Chinese UN observer Lt. Colonel Du Zhaoyu, who died last month during an Israeli air raid in Lebanon, was posthumously awarded a first-class honor medal here on Tuesday.
Du, 34, was sent to Lebanon last December as a UN observer, but became the eighth Chinese military member to die in UN peacekeeping missions since 1988. Du's remains were cremated at Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing earlier this month.
"Du's short life was devoted to the Party, the country, the Chinese people, and the modernization of the nation's defense," said Liang Guanglie, chief of the general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, at the award ceremony.
Liang noted that Du's heroism reflected the spirit of self-sacrifice of a soldier, and showed the world that the Chinese people embraced peace.
Liang called on the military to learn from Du and to fulfil the tasks set by the Communist Party of China and the Chinese people.
The government has dispatched 180 military officers and engineers to work in southern Lebanon, as part of the UN peacekeeping mission.
China sent its first UN observer to the Middle East in 1990, organized its first UN peacekeeping force in 1992, which was sent to Cambodia, and has sent peacekeepers to the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Liberia.
China is the largest peacekeeping force contributor of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and its forces have performed more than 5,000 tours of duty for UN peacekeeping missions. There are currently 1,489 Chinese peacekeepers on duty in nine UN mission regions.