Int'l disaster relief operations obligation of China's armed forces

14:35, March 31, 2011      

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China's armed forces feel obligated to join international disaster relief operations organized by the Chinese government, and to fulfill international humanitarian obligations, says a white paper on China's national defense issued Thursday.

In recent years, China's armed forces have actively assisted relevant departments of the Chinese government to provide relief materials to disaster-stricken countries, and have sent specialized teams to join international disaster relief operations, says the white paper, titled "China's National Defense in 2010", issued by the Information Office of the State Council.

Since the People's Liberation Army (PLA) provided relief supplies to Afghanistan in 2002, it has carried out 28 urgent international humanitarian aid missions, and provided 22 disaster-hit countries with relief materials worth over 950 million yuan (142 million U.S. dollars), the white paper says.

In 2001, the Chinese International Search and Rescue (CISR) team began to participate in international disaster relief operations. The CISR has since carried out eight rescue operations in disaster-stricken countries, according to the white paper.

In January 2010, the CISR team and a PLA medical-care and epidemic- prevention team were sent to Haiti, where they rescued and treated 6,500 people, the white paper says.

In September that year, the CISR team, a PLA medical team and a helicopter rescue formation were sent to Pakistan to conduct humanitarian rescue operations.

There, they saved and treated nearly 34,000 person-times in total and delivered 60 tonnes of airdropped goods and materials, according to the white paper.

Source: Xinhua
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