China has been actively devoted to pushing for a breakthrough in negotiations among the concerned parties of Sudan's Darfur crisis, and is also working with the international community to ensure the smooth deployment of the UN/African Union hybrid peacekeeping force in the region, a senior Chinese official said in Brussels on Monday.
"China has already announced five to six batches of substantive humanitarian aid to the Darfur region, and China has also promised to send 321 peacekeeping soldiers to the area," said Du Qiwen, vice minister of the Central Foreign Affairs Office of the Communist Party of China, at a panel discussion on China's development sponsored by the European Policy Center, a European Union (EU) think tank.
Du said 140 peacekeepers are already working in Darfur, and the 181 others are ready to be deployed awaiting orders from the United Nations.
He said the Chinese peacekeepers are engaged mainly in transportation, the task with the highest risks. "China is doing the dangerous job so as to make some substantive efforts to contribute to UN peacekeeping in Darfur," he added.
The former Chinese ambassador to Kenya pointed out that "the most pressing issue" now for peacekeeping in Darfur is the "provision of 24 helicopters", which are crucial for peacekeeping efforts in the war-torn area.
He called on developed countries to contribute helicopters to Darfur.