China’s spectacular economic growth over the past decades has given rise to a more confident and proactive China in global governance. China is now an institutionbuilder, with new Chinese-led institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank designed to cement Beijing’s central role in global economic governance. What, then, are the potential implications of a slowing economy for China’s institutional power and global governance role? This article locates China’s economic growth and slowdown in broader discussions about China’s global position and questions about responsibility, order and governance. It argues that China’s economic slowdown will not result in a drastic impact on Beijing’s institutional power as there are key material, historical and ideational drivers at play here. Unless China is confronted with the prospect of an economic collapse, it will continue to pursue an active institutional role, speak the rhetoric of South–South solidarity with emerging economies and seek a leadership role in reforming global economic governance, even with a slowing economy, because this is intrinsically tied to its identity and how China now positions itself in an evolving global order.