Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Wednesday, December 10, 2003
China's peacekeeping forces leave for Liberia
Sixty Chinese soldiers left Beijing Tuesday for Liberia, becoming the first group of Chinese peacekeeping forces to go to that war-ravaged country. The Chinese government has decided to send a peacekeeping team of 550 people to Liberia.
Sixty Chinese soldiers left Beijing Tuesday for Liberia, becoming the first group of Chinese peacekeeping forces to go to that war-ravaged country.
The Chinese government has decided to send a peacekeeping team of 550 people to Liberia, which will be China's largest participation with the most soldiers in the United Nations peacekeeping missions by far, sources with the Ministry of National Defense said.
The peacekeeping forces will include a 240-person transportation company, a 275-person sapper company and a 35-person hospital. The 60 soldiers belong to the transportation company, sources said.
In January 2002, China formally joined a UN peacekeeping standby mechanism, making preparations to provide engineering, medical and transportation teams for UN peacekeeping missions.
The first group were equipped with 10 special-purpose vehicles, tents and provisions as well as telecommunication and medical facilities, said Shen Gangfeng, lieutenant colonel with the transportation company.
The transportation company will be equipped with 158 vehicles and 20 water-supply trucks, according to sources.
The Chinese peacekeeping forces will shoulder the responsibility of transporting UN peacekeepers and materials, constructing roads, repairing houses and airports, providing water and electricity as well as curing the wounded.
This peacekeeping mission is planned to last for one year, and may be prolonged on the basis of the new situation.
The UN Security Council in September unanimously voted for the deployment of a peacekeeping mission in war-torn Liberia for one year. Currently, 29 countries, including China, the United Sates and Britain, have decided or already sent peacekeeping police to Liberia.
China actively participates in UN peacekeeping operations
China is gradually increasing its participation in peacekeeping operations of the United Nations, said a senior official of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense on Tuesday.
Dai Shao'an, deputy director of the Peacekeeping Affairs Office of the ministry, said the Chinese army have sent more than 2,000 servicemen to participate in 11 peacekeeping operations of the UN by the end of 2003.
Dai said that thanks to the excellent performance of Chinese peacekeeping forces, the UN has repeatedly expressed the desire to have more Chinese participation in peacekeeping operations.
China has decided to send a 550-member peacekeeping force to Liberia at the request of the UN's special representative on the Liberian issue. Sixty of them left China for that African war-torn country on Tuesday.
The Chinese Government has consistently attached great importance to and supported the UN in maintaining world peace and security under the principles of the United Nations Charter. It is ready to make more contributions in the future, said Dai.
China officially established its first blue helmet troops, a military engineering brigade, for UN peacekeeping operations in Cambodia in April 1992.