China–EU security relations and the protection of Chinese citizens in the Middle East.

Zhou Hang (China) is a Researcher with SIPRI’s China and Global Security Project. His research interests include Africa–China relations and maritime security.

Publisher: SIPRI
ISBN 978-91-85114-85-6
59 pp.
June 2014
Price: €7.50 per copy plus €5 shipping and handling per order


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