When African nations began urging the deployment of peacekeepers to Somalia in June to prop up its embattled government, an unlikely nation stepped forward to support their call for action: China, which had long been wary of such interventions by the United Nations.
China’s emergence as an economic superpower has forced the government to rethink some of its foreign policy priorities, and it is quietly extending its influence on the world stage through the support of international peacekeeping operations.
China is now the 13th-largest contributor of U.N. peacekeepers, providing 1,648 troops, police and military observers to 10 nations, mostly in African countries, including Congo, Liberia and southern Sudan. But its activities reach well beyond Africa. [Full Text]