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China's participation in UN peacekeeping

Reporter: Nathan King 丨 CCTV.com

09-19-2016 09:22 BJT

Full coverage: Premier Li Attends UN Conferences, Visits Canada and Cuba

Premier Li will attend the UN's first ever summit on refugees and migrants before delivering a speech to world leaders slated for Wednesday.

He is also expected to follow up on pledges made by Chinese President Xi Jinping last year -- including big commitments to peacekeeping operations.

The coffins of Chinese peacekeepers Li Lei and Yang Shupeng given full military honors as their bodies return home-killed defending civilians in South Sudan. Five other Chinese peacekeepers were wounded in that incident. And they are not alone.

Since 2015 nearly 200 blue helmets have been killed around the world with the mission in Mali being the most dangerous.

But it's not just manpower these missions need but also all the tools of a modern military.

"What we need is expensive, like aviation like combat engineers, like signalers these are fairly rare in the force structures of traditional contributors to peacekeeping, which is one of the reasons why we need new countries to come on board that have these capabilities within their force structures," said Nick Birnback, UN peacekeeping.

Last year, here in New York, President Xi Jinping pledged 8,000 troops for UN peacekeeping.

China is now the largest contributor to UN Peacekeeping among UN Security Council members.

That fits into a plan to overhaul the peacekeeping department focusing on what's being called the three P's-Planning, Pledges and Performance.

The UN is already relying more on technology using drones to gather intelligence in potential trouble spots like the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Doing more with less is the new mandate. Peacekeeping uses a whopping 75% of the UN's budget with many missions deployed in areas for years-with precious little peace to keep. But the UN says the missions bring value for money and much more besides.

"The eight billion dollars plus of the UN budget is a fraction of the world's military expenditure. For that eight billion dollars you get 16 operations in a variety of incredibly complicated places and I think that UN peacekeeping has a demonstrated record of helping people have a fighting chance of peace," said Nick.

Peacekeeping's image has been tarnished by a slew of sex scandals, allegedly involving peacekeepers and the civilians they are meant to protect.

With trials for some of the accused underway, the UN is sending a message of zero tolerance for misconduct.

Chinese Premier Li is also expected to push the G20 agenda adopted in Hangzhou, which calls for a more inclusive global economy.

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