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UN praises China for role in peacekeeping
( 2002-08-22 10:54 ) (1 )

A senior United Nations official in charge of peacekeeping yesterday praised China for its growing role in policing the world's trouble spots.

Jean-Marie Guehenno, UN undersecretary-general in charge of peacekeeping operations, said more involvement by China in this field would be greatly welcomed.

Two years of reform and transformation within the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations has revealed a need for key countries to do more to prevent unstable from countries turning back to arms.

"Peacekeeping is a big enterprise, both in terms of management and in political terms," he said.

There are a total of 15 peacekeeping operations around the world with a budget of US$2.7 billion and 60,000 people deployed.

During his three-day visit, the undersecretary-general said he made extensive contacts with the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Defence for further co-operation in peacekeeping operations.

"China provides a significant number of police to the UN," said Guehenno.

"I am pleased with the performance of these Chinese police."

There are 69 Chinese police officers currently taking part in UN peacekeeping operations in East Timor and another 15 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said the official.

These Chinese police have displayed self-motivation, self-discipline and hard work during their peacekeeping mission, he said.

China first approved the sending of civil police officers to participate in UN peacekeeping activities in 1998.

Guehenno also visited a training centre in Langfang, in Hebei Province, where police officers are trained and supplied for UN peacekeeping operations.

The centre - the largest of its kind in Asia - is expected to be completed by the end of next year.

China has sent some 150 people on UN peacekeeping operations, including 13 UN international staff, 48 military observers and 82 civil police officers.

He revealed Chinese troops on standby may be sent to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, although no decision has been made on a specific mission.

As well as civil police officers, China has also dispatched six military observers on peacekeeping operations, said the official.

He said the People's Liberation Army has a strong capacity in logistics and a long tradition in engineering.

According to the official, China has trained more than 600 troops for peacekeeping, including a 525-member engineering battalion, 35 medical personnel and two transportation companies with a total of about 80 people.

"The Chinese military are prepared to sending units which are not fighting units... because of its fundamental position of non-intervention," he said.



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