BEIJING, April 8 (ChinaMil) -- The Chinese military has been actively sticking to the spirits and tenets of the Charter of the United Nations and has become an important force in safeguarding world peace since it joined the peacekeeping missions of the United Nations in 1990. Over the past 25 years, the Chinese military has achieved leap-forward development in the scale and diversity of peacekeeping forces, said Li Xiuhua, deputy director of the Peacekeeping Affairs Office of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), on April 7, 2015.
Before the departure of the last echelon of the first Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion to South Sudan on April 7, the Peacekeeping Affairs Office and the publicity department of the General Political Department (GPD) of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) jointly held a briefing at the Yaoqiang Airport in Jinan, at which Li Xiuhua introduced the 25 years' peacekeeping efforts of the Chinese military in an all-round way.
Chinese military has participated in 24 UN peacekeeping operations
The United Nations peacekeeping operations are effective means to safeguard world peace, practice multilateralism and achieve joint security. China's participation in the peacekeeping operations is a vivid demonstration of fulfilling its obligations as a big country, according to Li.
Li Xiuhua said China has taken part in 24 UN peacekeeping operations since April 1990 when it sent five military observers to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in the Middle East. By now, China has dispatched 30,178 peacekeepers, with 10 of them died gloriously for safeguarding the world peace and security.
At present, a total of 2,720 Chinese peacekeepers are on duty in nine UN mission areas. To be specific, in the six UN mission areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Lebanon, South Sudan, Darfur region of Sudan and Mali, there are 2,637 officers and soldiers of 14 Chinese peacekeeping detachments performing tasks including security protection, project support, material transport and medical service, etc. In the nine mission areas of the Middle East, Cote d'ivoire and Western Sahara, etc, there are 83 military observers and staff officers performing missions of patrol, observation, conflict settlement, truce observation, liaison and negotiation.
Chinese peacekeeping forces to exceed 3,000 personnel by the year end
A peaceful and tranquil life is the shared yearning of people from all countries in the world, and also the aim of the Chinese military. Over the 25 years, the Chinese military has undertaken more and more responsibilities in safeguarding world peace, according to Li.
Li Xiuping said the Chinese military is present in nine of the total 16 UN peacekeeping operations worldwide. The Chinese peacekeeping troops are mainly composed of infantries, engineers, guards, transportation troops, medical troops, military observers and staff officers. Moreover, China will dispatch a helicopter detachment to the UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur of Sudan.
By the end of 2015, the total number of Chinese peacekeepers will increase to 3,100 from the present 2,700, and China will rise to the 7th position in the 121 contributing countries of UN peacekeeping operations from the current 11th, Li added.
Meanwhile, China has contributed the largest number of peacekeeping forces among five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and the largest number of support detachments among the troop contributing countries. China undertakes 6.64% of the total assessed contributions to UN Peacekeeping operations , 6th among the UN member states and 1st among developing countries, according to Li Xiuhua.
Chinese military has established a three-level peacekeeping training mechanism
The United Nations peacekeeping operations are different from either the traditional domestic military operations or the pure oversea bilateral military actions. Rather, it poses special requirements for the troops’ capabilities in performing operations, according to Li.
The Chinese military has been training its peacekeeping troops in strict accordance with the UN's training guideline for peacekeeping troops and constantly improving its capability in performing peacekeeping missions, Li said.
So far, the Chinese military has established a three-level peacekeeping training mechanism, namely the elementary, intermediate and advanced levels, said Li Xiuhua. The Peacekeeping Center of China's MND has trained 3,800 persons/times of intermediate and advanced levels, and two Chinese officers once worked as major-general level commanders of peacekeeping troops in UN mission areas in Western Sahara and Cyprus.
Chinese “Blue Berets” are gaining high praises worldwide
Chinese peacekeeping troops have created "China speed", "China quality" and "China brand" in various peacekeeping mission areas during the past 25 years, said Li Xiuhua.
Chinese peacekeeping troops have built and renovated roads of 11,000-plus kilometers and 300-plus bridges, removed mines and unexploded explosive ordnance totaling 9,400, transported 1.1 million tons of materials and equipment with the transport mileage reaching 12 million kilometers. They have also treated more than 149,000 patients, completed 450 patrols and 230-plus guard and escort tasks.
China always administers its peacekeeping troops by law and in a strict manner, and maintains zero violation of rules and zero record of deportation during its 25 years' participation in the UN peacekeeping missions, according to Li Xiuhua.