Full Text: China's Armed Forces: 30 Years of UN Peacekeeping Operations

White Paper
China's State Council Information Office on Sept. 18 released a white paper titled "China's Armed Forces: 30 Years of UN Peacekeeping Operations."

XinhuaUpdated: September 18, 2020

IV. Active Efforts for Greater International Cooperation

World peace is the responsibility of all countries and peacekeeping calls for expanding multilateral cooperation. China's armed forces have cooperated on peacekeeping with over 90 countries and 10 international and regional organizations. They have enhanced mutual understanding, shared experience, extended practical cooperation, strengthened bilateral and multilateral relations, and promoted peacekeeping capability through exchange of visits, expert discussions, joint exercises and training, and personnel training.

1. Strengthening Strategic Communication to Build Consensus on Peacekeeping

Better strategic communication with the UN leadership is an important means to move the UNPKOs forward. Since 2012, President Xi Jinping has had 11 meetings with UN Secretary-Generals, proposed Chinese ideas and Chinese solutions for world peace and development on multiple international occasions, and reiterated China's support for the UNPKOs. In 2015, President Xi Jinping attended the Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping at UNHQ and presented proposals that the basic principles of peacekeeping should be strictly followed, the peacekeeping system needs to be improved, rapid response needs to be enhanced, and greater support and help should be given to Africa. Accordingly, China's armed forces are resolved to implement the consensus reached by the leaders. They have strengthened communication with relevant UN agencies, attended several sessions of the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial and the UN Chiefs of Defense Conference, and actively promoted peacekeeping cooperation.

China's armed forces are committed to strengthening bilateral and multilateral communication for better understanding and mutual trust. They have carried out active peacekeeping cooperation with the militaries of countries including Russia, Pakistan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, France, Germany, the UK, and the US. Through reciprocal visits, China's armed forces and their foreign counterparts have strengthened communication on policies, made cooperation plans, and advanced friendly state-to-state and military-to-military relations. In May 2010, the first China-US consultation on the UNPKOs was held in Beijing. In April 2015, the defense ministers of China and Vietnam signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on peacekeeping cooperation between the two ministries in Beijing. That same year, China conducted the first BRICS consultation on the UNPKOs with Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa. In February 2017, the first China-UK dialogue on peacekeeping operations was held in the UK. In April 2018, military advisers of Russia, France, the UK and the US to the UN Military Staff Committee visited China and exchanged extensive views on the UNPKOs with the Chinese side. In May, the defense ministries of China and Pakistan signed a protocol on policy collaboration with regard to the UNPKOs. In October, the German defense minister visited the Training Base of the Peacekeeping Affairs Center of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense (MND), and a peacekeeping delegation from the Chinese MND visited the German Armed Forces United Nations Training Centre.

2. Contributing Chinese Wisdom and Sharing Experience

Sharing experience and learning from each other is an effective approach to improving the UNPKOs. China's armed forces have actively conducted international exchanges on peacekeeping. The PLA sent delegations to visit the peacekeeping training facilities of countries including Argentina, Finland and Germany, and received more than 180 visits from other countries and international organizations including the UN and the AU. China has hosted over ten international events on peacekeeping, including the Sino-UK Seminar on Peacekeeping Operations, the International Seminar on Challenges of Peace Operations -- Into the 21st Century, the China-ASEAN Seminar on Peacekeeping Operations, and the 2009 Beijing International Symposium on UN Peacekeeping Operations. Meanwhile, Chinese peacekeeping troops in Mali, Sudan, South Sudan, the DRC, Liberia, and Lebanon have exchanged experience with their counterparts from France, Senegal and Spain.

China's armed forces have participated extensively in UN peacekeeping consultations and policy-making, and provided input on the UNPKOs. They have played a dynamic role in the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations of the UN General Assembly and the TCC Contingent-Owned Equipment (COE) Working Group, invited officials from the UN High-level Independent Panel on Peace Operations and the UN Security Council to China, and offered suggestions on reforming UN peacekeeping, raising its effectiveness, and ensuring the safety and security of peacekeepers. Expert meetings have been hosted by China to draft and review documents including the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions Military Engineer Unit Manual and the Military Peacekeeping-Intelligence Handbook, and Chinese experts have been sent to participate in updating the manuals of UN peacekeeping infantry, force protection, aviation, transport, medical support units and civil-military cooperation.

3. Extending Cooperation on Joint Exercises and Training to Build Capability

Joint exercises and training are important as a means of improving the UN's peacekeeping capability and its talent pool. To learn from each other and improve skills, China's armed forces have conducted various peacekeeping exercises and training with the UN, and with relevant countries and regional organizations. In June and July 2009, China and Mongolia held a joint exercise codenamed Peacekeeping Mission-2009 in Beijing. In addition, China's armed forces have sent military personnel to participate in multilateral engagements including the ADMM-Plus Experts' Working Group Table-Top Exercise on Peacekeeping Operations in the Philippines in February 2014, the Khan Quest multinational peacekeeping exercises in Mongolia from 2015 to 2019, the ADMM-Plus Experts' Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations and Humanitarian Mine Action field training exercises in India in March 2016 and in Indonesia in September 2019, peacekeeping table-top exercises in Thailand in May 2016 and May 2018, and the multinational computer-assisted command-post exercise Viking 18 in Brazil in April 2018.

China's armed forces established a specialized peacekeeping training institution in June 2009. Since then, the PLA has run over 20 international training programs for UN peacekeepers, including the UN Military Observers Course, the UN Staff Officers Course, the UN Peacekeeping Training of Trainers Course for Francophone Countries, and the UN Senior National Planners Course. The PLA has also invited UN experts and senior instructors from other countries for pre-deployment training of Chinese peacekeeping troops and military professionals, and sent instructors to assist peacekeeping training in countries including Australia, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Thailand, and Vietnam. More than 100 PLA officers have attended courses or observed exercises hosted by the UN or other TCCs.

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