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China expanding UN peacekeeping role, says Swedish institute
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China's participation in United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations has expanded dramatically, according to a report published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) on Tuesday.

"Over the 20 years since the People's Liberation Army (PLA) made its first peacekeeping contribution in 1989, China has steadily increased its deployments," said the report, adding that China is now the 14th largest contributor to UN peacekeeping operations, ahead of fellow UN Security Council permanent members Russia, Britain and the United States.

In addition, China has also exhibited greater commitment to peacekeeping activities by increasing the number of Chinese administrative and leadership personnel involved in UN peacekeeping and by placing its troops in increasingly challenging environments, the report said.

It also pointed out that China is gradually building its overall peacekeeping capacity.

The trend in peacekeeping endeavors reflects China's overall efforts to become more responsive to international expectations while making positive and tangible contributions to global peace and security, according to the report.

"The expansion in Chinese engagement in peacekeeping provides an important and widening window of opportunity for the international community to engage with China more closely on global security issues, to help enlarge China's commitment to regional stability and to contribute to more effective international peacekeeping operations," it said.

(Xinhua News Agency February 17, 2009)

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