Recently, Sector West Commander for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) awarded 15 peacekeepers of the 12th Chinese peacekeeping engineering contingent to South Sudan with the Sector Commander's Commendation in recognition of their outstanding performance and contributions in peacekeeping operations. For a long time, China's Blue Helmets have demonstrated the responsibility of a major country in maintaining peace in conflict areas.
The UN peacekeeping operations (UNPKOs), which began in 1948, aim to help conflict-stricken countries create the conditions for lasting peace. For more than 70 years, UN peacekeepers have selflessly dedicated to the peace career in the most difficult and dangerous areas in the world. The Blue Helmets have become a symbol of peace and hope in war-torn areas. China's Blue Helmets is one of the constructive force among them.
In 1990, China sent five military observers to the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization, which marked the beginning of Chinese military’s participation in UNPKOs. Over the past three decades, China’s contribution to the UNPKOs has expanded from dispatching military observers to sending organic units such as engineer contingents, medical contingents, transport contingents, helicopter contingents, guard contingents, and infantry battalions, as well as peacekeeping professionals such as staff officers, military observers, and contract officers .
A set of data can directly show China's active role in peacekeeping operations: since 1992, China has participated in 25 UNPKOs and has dispatched nearly 50,000 peacekeepers in total to more than 20 countries and regions around the world including Cambodia, Congo (DRC), Liberia, Sudan, Lebanon, Cyprus, South Sudan, Mali and Central Africa. China is the second-largest contributor to UN peacekeeping assessments and regular budget, and among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, China tops the other four in contributing troops to UNPKOs.
Since 2013, China has dispatched nine peacekeeping forces to Mali. The Chinese peacekeeping guard contingents have the reputation of “des troupes d'élite”of Sector East of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) by their preeminent performances in carrying out the armed patrol and guarding duties.
In Lebanon, the Chinese peacekeeping troops have been deployed for 16 years and completed with flying colors tasks such as mine clearance, explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), construction maintenance, medical aids and humanitarian assistance. The Chinese peacekeeping deminers have created a miracle of zero casualties in mine clearance and EOD operations.
In Congo (Kinshasa), , the Chinese peacekeeping medical contingent has kept providing material and medical assistance for the "SOS International Children's Village" in Bukavu for 19 years.
In South Sudan, Chinese peacekeepers impart agricultural techniques, donate farm tools and vegetable seeds to local farmers, and uopn invitation give lessons on Chinese culture and Chinese language in local middle schools...
Chinese peacekeepers are also messengers of friendship. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, commended China’s contribution to UNPKOs as “very important”.
Peace needs to be fought for, and peace needs to be maintained. China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of international order. The Chinese military has always been a just force for maintaining world peace. China's Blue Helmets will continue to set out for peacekeeping missions with a high degree of discipline and responsibility for the maintenance of world peace.