pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

PacNet #7 – China’s Expanding Role in Peacekeeping

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has increased its participation in a broadening array of multilateral security arrangements in recent years. One of the most high-profile aspects of this trend is the dramatic expansion in Chinese peacekeeping deployments (of civilian police, military observers, engineering battalions, and medical units) to UN operations: since 2000, when China deployed fewer than 100 peacekeepers, there has been a remarkable 20-fold increase in its contributions. As of December 2008, China was the 14th largest contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, providing more troops, police, and observers to UN operations than three other permanent members of the UN Security Council – Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Nearly three-quarters of China’s contributions are concentrated in Africa, and the Chinese government plans new and even more significant increases to its contributions in such strife-torn regions as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Liberia, and Sudan.