190 Chinese police work under UN flag for peacekeeping

About 190 Chinese police officers are serving under the UN flag for peacekeeping efforts around the world, state media said Friday.

China is the second-largest contributor of peacekeeping police forces among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, and its police officers are working under the UN flag in Kosovo, Liberia, Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Sudan and Haiti, China Daily said.

The United States has some 340 police officers in UN peacekeeping missions, the paper said.

The Chinese peacekeepers who have fulfilled their mission in the recent Haitian presidential election will probably be given the task of guarding voting centers in the country's forthcoming parliamentary election, said Guo Baoshan, deputy director general of the international cooperation department of the Ministry of Public Security.

He told the paper that a nationwide examination to select a new batch of reserve officers would end this weekend. It aims to meet the rising UN demand for police forces.

About 600 police officers who have passed preliminary selection tests by local police authorities are sitting for the examination at the China Peacekeeping Police Training Center in Langfang, a city 40 km southeast of Beijing.

The exam was to set up rosters from which present and future vacancies for UN police peacekeepers would be filled, Guo said.

"We have an empty roster now," he was quoted as saying. "Almost all the 600 on the list have been dispatched once or twice."

But the paper said only a small number of candidates pass the highly-competitive examination.

"We set high standards. In our 2004 examination, only 50 to 60 of a total of 500 candidates, or about one out of every 10, passed," the paper quoted Guo as saying.

At this stage, more than 70 percent of Chinese officers pass the final recruitment test, the official said.

Ministry figures show 634 police peacekeepers have served the UN since China dispatched the first team in 2000. "All provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions across China have been contributors to the operations," Guo said.

Terms for Chinese peacekeepers vary from 8 months to one year. Once they return, they go back to their former departments and are more likely to be promoted because of their experience overseas, according to the paper.

Source: China Daily

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