China, UN Peacekeeping, and Public Diplomacy

The Chinese, following their stated plan to do so, continue on their path of engaging the world through peacekeeping. Through participation in UN peacekeeping operations, the Chinese expose their military to different parts of the world, allow others to meet them, and invariably share some culture through engagement with civilians and military alike. It would be a clever move it wasn’t such a well-known option.

From the International Herald Tribune back in September 06:

BEIJING Prime Minister Wen Jiabao confirmed on Monday that his country would increase its UN peacekeeping presence in Lebanon to 1,000 troops, raising China’s profile in the Middle East and bolstering ties with Europe.

Wen recently discussed China’s contribution to United Nations forces in Lebanon with European leaders gathered in Helsinki, but until now China had not publicly specified numbers.

“China has decided to increase its peacekeeping force in Lebanon to 1,000,” Wen said at a joint news conference in Beijing with Prime Minister Romano Prodi of Italy.

“China is very concerned about the situation in Lebanon and hopes it can be fundamentally resolved,” Wen said.

China had contributed 187 troops to the previous, 1,990-strong peacekeeping force in Lebanon, according to the United Nations

[This post has lingered in the draft folder for the last three months…. it’s about time it was published.]