17 March 2007

Tom Barnett pinched a graph from Stratfor (h/t Danger Room) showing China’s steady upward contributions to UN peacekeeping, now totalling 1,814 combined troops, police officers and observers. Back in 2005 I made a map of China’s PKO presence across the world, when China was the number one contributor on the Security Council. Now, they’ve been surpassed by France (2,023), but Russia, the UK and the US all donate around 300-odd troops. I thought I’d dig up the old map I made, with a few adjustments, and post one for this months current PKO deployments (all stats from the UN Peacekeeping website). As Mountainrunner points out, China ain’t got nuthin’ on Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, who contribute 39% of all PKO forces, but it continues to become more and more present. Robot Economist notes that PKO duties provide free training and support for these countries armed forces, and China may be doing the same. I think there’s a myriad of reasons for China to step up its peacekeeping contributions: on the ground experience, public diplomacy, observing operational methods and domestic pride all benefit. It’s worth noting that China has more than kept up with increased PKO operations. At the end of 2005 China contributed 1.5% of PKO forces - last month it gave 2.2%.
One other thing: on the earlier map, I noted where the Chinese International Search and Rescue Team (CISAR, or 中国国际救援队) had been deployed. In 2006 they were sent back to Indonesia, but it hard to find clear data on them. PLA members are part of CISAR personnel, but CISAR is part of the China Earthquake Administration (formerly the Seismological Bureau). CISAR has also stayed busy responding to domestic disasters such as Typhoon Kaemi last summer.
If I find anymore info on CISAR deployment I’ll add it to the map.

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