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China's Participation in the United Nations Peacekeeping Regime Open Access

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In the past, China analysts have accused Beijing of playing an overly conservative and cost-evading role in the U.N. peacekeeping regime. They complained that China would defend the concept of traditional peacekeeping against a more robust and intrusive way of keeping the peace and that it would send only a minimal number of Chinese peacekeepers abroad. Recently, however, Beijing has increased its contribution to U.N. peacekeeping operations despite the fact that their mandates authorized the use of force and interfered in the internal affairs of the host countries. By analyzing China's voting behavior in the U.N. Security Council and the Chinese participation rate in certain missions, this study explores how and why China has become more involved in the U.N. peacekeeping regime in the past few years. It will argue that two interrelated developments of a socialization process have contributed significantly to China's increasing participation in U.N. peacekeeping since 2000. On the one hand, Beijing has managed to adapt its normative position to the international standard during the 1990s and learned from its own experience in U.N. peacekeeping operations. On the other hand, the way U.N. peacekeeping missions are conducted has changed after the Brahimi Report in 2000, which made U.N. peacekeeping more agreeable to the Chinese leadership. Other important factors for China's new engagement in U.N. peacekeeping were changes in its foreign and security policy: Beijing's drive to shape its image as a responsible and peaceful great power, to balance against U.S. hegemony, to prevent emerging security threats from failing states, and to isolate Taipei diplomatically.

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