BEIRUT, April 6 (Xinhua) -- The 410 members of the 16th Chinese peacekeeping force to Lebanon were awarded the United Nations Peace Medal of Honor on Friday, a month before their transfer of authority to the 17th contingent.
The medal-awarding ceremony was held at the camp of the Chinese peacekeeping multi-functional engineer detachment to Lebanon in Hanniyah village in southern Lebanon.
Maj. Gen. Michael Beary, head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), and Chinese Ambassador to Lebanon Wang Kejian attended the ceremony.
"The professional military capability, the positive and engaging attitude toward UNIFIL as well as the cautious and conscientious dedication of Chinese peacekeeping units have gained world-wide recognition," Beary said during the ceremony.
He hailed the 16th Chinese peacekeeping contingent to Lebanon for showing "the true nature of Chinese culture of peace and professionalism."
"Your friendliness, esprit de corps and dedication are a credit to China and all Chinese contingents," Beary added.
The UN Security Council established the UNIFIL on March 19, 1978 to monitor the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon. Its mandate was expanded following the 2006 Lebanon War.
Since 2006, China has maintained a peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon as a part of the UNIFIL, tasked with missions such as mine-sweeping, project construction, medical rescue and humanitarian assistance.
The 16th Chinese peacekeeping force to Lebanon includes a multi-functional engineer detachment, a construction engineer detachment and a medical detachment.
The UN Peace Medal of Honor is designed to commend those who have made prominent contribution to human peace.