Jan Eliasson, former UN deputy secretary-general, decorates a Chinese peacekeeping police officer with a badge in May 2014. Photo: Xinhua
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the participation of Chinese police in peacekeeping missions of the UN. In the past two decades, the Chinese police have presented to the world a just, professional, civilized and confident image.
Chinese peacekeepers have worked in nine countries on four continents, ranging from East Timor and Bosnia and Herzegovina to Haiti and South Sudan. Their identity has also transformed from being learners to planners and trainers.
The Chinese police have injected vitality into UN peacekeeping operations and made positive contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
In 20 years, China has dispatched 2,600 peacekeeping police personnel in total. Eight have sacrificed their lives for the sake of the world peace. Currently, there are still 33 peacekeeping police officers and international staff working in South Sudan, Cyprus, Darfur and the UN headquarter.
From the beginning, the Chinese peacekeeping police have served as the messengers of peace to reflect China‘s active contribution as a big country to keeping the world safe.
In January 2000, China sent its first 15 peacekeeping police to East Timor, which marked the beginning of the country‘s police forces‘ participation in UN peacekeeping missions.
The anti-riot squad of Chinese peacekeeping police arrived at Port-au-Prince of Haiti in October 2004. It was the first time that China had sent a formed police unit on a UN mission.
China formed the world‘s first standing peacekeeping police team in December 2016, beginning a new journey as a big country in peacekeeping.
Jia Xiaochen, a Chinese peacekeeping officer, gives candies to local children in a refugee camp in South Sudan on November 16, 2015. Photo: Xinhua
While visiting the peacekeeping training center in Beijing in January 2004, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the press that he had met with “courageous people who are not only living with the condition but are also determined to share their experience with others.”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres tweeted while visiting the center in April 2018 that he was “deeply impressed by the China Peacekeeping Police Training Center.” “Peacekeeping is the most noble mission in today‘s world. These women and men are ready to sacrifice everything to protect the most vulnerable,” he wrote.
At present, local conflicts and humanitarian disasters are occurring frequently in peacekeeping mission areas. The security situation in some areas is worsening with raging disease, poverty, and harsh weather. The environment for peacekeeping operations is complex and tasks are difficult.
For the sake of the world peace and honor of the country, the Chinese police have given up their peaceful life to go to the front, safeguarding peace and protecting lives by putting their own lives at risk.
Moreover, during epidemics, the Chinese peacekeeping police have helped local people in their mission areas to combat Ebola and COVID-19.
Liao Jinrong, head of the international cooperation department with the Ministry of Public Security, said that peacekeeping is an important part of China‘s participation in international police cooperation. “Under the leadership and promotion of national diplomacy, the Chinese police will actively participate in international police law enforcement cooperation, take part in more extensive and high-quality peacekeeping operations, and gradually move to new heights.”