China's assistance in African security issues applauded

Updated: 2011-10-28 17:24


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HANGZHOU - African scholars attending a China-Africa experts' conference on Friday applauded China's increasingly active participation in Africa's security issues.

Speaking at the China-Africa Think Tank Forum held in China's eastern city of Hangzhou, Benhammou Mohammed, president of the Moroccan Center for Strategic Studies, praised Chinese help including deploying peacekeepers and patrol ships, as well as training local police forces.

China's military non-combatant engagement has a positive impact on Africa and is in line with China's position as a constructive and responsible global power, he said.

"Chinese peacekeepers are making a valuable contribution to the lives of many ordinary citizens," said Bernardo Mariani, an analyst with Safeworld, a UK-based independent non-governmental organization that works to prevent and reduce violent conflict.

He said that by taking on projects such as building or improving infrastructure, schools and hospitals, the Chinese provide vital support in addressing the immediate needs of local populations in fragile states.

"The peacekeepers have overall fulfilled their tasks with professionalism and have received significant praise for the work, " Mariani said.

Over recent years, China has sent more than 15,000 peacekeepers to 15 UN peace-keeping missions in Africa and it sent its first convoy fleet to the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters in December 2008, Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said Wednesday at a press briefing.

By October 25 this year, Chinese naval flotillas had escorted a total of 4,228 vessels, protecting them from pirates, Yang said, adding that China has also helped train African militaries in sweeping for mines and has provided them with mine-sweeping equipment.