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Peacekeeping Operations of the UN

2001/11/15

According to the UN Charter, the UN Security Council is conferred primary responsibility for the maintenance of world peace and security. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has been committed to the maintenance of international peace and security. It attaches great importance to the United Nations and supports it in playing its due role in maintaining international peace and security under the guidance of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.


In order to guarantee their success and sound development, UN peacekeeping operations must strictly adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, especially the principles of respect for state sovereignty and non-interference in other countries' internal affairs. No UN peacekeeping operations should be launched without the prior consent of the countries concerned. All UN peacekeeping forces should strictly observe neutrality and non-use of force except for self-defense. Peaceful means, rather than coercive measures, should be sought to settle disputes, such as mediation, good offices and negotiation. Double standards and military interference under the name of the UN should be rejected. Any decision on launching UN peacekeeping operations must be based on practicability and capabilities, and no peacekeeping operation should be launched when conditions are not ripe. Peacekeeping forces should not become a party to a conflict, which would be a deviation from the basic purpose of peacekeeping operations.


Adhering to the above principles, China has participated actively in UN peacekeeping activities. So far China has sent 522 military observers, liaison officers or advisers and 800 men in two batches from engineering units to the UN peacekeeping operations, including the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO), United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM), United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC), United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO), United Nations Operation in Mozambique (ONUMOZ), United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL), United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL), United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), and United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE).


At the moment, 43 Chinese military observers are still serving with UNTSO, UNIKOM, MINURSO, UNAMSIL and UNMEE. In January 2000, at the request of the United Nations, the Chinese government dispatched 15 civilian policemen to the United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor, the first time for China to send civilian policemen to UN peacekeeping operations. Now there are 55 civilian policemen serving the UN peacekeeping operations. In addition, the Chinese government has continued to take part in the UN's standby arrangements.


Meanwhile, four Chinese have laid down their lives, and dozens have been wounded in UN peacekeeping operations in order to support the United Nations in fulfilling the mission entrusted to it by the UN Charter.
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