For the Chinese leadership, defence of a 'thick' notion of sovereignty serves to enhance its legitimacy, deflect criticism of its domestic policies and to resist outside involvement in the Taiwan issue. Yet, since the People's Republic initially opened up in the 1970s, China's strict sovereign prerogatives have gradually eroded. Today, the nexus where defence of Chinese sovereignty meets the imperative of engaging the outside world defines both the limits and the possibilities of enmeshing China within international society. The challenge for the international community is to understand the dynamics of China's sovereignty-integration nexus and to identify policies that will strengthen Beijing's commitment to international peace and stability. In this regard, China's participation in UN peacekeeping operations is often overlooked as an area of interest.