In international climate change negotiations, China’s role is an issue of perennial concern. In particular, the lack of quantitative, absolute emissions commitments from China has been the focus. In line with changing domestic and international contexts, China is recalibrating its stance and strategy. Its participation in international climate change negotiations has evolved from playing a peripheral role to gradually moving to the centre. This article examines China’s stance and role in international climate change negotiations from a historical perspective. In so doing, the article discusses the evolution of international climate negotiations and China’s stance in the lead-up to and at the Paris conference. The focus is now turning to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The article discusses post-Paris issues in the international context and in particular in China’s context. These affect the post Paris negotiations and hold the key to achieving desired outcomes.