In the past decade China's engagement with UN peacekeeping has intensified. In particular, Beijing has supported and participated in peace operations that were not fully compatible with the consensual, impartial, and non-coercive models of peacekeeping traditionally employed by the United Nations. China's endorsement of offensive and intrusive missions is not inconsequential, given that it clashes with its professed adherence to rigid interpretations of the principles of sovereignty, non-intervention, and the non-use of force in international relations. This article suggests that to make sense of China's involvement in unconventional peacekeeping operations one must examine the broader process of foreign policy recalibration that is redefining the interests and priorities of the country as a new great power. Furthermore, by examining China's ambivalent approach to the principles that have traditionally defined the legal framework of UN peacekeeping, this article highlights the opportunities and challenges that China will face as a provider of international security.