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China completes registration of 8,000-strong UN peacekeeping force, defence ministry says


China is set to play a bigger role in United Nations peacekeeping missions while also providing its military with real-life training opportunities after completing the registration of 8,000 troops last week, analysts said. China’s defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said on Thursday, as required, the standby peacekeeping force would “conduct task-specific and adaptive training in accordance with the UN training standards”. China’s President Xi Jinping promised to make 8,000 troops available to the UN in 2015, at which time he also offered to help train 2,000 peacekeepers from other countries, provide 100 million dollar in military aid to the African Union, and deploy more engineering, transport and medical personnel. The increased numbers of military troops is indicative of Beijing’s desire to play a bigger role in global policing. Miwa Hirono, a professor of Chinese international relations at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, said the composition of the new peacekeeping force represented a “comprehensive contribution that reflects the current challenges peacekeepers have”. “Maintaining peace and security in conflict areas has become a really important challenge for China, because it has a lot of assets and people in those places”, Hirono said. The government has frequently cited the peacekeeping force as an example of how “China is bearing the international responsibilities of a great power”.

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