The first echelon of China’s 19th batch of peacekeeping forces to Lebanon board a plane, July 28. (Photo by Zhang Zhengju/People’s Daily Online)

By He Yin

China recently released a white paper on the participation of the country’s armed forces in the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations, for the first time introducing the concrete steps of its government and armed forces to implement the decisions and directions made by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping at UN Headquarters 5 years ago.

The white paper, titled China’s Armed Forces: 30 Years of UN Peacekeeping Operations, showcases the sense of responsibility of China as a major country, and demonstrates the new contributions made by the country to UN peacekeeping operations (UNPKOs).

Taking concrete actions to honor its solemn promise of safeguarding world peace, China has made important contribution to UNKPOs. China has registered an 8,000-strong standby force and a 300-member permanent police squad for UN peacekeeping missions. Six of its standby contingents have been elevated to Level Three in the UN Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System. Twenty-five rotations of engineer and medical units totaling 7,001 troops have been committed to missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Sudan’s Darfur, Mali and Lebanon. In the past five years, China has provided training programs to over 1,500 peacekeepers from more than 60 countries, and offered assistance in demining and trained more than 300 professionals from multiple countries including. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security also trained more than 1,000 foreign peacekeeping police officers.

The People’s Liberation Army has honored China’s commitment of gratis military aid to the value of USD100 million to support the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis; China’s armed forces deployed their first peacekeeping helicopter unit; 23 peace and security projects totaling over $10 million were implemented to support UNPKOs.

To contribute to building a community with a shared future for mankind, China’s armed forces have stepped up their support for and participation in the UNPKOs, bringing greater confidence and hope for peace and development to areas beset by conflict.

As a critical element and key force in the UNPKOs, China’s armed forces in the new era have instilled more positive energy into world peace and development.

China has abided by the highest standards in selecting and training police peacekeepers, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, adding that Chinese police peacekeepers have strictly followed UN work rules and discipline, demonstrating professional competence and ethics.

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, president of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly noted that China is playing a more and more important role in UNPKOs. Lieutenant General Carlos Humberto Loitey, Military Adviser for UN Secretary-General (UNSG), also spoke highly of the important contributions made by China and the Chinese military to the UN peacekeeping operations. The UNPKOs couldn’t have achieved today’s success without the vital support from China, he said.

World peace is the responsibility of all countries and peacekeeping calls for expanding multilateral cooperation. China’s armed forces have cooperated on peacekeeping with over 90 countries and 10 international and regional organizations based on the principles of mutual trust and win-win cooperation. They have enhanced mutual understanding, shared experience, extended practical cooperation, strengthened bilateral and multilateral relations, and promoted peacekeeping capability.

China has continuously strengthened strategic communication to build consensus on peacekeeping, contributed Chinese wisdom and shared experience, and extended cooperation on joint exercises and training to build capability. China is widely recognized as an important force supporting peacekeeping operations and multilateralism, which fully indicates the country’s firm determination to support the UN, support the cause of world peace and development, uphold the vision of global governance based on extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and safeguard multilateralism.

Peace, like air and sunshine, is hardly noticeable. But none of us can live without it. Though the world is going through huge changes unseen in a century; unilateralism, hegemonism and power politics are impacting international order and undermining global cooperation; and human beings are facing increasingly severe risks and challenges, peace and development still remain the theme of the time. Standing at this critical moment of history, we must cherish the hard-won peace more than ever.

China is firmly committed to the path of peaceful development, and hopes that other countries will also pursue peaceful development. As always, China’s armed forces will continue to provide unfailing support for the UNPKOs, fulfill their commitments to safeguarding peace, and bring greater confidence and hope to conflict-ridden areas and local people.

The second echelon of China’s 19th batch of peacekeeping forces to Lebanon left Kunming Changshui International Airport, southwest China’s Yunnan province for their destination, Aug. 18. (Photo by Zhang Zhengju/People’s Daily Online)

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