This chapter addresses a central contradiction in China’s approach toward R2P, wherein China has repeatedly endorsed the R2P norm while also persistently objecting to or blocking R2P implementation at the UN. To explain this paradox, the chapter explores the arguments Chinese foreign policy actors put forward to critique R2P and contest its implementation. It demonstrates that the most prominent and vehement arguments against R2P made by China’s foreign policy elite are often based in pragmatic and prudential concerns rather than a strident defense of sovereignty. Moreover, at the same time as China has resisted response measures intended to uphold R2P at the UN, in recent years Beijing has taken proactive and unprecedented steps to address R2P crises overseas. Based on this analysis, the chapter offers a nuanced challenge to existing studies, which view China’s posture toward R2P as a form of norm containment or rejectionism. Instead, China appears to be enacting its distinctly ‘minimalist’ understanding of R2P, and promoting an alternative pathway to achieving R2P's aim of ending atrocity crimes that nevertheless veers from the liberal forms of justice, human rights accountability and intervention often associated with R2P.