China shows off defense diplomacy with multinational peacekeeping exercise
China has highlighted its role in United Nations peacekeeping operations by hosting multinational exercises called "Shared Destiny 2021."
About 1,000 troops from China, Pakistan, Mongolia and Thailand participated in the comprehensive exercise, which kicked off on September 6 at a training base in Queshan County of central China's Henan Province, and ended on Wednesday.
Senior Colonel Lu Jianxin, a Chinese military expert on peacekeeping, told reporters at the base that the exercise underscored China's position as a "staunch defender of world peace and international order."
During the exercise, participating troops completed tasks such as construction of temporary operating bases, battlefield reconnaissance, security guard patrol, armed escort, civilian protection, and response to violence and terrorist attacks.
The foreign troops were also trained using Chinese weapons and other equipment and facilities, which were in the forefront throughout the exercises.
The drill helped assess and advance the capability of peacekeeping standby forces to carry out missions. It also promoted practical cooperation between participating troops.
The exercise came on the 50th anniversary of the recognition of the People's Republic as the representative of China at the United Nations.
China is the largest contributor of peacekeeping forces among major powers as represented by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
As the second largest financial contributor, China footed 15% of the total expenses for UN peacekeeping operations in 2020.
The drills also came amid growing concerns over Beijing’s increased military capabilities. China has repeatedly sought to assure its neighboring countries that its military is a force for good, not a threat, even as it drills regularly near Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) and in the disputed South China Sea.