Taking on responsibility

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, January 21, 2010
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The mourning of eight Chinese peacekeepers may for the first time send home the message that their country is a responsible nation.

The eight lost their lives in the Haiti earthquake while performing their mission of keeping peace in the Caribbean island nation. Now 138 Chinese peacekeepers, along with 50 members of the Chinese earthquake rescue team, are doing whatever they can to save the lives of Haitians.

The high profile funeral attended by top Chinese leaders underscores the importance that Chinese authorities have attached to peacekeeping missions. Thousands of people voluntarily stood at roadside to show their respect for the eight heroes on Tuesday while their hearses were driven to the funeral in Beijing. They knew the eight had sacrificed their lives for world peace and had won glory for the country.

As the world's third largest economy, China's status as a world power is beyond doubt. Chinese leaders have reiterated time and again that China is a responsible nation. Rather than bullying small and weak countries as some world powers have done, China is willing to do whatever it can to help other countries with their problems and promote world peace.

That is why Chinese leaders have proposed the concept of a harmonious world. This country has made concrete efforts to help build such a world. In the past decade, China has sent more than 1,500 peacekeepers on United Nations' missions.

For this earthquake in Haiti alone, Chinese peacekeepers started rescue work immediately after the quake. China's international rescue team arrived 36 hours after the tremor. Chinese medical team members have treated an average of 500 locals who were injured in the quake on a daily basis. They disinfected the area for refugees and spread pamphlets in French with information on how to prevent infections from various diseases.

A Chinese rescue team member said that he and his fellow members would cradle the body of victims with their own two hands out of the rubble - they believed this was the way to show their respect for the dead. The rescue team leader said that they were racing against time to search anywhere to save the lives of survivors.

In every earthquake rescue operation anywhere in the world in recent years, Chinese rescue team members can be spotted searching through rubble for survivors or helping victims with their injuries.

The same is true with Chinese peacekeepers. They have a notion in their mind that they are not just performing duties on behalf of the United Nations but also contributing to world peace on behalf of Chinese people.

As far as the concept of a harmonious world is concerned, humanitarian aid sees no borders and no difference in ethnicities and nationalities. It is in this spirit that Chinese peacekeepers and others on humanitarian missions have devoted themselves to their work.

That may be where China has done its bit in concrete ways as a responsible nation.



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