China firmly supports UN peacekeeping operations and has always taken an active part in them, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a high-level meeting on UN peacekeeping during the ongoing 69th Session of the UN General Assembly.
"As a developing country, China is now the sixth largest contributor of UN peacekeeping funding among all member states, and the largest among developing countries," Wang said.
Wang pointed out that China is also the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the Security Council. "In the future, we will give continued, strong support to UN peacekeeping operations and will expand our involvement," he said.
According to the Chinese Ministry of National Defense, China will soon send a 700-strong infantry battalion to the UN Mission in South Sudan. This will be the first Chinese infantry battalion to participate in a peacekeeping mission. Previously, peacekeeping staff from China mainly consisted of security guards, engineers and doctors.
China's international peacekeeping missions started in the 1990s. More than 25,000 Chinese peacekeepers have since been sent to UN peacekeeping missions and over 2,100 Chinese peacekeepers are at their posts safeguarding peace in conflict zones at present. Nine officers and soldiers have thus far lost their lives in the line of duty during such missions.
Wang Yi stressed that peacekeeping represents the unchanged commitment of China and the mission that the country continues to fight to accomplish. "A prosperous and strong China will make more active and important contributions to world peace," he said.
(Reporting from New York City)