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Chinese peacekeepers to Lebanon awarded UN Peace Medal of Honor

By Huan Xiang from People’s Daily

The 410 members of the 15th Chinese peacekeeping force to Lebanon were conferred the United Nations (UN) Peace Medal of Honor on March 8 local time.

The medal-awarding ceremony in honor of the Chinese contingent was held at the Chinese troops’ camp in Hinniyah village in southern Lebanon.

The UN Peace Medal of Honor, which is set to commend those prominent contributors to human peace, is an honor for UN peacekeepers of contributing nations.

On behalf of UN Secretary General António Guterres, Pierre Liot de Nortbecourt, chief staff of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), hailed the contribution made by Chinese peacekeeping force, as well as China’s long-standing commitment to world peace.

With a total of 410 personnel, the Chinese contingent comprises of a multi-functional engineer detachment, a construction engineer detachment and a medical detachment.

They were tasked with missions such as mine-sweeping in Lebanon-Israel border area, battlefield explosive ordnance disposal (EOD), project construction, medical rescue and treatment, and humanitarian assistance, and fulfilled them with outstanding performance.

Contributing more to global peacekeeping missions in recent years, it is not a fresh thing for China to shoulder diversified military tasks. China has been already the top contributor of peacekeeping forces among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

As part of its efforts to assume international responsibility and obligation with its maximum capability, China has, by this March, sent 25th convoy fleet for the escort mission in the Gulf of Aden.

Chinese blue helmets, in their mission to dispose landmines and unexploded bombs in Lebanon, created a record in terms of both quantity and speed. At the same time, the peacekeepers sent by China to Liberia, Mali and South Sudan are guarding peace in war fire via their efforts to build bridges, roads for local public.

The number of Chinese peacekeepers deployed in Lebanon, South Sudan, Mali and other seven areas has so far totaled at about 2,600. Over the past 26 years, China has sent out a total number of over 33,000 military peacekeepers for UN peacekeeping operations.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, while addressing the Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping at UN headquarters in September 2015, declared that China will join the new UN peacekeeping capability readiness system.

The country, he said, will take the lead to set up a permanent peacekeeping police squad and will build a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops.

China will provide a total of 100 million dollars of free military aid to support the establishment of the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis in five years, he announced.

China is also to deploy its first helicopter detachment in UN peacekeeping missions in Africa, said the president.

The country’s participation in UN peacekeeping missions has won it applause around the world. “Chinese peacekeeping force sets a good example for all the peacekeepers stationed in Liberia,” Farid Zarif, special representative for UN Secretary General, said when the 19th Chinese peacekeepers deployed to Liberia finished their mission.

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