UNITED NATIONS, April 5 (Xinhua) -- United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said Thursday that "China is today a very important pillar in our peace-keeping operations."
China is now the second largest financial contributor to peace-keeping and one of the countries with a very meaningful number of peace-keepers on the ground, Guterres said.
There are 2,400 Chinese police and peace-keepers on missions in 14 countries, he said, adding that there is a very strong commitment to peace-keeping from China.
Speaking at an interview with Chinese reporters before his trip to China for the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) annual conference, he said, "We see the role of China not only in the direct contribution of peace-keepers, but also in the contribution to the discussions we will have this year on how to improve peace-keeping, to make peace-keeping more focused and safer for the peace-keepers."
BFA, a non-governmental and non-profit international organization, was formally inaugurated on Feb. 27, 2001. Boao in China's southern province of Hainan serves as the permanent site of BFA headquarters.
The world is facing tremendous challenges, in Mali, Central African Republic and South Sudan where Chinese peace-keeping troops are present and where lots of armed groups of any kind, even terrorist organizations, are operating in the absence of a solid political agreement, he said.
"We live in very difficult times for peace-keeping and we are involved in a very important process of reform called Action for Peace-keeping," the UN chief said.