Blue Berets Under the Red Flag. China in the Peacekeeping System

Authors:

  • Jerker Hellström

Publish date: 2009-06-12

Report number: FOI-R--2772--SE

Pages: 72

Written in: English

Keywords:

  • China
  • Africa
  • USA
  • United Nations
  • Taiwan
  • peacekeeping operations
  • principles of sovereignty and non-interference

Abstract

Despite the fact that China has been one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council since 1971, the country is a relatively new actor in UN peacekeeping operations. During its first ten years as a UN member, China held a sceptical attitude towards peace operations and refrained from voting on such resolutions until the 1980s. China eventually developed a more pragmatic and less ideological attitude towards the UN, and began to play an increasingly active role in security issues. Although the first Chinese UN observers were deployed already in the early 1990s, the major change in China´s deployment pattern has taken place in the past decade. Between 2000 and 2009, the number of Chinese participants in UN forces increased from less than 100 to over 2,000. This study illustrates the political, strategic and economic factors that form the basis of China's increasing support of UN peacekeeping operations. Moreover, it examines how these circumstances may influence developments in the future.