Lieutenant General Chander Prakash writes: China and the United Nations have started working further towards establishing a Chinese peacekeeping standby force. To make this a reality a working group from the Peacekeeping Office of China’s Defense Ministry paid a visit to the UN headquarters from 20 to 24 June 2016. China has currently deployed more than 3,000 peacekeepers to UN peacekeeping missions worldwide and is the largest troop contributor among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Please see the following link:-
UN peacekeeping has now become a key area of Chinese engagement. China ranks eighth in the number of police and troop contributions to UN peacekeeping operations, but its ranking is poised to rise following a pledge last year to build a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops. According to the UN statistics, China’s troop and police contributions to UN peacekeeping missions rose to 3,079 in 2015, up from just over 2,000 in 2010. The vast majority of the increase in numbers has been in Africa.
China is also the sixth-largest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping missions from 2013 to 2015. Beijing has said it would set aside part of a new US $1 billion peace-and-development fund for peacekeeping missions.
Under Chinese President Xi Jinping, the PLA has shifted from contributing non-combat personnel like engineers and medics to infantry and other combat units in part as a way to get the soldiers more experience with real-life combat situations. This is also being done with a view to protect Chinese economic interests in the trouble spots of the world. However, this comes with increased risks. A total of 18 Chinese nationals have been killed while on UN peacekeeping missions. This number includes four who were killed in the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010 and the Chinese peacekeepers who have been recently killed in Mali and South Sudan.