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Elite Police Prepare for Haiti Tour
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Police authorities held a farewell ceremony yesterday morning for Shanghai officers enrolled in China's peacekeeping mission to Haiti.

The Shanghai squadron of 23, including three policewomen, will leave for Haiti on September 12 and 27 in two batches. The tour of duty will last about six months.

With an average age of 28, the officers are mostly from local anti-riot forces who have just completed three-months of training in Beijing, authorities said.

The entire peacekeeping force totals 125, all selected from either Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin or Chongqing municipalities. They will be assigned to help maintain public order and handle possible social turbulence in Haiti.

"The 23 recommended by Shanghai police were recruited after they successfully passed various strict examinations," said Yang Ye, a spokeswoman for the Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

"Some are master detectives, some are meritorious personnel with security tasks during the APEC meeting in 2001 and others are national champions of police competitions in physical prowess," she said.

Wu Zhiming, director of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau, said at yesterday's ceremony that anti-riot peacekeepers should abide by UN regulations and respect the customs of Haiti people.

"I hope you will achieve the peacekeeping mission smoothly and bring credit to Shanghai police," Wu said.

Wu Jie, former captain of Shanghai's anti-riot squadron, was once again appointed the captain of the 23-member team.

Showing great excitement in a telephone interview, Wu said he was confident in fulfilling the mission.

"I have been working with different police bodies in the past 14 years," the 36-year-old said.

The government of Haiti was overthrown in February and then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide fled the country.

The UN has authorized a force of 6,700 troops, of which 5,000 soldiers from various countries will be in place by October.

(Shanghai Daily September 4, 2004)

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