Ma Zhaoxu, China's Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN), addresses the opening of a photo exhibition at the UN headquarters in New York on February 11, 2019. (Photo by Sun Yang)
By Sun Yang
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 13 (ChinaMil) -- A photo exhibition on China's peacekeeping efforts was launched at the UN headquarters in New York on Feb. 11, 2019. It is co-hosted by the Chinese military and the Chinese Permanent Mission to the United Nations and will run until February 22. Some UN officials and permanent representatives to the UN totaling 200 attended the exhibition.
With the theme "CPLA (Chinese People's Liberation Army): A Force for World Peace," the exhibition is composed of four sections as participating in UN peacekeeping missions, securing maritime passages, providing disaster relief and humanitarian assistance, as well as conducting exchanges and cooperation. Via 60 pictures, 17 exhibition boards and various short videos, the exhibition shows the Chinese military's contribution to the world peace and reflects Chinese military's sincerity and goodwill towards the world.
At the ceremony to launch the exhibition, Ma Zhaoxu, China's Permanent Representative to the UN, said that UN peacekeeping operations have played an important role in maintaining international security and peace. China is always a builder of the world peace and a defender of the peacekeeping operations, and is willing to further contribute to world peace and peacekeeping operations with countries around the world.
Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Atul Khare in his speech hailed China's important role and Chinese military's continuous and widespread support to UN peacekeeping, saying that China is a permanent member of the UN security council, the 10th largest contributor of uniformed personnel and the second largest financial contributor to UN peacekeeping budget. Only China shoulders the three glorious responsibilities at the same time, he added.
Last December, China's share of the UN peacekeeping budget was raised from 10.24 percent to 15.22 percent, making it the second largest contributor only after the United States. "China continues to be recognized as an essential partner across the spectrum of UN peacekeeping," Khare said, adding that China "currently deploys a total of 2,508 uniformed personnel, including 70 women, to eight of the UN's current peacekeeping missions."
Mao Naiguo, head of the Chinese PLA delegation for international communication, said that as a staunch force for world peace, the Chinese military has participated in 24 UN peacekeeping operations. China first sent peacekeepers to carry out UN operations in 1990, said Mao, adding that over the past three decades, China has sent over 39,000 peacekeepers to UN missions around the world. "China firmly upholds the purposes and principles of the UN charter and its central role in the international affairs," Mao said.
"As of December 2018, 31 batches of 100 vessels were dispatched to provide safety protection for more than 6600 Chinese and foreign vessels, rescuing, escorting and salvaging more than 70 ships in distress," according to the exhibition.
On safeguarding maritime passages, data from the exhibition showed since December 2008, the Chinese Navy has regularly deployed 3 to 4 vessels in the Gulf of Aden to carry out escort missions. In addition, in recent years, the Chinese military has helped in various international disasters such as Haiti earthquake in 2010, Philippine typhoon Haiyan in 2013, and Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
UN Military Adviser for Peacekeeping Operations Carlos Humberto Loitey said that China's contribution to the UN peacekeeping is worth "highlighting," with "good quality" of peacekeepers and "outstanding support in terms of training."