Chinese peacekeepers have played an important part in UN missions. TUCHONG
When poverty, hunger and AIDS tortured the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2003, most people avoided stepping foot in the country. However, Hou Dan wasn’t scared off. Instead, she volunteered to participate in the peacekeeping operations.
Hou is just one of many Chinese peacekeepers in the United Nations.
Since China first joined the UN missions in 1990, about 40,000 Chinese troops have been sent to conflict-affected countries and areas in 26 UN peacekeeping operations. At present, more than 2,500 Chinese peacekeepers are on the frontline of UN peacekeeping operations across the world. That makes China one of the most important countries firmly and unhesitatingly upholding world peace and security.
But peacekeeping missions are never easy. So far, 15 Chinese peacekeepers have laid down their lives for the cause of world peace.
Shen Liangliang, 29, was one of them. On June 2, 2016, a car bomb detonated at a UN camp. During the terrorist attack, Shen pushed a fellow soldier out of harm’s way, saving his peer’s life at the cost of his own.
“The strong qualities [Chinese peacekeepers display], such as strong leadership, bravery, rigor and meticulousness, professionalism, friendliness and tolerance, have established a very good image for Chinese soldiers and left a deep impression on everyone,” Stefano Del Col, Head of Mission and Force Commander of the UNIFIL, told Xinhua.
According to Xinhua News Agency, Chinese peacekeepers have newly built and repaired nearly 15,000 kilometers of roads and more than 300 bridges, and cleared more than 10,000 landmines and unexploded ordnance in the globe. More than 1.3 million tons of various materials and equipment have been transported by them, covering a total distance of more than 13 million km. They have also treated more than 200,000 patients and completed numerous long and short distance patrols and armed escorts.
“Chinese peacekeepers – civilian, military and police – have played a valuable role in several UN operations over the past 30 years and I commend them for their service under the blue flag,” UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix told Xinhua on May 28, one day prior to the International Day of UN Peacekeepers.
“中国维和人员 —— 不论是平民还是军警 —— 都在过去30年间的数次联合国行动中发挥了重要作用，我在蓝旗下为他们点赞，”5月28日，联合国负责维和行动的副秘书长让-皮埃尔·拉克鲁瓦在联合国维持和平人员国际日前yi接受新华社采访时如此表示。
Without doubt, China will continue to expand its participation in UN peacekeeping missions and “inject new impetus in peacekeeping, make the world more secure, and fulfill its due responsibility as a major country”, Yang Huanhuan, a lecturer at the National Defense University of People’s Liberation Army, wrote in China Daily.