UN Peacekeeping Operations and China’s Participation in the Time of Great Changes

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UN Peacekeeping Operations and Chinas Participation in the Time of Great Changes


JIANG Zhenxi


The UN peacekeeping operations are authorized, supported and commanded by the UN. It is an important means to maintain world peace and security.


Since 1948, the UN has established more than 70 peacekeeping missions in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. More than 1 million peacekeeping personnel from over 120 countries have participated in the peacekeeping operations, of which more than 3,500 have sacrificed their lives. At present, there are still 120,000 peacekeepers in 14 missions.


The UN peacekeeping operation has gone through repeated reforms. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the UN peacekeeping operations have undergone rapid development. The scale of operations and the number of peacekeepers have greatly increased:

1. Peacekeeping operations are mainly deployed in Africa.

2. Protection of civilians becomes the most important mandate.

3. The mandates of peacekeeping operations have expanded with maintaining stability as the central task.


The UN peacekeeping operation has been changed into “peace operation”, which includes “peacekeeping”, “conflict prevention”,peacebuildingand etc. This is why 14 peacekeeping operations are deployed as well as 36 political missions and peacebuilding offices in different regions and countries.


The UN peacekeeping operations play an important role in maintaining world peace and security. However, there also confronts many challenges, including insufficient resources, over-task and slow response. Therefore, it is necessary to re-build the peacekeeping forces and enhance their capacity.


Over the years, the UN peacekeeping operations have gone through a constant process of reforms and many theories and measures have been put forward in this regard. In 2017, Secretary-General António Guterres put forward his concept of reform on the UN peace operations, including:

1. Emphasizing political mediation;

2. Highlighting the role of conflict prevention;

3. Strengthening cooperation with other international organizations and regional countries;

4. Increasing the role of women in peacekeeping operations.


As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has been active in the participation of UN peacekeeping operations. Since 1990, more than 30,000 Chinese peacekeeping personnel have participated in more than 20 peacekeeping missions. At present, China has over 2,000 peacekeepers in 10 peacekeeping missions. In 2017, China’s scale of peacekeeping assessments is 10.2% of the total UN peacekeeping budget, ranking second in the world.


On September 28, 2015, President Xi Jinping addressed the Leaders Summit on Peacekeeping in the UN and announced a series of important measures that China would take to support the UN peacekeeping operations, and the Chinese government has been actively fulfilling this solemn commitment. China has completed the registration of the peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops and dispatched a helicopter squad to UNAMID (Darfur). In the future, China will play a more active and constructive role in UN peacekeeping operations.


2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the inception of the UN peacekeeping operation. The practice of 70 years has shown that the UN peacekeeping operation is a long-term cause and will continue to be an important means to maintain world peace and security. As such, the UN and the international community should further strengthen cooperation to promote the sustainable and healthy development of peacekeeping operations.

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