By Sun Yang
ADDIS ABABA, March 19 (ChinaMil) -- A theme exhibition "CPLA (Chinese People's Liberation Army): A Force for World Peace" was launched at the headquarters of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on the morning of March 18, local time.
Over 200 people, including officials from AU Headquarters, envoys and military representatives from the AU member states, representatives from the African Stand By Force (ASF) and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC), officials from the UN, NATO and other international organizations, as well as representatives from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, Norway, Sweden, Pakistan, Cuba, Argentina, Mexico and other partners outside the AU region, attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition.
Mr. Chen Xufeng, Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Mission to African Union, Dr. Admore Kambudzi, Ag, Director of the Peace and Security Department of AU, Mamane Souley, Defense Attaché of Niger to Ethiopia and to the AU and Dean of the Military Attaché Association in Addis Ababa, and Senior Colonel Mao Naiguo, Head of the Chinese PLA International Communication Delegation, delivered speeches at the ceremony.
"We have come across oceans to hold this exhibition here, with Chinese military’s ideal of peace, the deep friendship of the Chinese people towards the African people, and the beautiful vision of the Chinese Dream connecting the African Dream," said Colonel Pan Qinghua, Member of the Chinese PLA International Communication Delegation and Director of the International Communication Division under the China's Central Military Commission , as he presided over the opening ceremony.
Charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Mission to African Union Chen Xufeng said in his speech that China has long paid close attention to the cause of peace and security in Africa and has provided strong support for the construction of the ASF and the peace and security operations of the AU. China does not attach any political conditions to its aid to Africa, which is the "secret" of the long-term sound development of China-Africa relations.
Dr. Admore Kambudzi, Ag. Director of the Peace and Security Department of AU, said that China is a precious friend of Africa and has provided crucial support to Africa in almost every field, especially in the fields of peace and security. China is a model partner for the AU and Africa.
Mamane Souley, Defense Attaché of Niger to Ethiopia and to the AU and Dean of the Military Attaché Association in Addis Ababa said that China has always been committed to peace in Africa, has been an important partner of African countries in the field of peace and security, and has long made many tangible contributions to Africa.
Senior Colonel Mao Naiguo said in his speech that up until now, the Chinese military has participated in 24 UN peacekeeping operations, 16 of which are in Africa. More than 2000 Chinese service members are now carrying out peacekeeping missions in Africa. China has dispatched 31 batches of naval escort task forces to Somali waters since 2008. The Chinese military has also actively participated in international disaster relief and humanitarian assistance in Africa. The Chinese military is willing to make positive contributions to building a united, peaceful and prosperous Africa and a closer China-Africa community with a shared future.
The exhibition features more than 60 representative photographs in four parts, including "participation in UN peacekeeping operations", "safeguarding the security of international transit passages", "providing international rescue and assistance", and "carrying out security exchanges and cooperation". It panoramically presented the stories and footprints of the Chinese service members in fulfilling their peace missions, and demonstrated the substantial support and positive contribution of the Chinese military to the peace and security cause in Africa.
A Colonel from the Peace and Security Department of the AU said after watching the exhibition: "The exhibition impressed me very much with the Chinese military's outstanding contribution to maintaining world peace, both in maintaining regional peace and stability and in helping local people improve their lives."
The exhibition will conclude on March 22, 2019.