China to of­fer $100m in mil­i­tary aid to African Union in next 5 years

Global Times - - Top News -

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.

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