Handbooks of Research on Contemporary China series
Edited by Carla P. Freeman
Chapter 11: China’s role in UN peacekeeping operations
Once a strident critic of international peacekeeping, China is today an important player in the enterprise – as of December 2013, contributing 2,078 peacekeepers to ten UN peacekeeping operations. At the time of writing, China’s twelfth peacekeeping engineering detachment to South Sudan has been formally established and will be sent to the crisis-ridden African country in mid-March 2014. Observers trace in China’s stance an attitudinal trajectory: from outright rejection of peacekeeping in the 1970s, through gradual shifts in the 1980s and 1990s toward acceptance of UN peacekeeping operations, to active, if cautious, engagement from 1999 onward. Indeed, until 1989, China had no peacekeeping forces; since the early 2000s, however, the deployment of Chinese uniformed personnel to UN peacekeeping operations has increased twenty-fold.
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