BEIJING - As a responsible major power, China has consistently supported and actively participated in the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping operations, making a positive contribution to world peace, says a white paper on the country's national defense issued on Thursday.
As of December 2010, China has dispatched 17,390 military personnel to 19 UN peacekeeping missions. Nine officers and men have lost their lives on duty, says the white paper, issued by the Information Office of the State Council.
The white paper gives a brief history of China's peacekeeping operations:
-- In 1990, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) sent five military observers to the UN Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) - the first time China had taken part in UN peacekeeping operations.
-- In 1992, the PLA dispatched an engineering corps of 400 officers and men to the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC).
-- The Peacekeeping Affairs Office of the Ministry of National Defense was established in 2001.
-- In 2002, China joined the UN Stand-by Arrangement System.
-- In 2009, the Peacekeeping Center of the Ministry of National Defense was set up.
The Chinese peacekeeping troops have built and repaired over 8,700 km of roads and 270 bridges, cleared over 8,900 mines and various explosive devices, transported over 600,000 tonnes of cargo across a total distance of 9.3 million km, and treated 79,000 patients, according to the white paper.
As of December 2010, the PLA had 1,955 officers and men serving in nine UN mission areas. China has dispatched more peacekeeping personnel than any other permanent member of the UN Security Council, the white paper says.