Excerpt from my latest op-ed on the need for Chinese peacekeepers in South Sudan:
China has long been a major, if quiet, contributor of troops to United Nations peacekeeping missions around the world. In the violent aftermath of an alleged attempted coup this week in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, the time is ripe to think about changing that stance. As China rises in world status, it must also take on more global responsibilities.
The United Nations mission in South Sudan reported that 400-500 people were killed in street battles and crossfire, within the first two days alone. As many as 20,000 civilians may have sought refuge on UN bases in the country.
South Sudan became independent from the rest of Sudan by referendum in 2011, and its strongest foreign partner is China. That country buys 82% of South Sudan’s oil exports and provides infrastructural development investments. Indeed, China was a major player in securing the peaceful partition of Sudan last decade, as the largest trading partner of both states.