Blue Helmeted Dragons : explaining China's participation in United Nations peace operations
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
M. Taylor Fravel and Fotini Christia.
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China's personnel contributions to United Nations peace operations has significantly increased in the first decade of the twenty-first century, however little academic or policy attention has been given to examining patterns of Chinese participation. Most current literature examines China's voting behavior on peace operations in the UN Security Council. This thesis employs a research design that combines quantitative and qualitative approaches to assess the drivers behind China's personnel contributions to peace operations. Specifically, the thesis examines the factors that lead China to deploy large contingents of peace keepers to some missions and smaller numbers or none to others. The thesis posits that China's personnel contributions will be higher in peace operations taking place in states that have a high strategic value to China. That is, the peace operation host state is important to China because of the presence of natural resources, Chinese investment, diplomatic interests, or a variety of other factors. The thesis finds that China's participation in peace operations after 2000 is guided by a realist motivation that seeks to maximize access to commercial and diplomatic interests, with higher levels of participation in states with high strategic values. Prior to 2000, fewer Chinese personnel were deployed to peace operations, and the states where they were deployed often had little strategic value to China.(cont.) These findings suggest that the calculus behind China's peace operations participation, and perhaps China's foreign policy, shifted from improving China's international image to supporting China's economic and diplomatic development. Understanding China's participation in peace operations is important as it may shed light on broader concepts in Chinese foreign and military policy. An enhanced understanding of the motivations guiding China's participation may provide academics and policymakers with deeper insight into Chinese foreign policy that may help shape future interaction with the People's Republic of China.
Thesis (S.M. and S.B.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2009.Includes bibliographical references (p. 145-155).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology