China wrapped up the nation’s first multinational peacekeeping train on Wednesday, demonstrating the extent of its navy may on an enormous coaching floor ringed by mountains.
Troops from Pakistan, Thailand and Mongolia joined China’s armed forces for the 10-day train dubbed “Shared Destiny 2021” on the navy base in Queshan county in central Henan province.
China’s defence spending is the second-largest on the planet after the US, and tensions have dramatically elevated between rival powers as Beijing has poured trillions of yuan into the modernisation of its navy.
But the nation has repeatedly sought to allay fears over its navy intentions, projecting itself as a peaceable counterpoint to what it calls the “bullying, hegemonic behaviour” of Washington.
Senior Colonel Lu Jianxin informed journalists invited to the bottom that the train “demonstrates China’s support for the multilateral system centred on the UN” as Beijing sought to place its defence diplomacy on full show.
Blue-helmeted troopers took turns role-playing numerous eventualities: civilians and refugees caught up in a brawl, or armed militants attacking UN forces.
Dozens of armoured autos, bulldozers, helicopters and tanks – all bearing the UN emblem – have been mobilised for the occasion.
As of the tip of July, China was the eighth-largest contributor to peacekeeping troops, with 2,158 navy personnel engaged world wide, in response to UN knowledge.
Chinese forces are primarily engaged in South Sudan, Mali, Lebanon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
During her journey to Asia final month, US Vice President Kamala Harris described China’s disputes with its neighbours over the South China Sea as undermining “the rules-based order and threaten[ing] the sovereignty of nations”.
As the second largest monetary contributor, China footed 15% of the whole bills for UN peacekeeping operations in 2020.
Since 1990, it has despatched 50,000 troops to take part in 25 peacekeeping missions globally, constructed or mounted 17,000km of roads and greater than 300 bridges, and eliminated 18,000 mined, professional Lu mentioned.