China says 8,000-strong UN peacekeeping standby force ready
BEIJING (AP) — China says it has assembled a standby force of thousands of United Nations peacekeepers, furthering its leading role in the global body’s efforts to tamp down conflicts worldwide.
Defense Ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang told reporters Thursday that the 8,000-member force had passed an assessment last month approved by U.N. Undersecretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix. That fulfills a pledge made at the U.N. three years ago by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
China provides the most peacekeepers of any permanent U.N. Security Council member and is the second-largest contributor to the operations’ multibillion dollar budget, at slightly over 10 percent.
Ren says China has also trained more than 1,500 peacekeepers from more than a dozen countries.
The U.N. currently runs 15 peacekeeping missions, the bulk of them in Africa.