This chapter briefly introduces China's political history from the perspective of state responsibility. It examines China's identity, values, interests and policies within a historical continuum. The chapter succinctly reviews how China's central government has constructed notions of responsibility over time and analyses how those notions have guided political practices in China. Maoist China resisted both formal and informal international organisations, which it regarded as 'the creations of either the superpowers or the Western capitalist camp'. In rejecting longstanding ideas of human–nature relationships based on traditional neo-Confucianism, Maoist society pursued social modernisation focused on heavy industry, forced industrialisation and central planning. In light of China's status as a developing country, Zhao Qizheng, a former minister of the State Council Information Office of China, even maintained that the Chinese state's 'first and foremost responsibility is to develop its economy to give the Chinese people a better life'.