Editor's note: China is always a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a protector of international order. The Chinese military is always a firm force for preserving world peace.
By Lv Desheng
BEIJING, Oct. 19 (ChinaMil) -- "Upon authorization of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC) and in response to the request of the new United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System, the Chinese military finished the registration of an 8,000-member peacekeeping standby force in the UN on September 22 after thorough coordination and communication with relevant UN departments", said Wu Qian, spokesperson for China's Ministry of National Defense (MND), at the regular press conference on September 28.
Forming the standby peacekeeping force is a concrete step taken by the Chinese military to support the UN and its peacekeeping missions, and an important reflection of China's commitment to undertaking more international responsibilities and performing its obligations as a major country.
By preserving world peace, the Chinese military once again demonstrates its commitment to a major country's responsibility.
It is the permanent mission and responsibility of the Chinese military to escort world peace.
At the 70th UN General Assembly on September 28, 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping made the solemn pledge that China will join the new United Nations (UN) Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System, form a systematic peacekeeping police squad for that purpose, and form an 8,000-member standby peacekeeping force.
President Xi Jinping has elaborated on China's concept and assertion of contributing to world peace on many occasions.
-- Stop war and preserve peace. The world is far from being peaceful and peace needs protection. Xi Jinping pointed out that "Peace, like air and sunshine, is hardly noticed and easily forgotten, but its absence is life-threatening, so we need to protect it carefully. In today's world, war still exists, the people in many countries and regions still suffer from the chaos of war, and countless women and children still face the threat of death. Everyone with a conscience and loving peace should take actions to jointly stop war and preserve peace."
-- Pursue common security through co-building and sharing. President Xi said that "When neighbors are in trouble, instead of tightening his own fences, one should extend a helping hand to them. As a saying goes, 'united we stand, divided we fall'. All countries should pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security."
-- Coordinated and balanced profits and justice. Pursue profits not for its own sake, but for justice - this is the consistent principle that China has upheld in handling international relations. President Xi pointed out that "We have to focus on profits, but also to appreciate the righteousness. Only take them both into account can achieve the win-win situation."China calls for the right outlook on justice and profits, and calls on major countries to provide undeveloped countries and regions with more support in security and development.
-- Give fish and teach others to fish. President Xi said at the 70th UN General Assembly that China will train 2,000 peacekeepers for other countries and carry out ten mine-sweeping assistance programs in the next five years. China will also provide a total of $100 million of free military aid to the African Union in the same period to support the establishment of the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis. Part of the China-UN peace and development fund will be used to support UN peacekeeping missions.
On August 1, 2017, the Chinese troops stationed at the Djibouti support base held the entry ceremony, marking a milestone in the process of Chinese military going global and undertaking a major country's responsibility.
As China's first overseas logistics support base, the Djibouti base will provide effective guarantee for Chinese troops to carry out escort, peacekeeping, humanitarian aid and other operations in Africa and West Asia.
It is helpful for China to carry out overseas operations such as military cooperation, joint exercises and training, evacuation and protection of overseas Chinese, and emergency aid, and can work with relevant parties to jointly ensure the security of international strategic routes.
China honors its words and always delivers concrete results. The Chinese military fully performs its responsibilities for preserving world peace.
While resolutely defending the national sovereignty, security and development interests, the Chinese military has taken solid steps in going global and performing the responsibilities and obligations of a major country in the past five years, earning warm accolades from the international community.
--Others left because of Ebola, but Chinese came because of Ebola. The song titled Fighting Ebola adapted from a Liberian folk song reflected the deep friendship between China and Africa and praised China's sense of responsibility.
In 2014, the Ebola epidemic played havoc in West Africa and killed more than 10,000 people. Many foreign medical institutions left the Ebola-hit countries. Under such circumstances, the Chinese military assigned six medical detachments to Sierra Leon and Liberia successively to help them fight the virus.
--"Thank you, Chinese Navy!" The simple words expressed the heartfelt gratitude of the saved sailors.
On April 8, 2017, the Chinese guided-missile frigate Yulin that was carrying out an escort mission in waters off the Somali coast at the Gulf of Aden received an SOS from a foreign cargo ship that was hijacked by pirates. The Chinese naval vessel launched a special maritime rescue operation immediately, and all 19 Syrian sailors were saved after more than seven hours of intense armed rescue.
"This is the Chinese naval escort taskforce. Please call us at Channel 16 if you need help." This message sent out in Chinese and English has never stopped in the past few years, and has become the "voice of peace" for Chinese and foreign merchant ships sailing by the Somali sea area at the Gulf of Aden.
By September 2017, the Chinese naval taskforces have escorted more than 6,000 ships, over 50% of which were foreign ones, and saved, escorted and helped over 60 endangered ships.
-- "China is a resolute guard of world peace. The UN will continue to cooperate with China in various aspects of peacekeeping operations", said Lacroix, the deputy Secretary-General of UN in charge of peacekeeping affairs. His remarks expressed his affirmation of the competence and dedication of Chinese Blue Helmet soldiers.
Since 1990, the Chinese military has assigned over 36,000 peacekeepers to participate in 24 UN peacekeeping operations in succession. It is considered a "key factor and force in peacekeeping operations" by the international community. At the moment, China is the largest peacekeeper contributor among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the second largest sponsor of UN peacekeeping operations.
"We hope China-made UAV will be used in UN peacekeeping mission areas at an early date." Knowing that the Chinese standby peacekeeping force has an UAV unit, Ju Xiaocheng, an UAV technician at the PLA Army College of Artillery and Air Defense Force, was very excited.
Ju Xiaocheng is an UAV expert. In his opinion, UAV is an important part of modern air force and can play a unique role in many areas, including information reconnaissance and acquisition on the battlefield, air communication relay, unmanned combat, and special operations.
"Helicopters of the Chinese military have been deployed in UN peacekeeping mission areas. I hope our UAV can be used there at an early date," said Ju expectantly.
According to the spokesperson of the MND, "China's peacekeeping standby force includes 6 infantry battalions, 3 engineering companies, 2 transportation companies, 4 level-II hospitals, 4 guard companies, 3 rapid reaction companies, 2 medium-sized multi-purpose helicopter contingents, 2 transport aircraft contingents, 1 unnamed aerial vehicle (UAV) contingent and 1 surface ship contingent, altogether 28 professional contingents in 10 categories."
"The standby peacekeeping force is not only of a larger scale, but can also carry out operations of more types. It shows China's active support to UN peacekeeping operations and indicates the UN's recognition of the capability and competence of Chinese military," said the head of the Office of Peacekeeping Affairs of the MND.
In recent years, the PLA naval vessels enter water at a faster pace. According to Zhang Junshe, a senior researcher at the PLA Naval Military Studies, the development of Chinese navy brings security rather than threat to the world.
This is well proved by the series of operations it has conducted. Chinese naval vessels participated in the escort missions at the Gulf of Aden and the escort of the sea transport of chemical weapons from Syria; they joined the search for the missing Malaysian airline MH370, helped mitigate the freshwater crisis in Maldives, evacuated Chinese citizens and 270 foreigners from Yemen, and the Peace Ark hospital ship carried out "Harmonious Mission" multiple times to provide humanitarian medical services.
"China firmly adheres to the path of peaceful development, and the buildup of Chinese military strength is the increase of peaceful force." According to Chen Zhou, a military expert who participated in the drafting of national defense white book many times, with the growing national strength, the Chinese military will play a bigger role in international peacekeeping and humanitarian aid operations, bear more international responsibilities and obligations within its capacity, and provide more public security products, so as to make greater contributions to safeguarding world peace and promoting common development.