China says it has assembled a standby force of thousands of United Nations peacekeepers, furthering its leading role in the global body’s efforts to tamp down conflicts worldwide. Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiagn told reporters Thursday that the 8,000-member force had passed an assessment last month approved by UN Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix.
That fulfils a pledge made at the UN three years ago by Chinese President Xi Jinping. China provides the most peacekeepers of any permanent UN Security Council member and is the second-largest contributor to the operations’ multi-billion dollar budget, at slightly over 10 per cent.
Ren says China has also trained more than 1,500 peacekeepers from more than a dozen countries. The UN currently runs 15 peacekeeping missions, the bulk of them in Africa.