The Chinese state media has highlighted an interesting point as part of their growing public diplomacy campaign to win the hearts and minds of the world, and not least of the impovrished and non-G8 that have important resources China needs. In the last six months, China has had generally 1,000 troops or police on United Nations peacekeeping missions.
A Chinese scholar said Tuesday that China has sent out more than 3,000 troops and policemen to United Nations peacekeeping missions since the late 1980s, reflecting its firm support of the UN's role in maintaining world peace and security. "China has contributed the largest number of troops to UN peacekeeping operations among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council," said Yang Mingjie, a Chinese researcher in international relations...
Chinese peacekeepers have won extensive accolades because of their strict discipline and high work efficiency. In January 2005, Chinese peacekeeping riot police in Haiti were awarded a UN peace medal for their outstanding performance in the crisis-torn country, the highest honor granted by the UN to peacekeeping missions. [emphasis added]
By the way, the Chinese seem to prefer to participate in African PKOs (peacekeeping operations).