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Senior Military Officer Calls for Active Peacekeeping Role
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Senior military officer Zhang Qinsheng on Friday called on the China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) to conduct deeper and more extensive multilateral peacekeeping operations.

"The PLA's participation in United Nations peacekeeping operations has played a positive role in promoting world peace, solving disputes and maintaining regional security and stability," Zhang, deputy chief of the General Staff of the PLA, pointed out in his keynote speech at the closing ceremony of China's first peacekeeping conference.

The lieutenant-general called for strengthening China's peacekeeping force, improving the legal framework and building an effective operations mechanism.

Major PLA department chiefs and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and China's peacekeeping force attended the four-day conference to discuss in-depth the management, training, rotation, security and international exchanges of Chinese peacekeepers.

China has contributed more than 7,000 peacekeepers to UN peacekeeping operations since 1990, statistics show. Eight Chinese peacekeepers have lost their lives and several dozen have been injured since then.

Currently, 1,643 Chinese peacekeepers are serving on UN missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Lebanon and Sudan. The majority of them are engaged in engineering, transportation and medical services. About 100 are military observers and staff officers.

Chinese peacekeepers have built over 7,300 kilometers of roads and 200 bridges, treated over 28,000 patients, performed more than 230 surgical operations, transported materials more than 3 million kilometers and cleared over 7,500 explosives.

(Xinhua News Agency June 23, 2007)

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