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From Strategic Adjustment to Normative Learning? Understanding China’s Peacekeeping Efforts in Africa

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image of Journal of International Peacekeeping

Over the last two decades, Chinese armed forces have been increasingly exposed to the global norms of UN peacekeeping, not least through expanded participation in international peacekeeping operations. As the largest Security Council permanent member troop contributor, more than four fifths of Chinese troops in UN peacekeeping operations are deployed in Africa. As such, China is increasingly in a position to strengthen peacekeeping operations, contribute to stability, security, and security sector reform in Africa, and expand its regional multilateral military cooperation, all of which raises the prospects for China to become more integrated in the international community and a responsible, and responsive, major power. Given these important developments and their implications for the future of peacekeeping in Africa, this paper seeks to: identify the key determinants that undergird China’s evolving foreign policy approach toward peacekeeping principles and praxis in Africa; ascertain the degree and trace the process in which increasing interactions between China, the African Union, and the broader international community have led Chinese policy elites to consider greater flexibility in their views toward sovereignty and the changing nature of peacekeeping; assess how a rising China may exert its influence through its expanding role in peacekeeping; and analyze the strategic implications of these security developments for Africa.

Affiliations: 1: 3518 Trousdale Parkway Von Klein Smid Center 327 University of Southern California Los Angeles, California 90089 USA,


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