Chinese peacekeeping troops show responsibility, professionalism



This year marks the 25th anniversary of China's first participation in United nations peacekeeping missions. The two and half decades have witnessed China's diligence in fulfilling its international responsibilities.

In April 1990, China sent five military observers to the UN Truce Supervision Organization, which monitors and reports violations of cease-fire agreements in the Middle East.

According to the Ministry of National Defense, over 30,000 Chinese peacekeepers have served overseas, with 10 of them losing their lives.

Chinese peacekeepers have built or repaired over 11,000 km of road and more than 300 bridges. They have removed 9,400 mines or unexploded devices, and received 149,000 patients.

Key force for world peace

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China takes a serious attitude toward peacekeeping missions, which are conducted under the authorization of the Council.

Li Tiantian, deputy head of the department in charge of China's peacekeeping mission under the Ministry of National Defense, said the country has a tradition of cherishing peace.

China endured a turbulent century from 1840 to 1949, making Chinese people value peace and become determined to safeguard it, Li added.

As China's national strength has risen over the past 25 years, its peacekeeping presence has grown, with more personnel and diversified tasks.

With the dispatch of a battalion to South Sudan earlier this month, the types of staff sent by China for the missions expanded from engineering, transportation, medical and military observers to whole infantry divisions.

Presently, the number of Chinese peacekeepers in mission areas around the world stands at 2,720, the most in the five permanent member countries of the UN Security Council. China's share of peacekeeping funds stands at the sixth in UN member states, and the biggest in developing countries.

The country has taken part in over 24 UN peacekeeping missions in the past 25 years. In the current 16 missions, Chinese peacekeepers are involving in nine of them.

Over 3,800 Chinese have passed training in peacekeeping.

High quality in peacekeeping missions

Although UN peacekeeping missions target no enemies, peacekeepers face great risks -- not only from flying bullets but from disease and hostile climates.

In Darfur of Sudan, Chinese peacekeepers have been shot at by unidentified snipers. In South Lebanon, about 130,000 mines and cluster bombs are scattered in over 1,000 sites that Chinese engineering troops are cleaning.

In Liberia, military surgeons have to slap sticks on the ground to drive away poisonous snakes when going out to treat local patients.

In West Sahara and the Ivory Coast, military observers have to shuttle through conflict zones to collect intelligence for the UN from different parties and refugee camps.

However, Chinese peacekeepers have overcome those difficulties and showed their skills.

In Cambodia, Chinese engineering troops built a bridge in just one day.

Chinese peacekeepers have won trust in their abilities. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, a soldier from Uruguay wrote on the back of his dog tag "If I get injured, please send me to a Chinese hospital".

In a meeting last month with Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon commended China for its involvement in UN peacekeeping missions.

Building friendship with local people

The Chinese army has the tradition of friendly interactions with locals.

In South Lebanon, a Chinese engineering battalion helped repair a road in half a month, so children could walk to schools, and bananas and sugar canes could be transported to market.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Chinese surgeons sterilized primary schools in mission areas and distributed medicine. Chinese peacekeepers in South Sudan even teach local residents to grow vegetables.

After the emergence of the Ebola virus in Africa, Chinese peacekeeping troops in Liberia, working over 16 hours every day, built a treatment center over a month in advance of their schedule. It is the first treatment center in Liberia.

Chinese soldiers' kindness and sincerity have won appreciation from both locals and peacekeepers from other countries.

As a determined supporter and active participant of UN peacekeeping missions, more and more soldiers and officers from the Chinese army will serve in this cause, bringing peace to places where are in need for it, said Li Tiantian.