To enhance its influence at the United Nations, China has planned to deploy more troops on the ground for peacekeeping missions, a top government source said. It is also aimed to diminish India’s role in such missions. A total of 2,548 Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops are currently deployed at UN peacekeeping missions. Now, Beijing has planned to send 8,000 troops additional troops for intergovernmental organisation missions.
They also want to send double the number of troops than India sends to peacekeeping missions.
The Indian Army has always been in demand and is amongst the highest contributors to the troop deployment in multilateral peace operations. Currently, India has deployed a total of 5,424 personnel for UN missions. Till date, India has sent 2 lakh soldiers to serve 52 of the 71 United Nations Missions.
The source said that at present China is ninth in terms of the deployment at UN missions and India is ranked fifth. Bangladesh is the top contributor in terms of troops deployment. It has deployed 6,726 men for peacekeeping missions, thereafter comes Ethiopia with 6,725 troops on the ground. Rwanda is at third position with 6,363 troops pressed into UN missions and Nepal stands in the fourth position sending 5,714 personnel.
“How effective would the PLA deployment need to be seen in coming years as they carry a bad reputation in terms of professionalism,” said a top source.
Sources also said in 2016 Chinese soldiers abandoned their posts in South Sudan when faced with a hostile situation. They had failed to help thousands of civilians as they moved to the base after their posts were attacked during clashes between two political groups.
China, however, had rejected the allegations.
Further, the Indian Army’s popularity has been increasing over the past decade and in 2018 for the first time, foreign troops started serving under an Indian battalion in Lebanon. A company of 120 Kazakh Army troops part of operations with the Indian Army.
Now a fresh batch of troops is preparing to serve in South Sudan and will be leaving for the mission by month-end.
Major General M.K. Katiyar, Additional Director General Staff Duties, said that India has around 5,500 troops in eight countries of Africa and the Middle East. “They work tirelessly to maintain peace in conflict zones,” he said.
Out of the 13 UN missions, the Indian Army has representation in eight. The Indian Army sends its troops to Lebanon, South Sudan, Congo, and Golan Heights for UN peacekeeping missions. India has also sent women officers. Out of 104 staff officers currently, there are around 15 women serving in the missions.