NEW DELHI: Aiming to its further increase its influence in the 193-member United Nations, China plans to raise its troops contribution by nearly four times the present numbers.
The Asian superpower plans to add around 8,000 more troops to its current deployment of 2,548 Peoples Liberation Army soldiers, primarily for UN missions in Africa.
India has been one of the top troops contributors to various missions under the UN. At present there are 5,425 indian soldiers serving in eight of 13 UN missions.
In four of these missions, Indian troops from infantry battalions serve at any given time which include Lebanon, South Sudan, Congo and Golan Heights.
A batch of 200 troops are currently preparing to leave for south Sudan on November 27.
Major General MK Katiyar, Additional Director General, Staff Duties, of the Army which handles the UN postings, said, “We have around 5,500 troops in eight countries of Africa and West Asia. They work tirelessly to maintain peace in the conflict zones. Their contribution has been applauded by all and Indian troops are most sought after.”
Major General (Retd) S B Asthana sees the Chinese step as a move to not only raise its footprints but also to increase influence on various UN organs.
“China has realised the importance of troops deployment due to the operational experiences they will gain. Also, with more troops, the number of seats in various staff positions of the missions will increase, finally leading to better footprints and influence,” the defence analyst said.