China / Government

China to increase UN peacekeeping role, official says

By SU ZHOU ( Updated: 2014-10-15 17:05

China will increase its engagement in the United Nations' peacekeeping mission, said a senior official from the Ministry of National Defense.

The official said a 700-strong infantry battalion that will be sent to South Sudan completed training recently. It will be the first Chinese infantry battalion to participate in a peacekeeping mission.

The official also said China will do more to support the UN's peacekeeping mission in the future.

In recent years, China has been increasing participation in UN peacekeeping operations based on the UN's demand. China is now the sixth-largest contributor of UN peacekeeping funding and the largest among developing countries.

China is also the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the Security Council. It has participated in 24 peacekeeping missions and has sent more than 27,000 peacekeepers.

David Haeri, director of the policy, evaluation and training division in the UN departments of peacekeeping operations and field support, said the UN is very grateful for China's continuing support to peacekeeping, and that it is very important for China to be part of it.

"There are two reasons," Haeri said. "First of all, China adds very significant capabilities of such a professional army as China's coming into peacekeeping."

"Second is about the political signal," he added. "China is the leading Security Council permanent member in terms of troop contribution. … it's putting its own troops onto the ground."

"It sent a strong signal to the parties that the international community is behind this peacekeeping mission. … So when the local people see Chinese troops on the ground, they understand that China is investing peace in this country."

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