China to offer $100m in military aid to African Union in next 5 years
China will offer $100 million free military aid to the African Union in the next five years, a defense ministry spokesperson said.
China is negotiating with the African Union to draft the implementation plan for the assistance, Wu Qian, spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense, said at a monthly briefing on Thursday.
The assistance will be used to support the African Standby Force and rapid-response force, according to Wu.
The aid was announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in his first speech at the UN headquarters in New York City at the 70th session of the General Assembly in September 2015.
During the Thursday briefing, Wu added that China has registered an 8,000-strong standby peacekeeping force at the UN, a target also mentioned in Xi’s speech in 2015.
The standby force will play a constructive role in maintaining world peace and regional stability, Wu added.
Troops from China’s ground force, navy, air force as well as its logistics force will undertake tasks such as combat readiness training and disaster relief in China before any missions overseas.
As one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, China has dispatched the most troops on UN peacekeeping missions, and provided major funding for UN operations.
Since joining UN peacekeeping operations in 1990, Chinese troops have been deployed 24 times, with over 36,000 personnel dispatched. A total of 2,506 UN peacekeepers from China are currently on missions in eight locations.