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January 20, 2004

China Takes Part in Liberia

China has sent a small peacekeeping force into Liberia. Previously, Liberia had maintained relations with Taiwan and, with the new government in place, has moved toward diplomatic and economic ties with China.

Essentially, China is extending its influence and its interest in Africa at the direct expense of Taiwan. Though diplomats quoted in the following BBC article would say otherwise, China's "biggest ever contribution to a United Nations peacekeeping operation" is happening simply because of an opportunity to solidify China's position in Africa.

The 500 Chinese soldiers who will be serving with the United Nations force in Liberia are the first public fruit of the new diplomatic strategy by the new UN-backed government.

They will join other foreign troops who are helping keep the peace as an interim government prepares to hold elections in 2005.

The Chinese soldiers have already started arriving and over the next few weeks there should be a Chinese engineering corps, a transport unit and a field hospital in place.

It will be interesting to watch as China continues to mark it's position in African nations in a more direct manner.

Read the story.

Posted by zombyboy at January 20, 2004 09:28 AM
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