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China to Send Anti-riot Peacekeepers for Haiti
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China kicked off three-month training for 148 anti-riot policemen on Friday, and will select 125 to compose its first team of anti-riot peacekeepers for missions in Haiti, according to the Ministry of Public Security. 


Vice Minister Meng Hongwei said Friday at the training's opening ceremony that the anti-riot peacekeeping team would help maintain local public security order and handle possible social turbulence, which would require stricter and higher standards in skills and disciplines than those for common peacekeeping police.


The team will head for Haiti in early September this year and stay there for about six months.


"China's active involvement in peacekeeping missions of the United Nations, especially in Haiti that has not set up a diplomatic relationship with China, fully exhibits a peace-loving and responsible image of the country," Meng said.


According to him, the 148 trainees, including 13 females, come from Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Chongqing municipalities and are aged 28 on average, with the oldest up to 41 and the youngest only 22.


From the Tianjin anti-riot squadron, Yang Yunsheng, 41, was quite confident in fulfilling the training. "We will cooperate and train hard to build a powerful force with tenacious style, adept skills and strict disciplines," Yang said in his oath.


Female trainee Han Yiqiu said her major goal was to build up her physical strength so that she could get qualified for the mission when the training ended.


The organization of an anti-riot team with international working experience could not only boost the government's cause of promoting peace and stability in the world, but also benefit domestic public order, especially the security defense work for the 2008 Olympic Games to be held in Beijing, Meng acknowledged.


Since 1999, the Chinese government has sent 253 police to participate in UN peacekeeping missions, including operations in East Timor, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Liberia, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Haiti. Currently, 55 policemen are still left in these areas for peacekeeping tasks.


(Xinhua News Agency June 5, 2004)

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