En­abler be­comes en­forcer

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - 90TH - By ZHANG ZHIHAO

China has been par­tic­i­pat­ing in peace­keep­ing mis­sions for nearly three decades. How­ever, it is only in the past five years that in ad­di­tion to con­tribut­ing “peace en­ablers”, such as en­gi­neers and med­i­cal staff, the coun­try has also pro­vided “peace en­forcers” via the de­ploy­ment of po­lice forces and in­fantry bat­tal­ions.

China sent its first peace­keep­ing po­lice force to the UN mis­sion in Mali in 2013, and its first in­fantry bat­tal­ion unit to South Su­dan in 2015. In June, the first Chi­nese he­li­copter unit joined the peace­keep­ing ef­fort in Dar­fur, west­ern Su­dan.

Se­nior Colonel Zhang Ge­qiang, who led the Chi­nese peace­keep­ers in Mali in 2013, said per­son­nel are se­lected from the coun­try’s best troops be­cause they will rep­re­sent China on the in­ter­na­tional stage.

For se­cu­rity per­son­nel, the stakes are much higher, and knowl­edge can be the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death.” Se­nior Colonel Zhang Ge­qiang, com­man­der of Chi­nese peace­keep­ers

“How­ever, even the best re­quire train­ing so they are pre­pared for peace­keep­ing mis­sions, and that knowl­edge can only be ac­cu­mu­lated through years of trial and error,” he said. “For se­cu­rity per­son­nel, the stakes are much higher, and knowl­edge can be the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death.”

When Zhang’s team re­turned from their mis­sion, he and his col­leagues wrote 13 train­ing man­u­als for fu­ture peace­keep­ers. “Th­ese first­hand ex­pe­ri­ences will help to en­sure the se­cu­rity and ef­fi­ciency of fu­ture peace­keep­ing mis­sions,” he said.

Gao Mingbo, sec­tion di­rec­tor of the Depart­ment of In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tions and Con­fer­ences at the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs, said China is the only UN coun­try with a “triple iden­tity”, be­cause it is a ma­jor con­trib­u­tor of troops and fund­ing, and is also a per­ma­nent mem­ber of t he UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.

“China will con­tinue to up­hold the ba­sic prin­ci­ples of the UN char­ter, while dis­cussing nec­es­sary and rea­son­able re­forms to peace­keep­ing op­er­a­tions with other na­tions to make them more adapt­able to chang­ing sit­u­a­tions,” he said. “China will also ac­tively par­tic­i­pate in fu­ture mis­sions, and help mis­sion-des­ti­na­tion coun­tries to achieve l ong term peace and pros­per­ity.”

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