The Chinese Peacebuilding Script: A Pragmatic Contestation of the Liberal International Order
Albert Cullell Cano
Chinese peacebuilding has become crucial considering China’s dismissal of its low-key foreign policy in favour of a more assertive stance since President Xi’s accession to power. This study critically builds on the scholarship of SCRIPTS and undertakes a within-case analysis of China’s peacebuilding in Myanmar from 2012 to 2021, examining its policies and frames. Thus, the Chinese peacebuilding script is reconstructed to be compared with the liberal script and gauge typology and degree of contestation. By applying qualitative content and discourse analyses on archival data from the Chinese government and the Communist Party of China, the study finds that the Chinese peacebuilding script, contrary to expectations, qualifies as neither internal nor external contestation of the liberal script but rather as in-between pragmatic contestation – for China both enforces and contests the liberal international order in negotiating a more influential position amidst an in- creasingly multipolar world.