China has affirmed its commitment to continue supporting peace and security initiatives in the world, particularly in Africa as it increases the number of peacekeeping personnel in conflict zones.
With 2,496 Chinese troops currently on peacekeeping mission around the world, the country becomes the largest troop contributor among the Five Permanent United Nations (UN) Security Council.
Senior Colonel Zhou Dhe, Director, Peace Keeping Centre, Ministry of Defence of China, made these remarks during a visit to the centre by African and South Asian journalists on a media-exchange programme in China.
He said China’s commitment to providing US$100 million to the African Union to support the building of the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis during the same time frame, was still on course.
Senior Col. Zhou said China recently lost three peacekeepers on missions in Mali and South Sudan and lost 13 military personnel and four police personnel since its first engagement in UN peacekeeping in 1990, but the country would continue to strive in contributing towards the attainment of peace and security in the world.
He indicated that China was contributing personnel and finance towards maintaining world peace through the adoption of professionalism and integrity in the discharge of its duties to humanity.
Senior Col. Zhou indicated that 15 units of 2403 troops were currently deployed to missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Lebanon, Sudan and Mali.
He said “93 military observers and staff officers are operating in nine missions and the UN headquarters.”
This year, China contributed 863 million US dollars, thereby making her the number two financial contributor to UN peacekeeping budget, Senior Col. Zhou said.
Senior Col. Zhou indicated that, the Centre’s training programmes have been officially certified by the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations.
“The Centre invites international instructors and participants to bring diverse experiences and expertise to our international training activities, which include the UN Military Observers Course, the Senior UN Mission Leaders Course, the UN Training of Trainers Course, the Protection of Civilians Course, the Peacekeeping English Course, the Senior Mission Leaders’ Course, and the UN Female Military Officers’ Course among others” he explained.
Senior Col. Zhou said “Up to now, Chinese peacekeepers have constructed and repaired 13,000 kilometres of road, disposed of 9,400 mines and explosives, transported 1,200,000 tons of supplies, treated 160,000 patients and conducted 1,500 mobile patrols.”
The country, he said, would facilitate the training of 2,000 international peacekeepers in addition to carrying out 10 mine clearance programme for the next five years.
From David O. Yarboi-Tetteh, Beijing, China