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China's UN peacekeepers exceed 10,000 with latest Sudan deployment
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With a third group of Chinese peacekeepers sent to Sudan to replace their predecessors, China has sent more than 10,000 peacekeepers to participate in 18 UN peace-keeping missions.

At the request of the United Nations and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, China decided to participate in a hybrid force of the United Nations and the African Union.

China promised to send a 315-member engineering unit to Darfur. So far, the first group of 143 engineers has been dispatched to Darfur, where it is at work.

"The remaining members of the engineering units to be sent to Darfur are now ready for departure and will be fully deployed by mid-July," the Monday edition of the PLA (People's Liberation Army) Daily quoted Wei Yanwei, vice director of the Peace-Keeping Affairs Office of the Ministry of National Defense, as saying.

China joined the UN Special Committee on Peace-Keeping Operations in 1988 and sent five military observers to the UN Truce Organization in 1990. In 1992, 400 engineering troops were sent for peacekeeping work in Cambodia. And, to date, more than 10,000 Chinese peacekeepers have taken part in missions in such countries as Congo, Libya, Lebanon and Sudan.

"China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, shoulders an important responsibility in missions related to global peace and security, and China's active participation in UN peace-keeping activities reflects its stance to support the world body and its decisions," said Wei.

"Besides fulfilling peace-keeping tasks assigned by the United Nations, Chinese peacekeepers help local people to improve their living standards," Wei added.

The peacekeepers have built or repaired more than 200 bridges and 7,500 kilometers of roads and treated nearly 50,000 patients, official statistics show.

"Chinese peacekeepers not only fulfill their obligations for peacekeeping missions, but also convey Chinese people's friendship and love of peace to the local people in destination countries," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency July 1, 2008)

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