A senior UN peacekeeping official on Thursday commended China’s peacekeeping efforts in sustaining peace and stability in Liberia, saying Chinese peacekeepers are “very professional and well-disciplined.”
“I would give nine of ten or maybe ten (marks) for them,” Hubert H. Price, Director of Mission Support of UN Missions in Liberia, told Xinhua in an interview when commenting on the work of Chinese peacekeepers.
Price said Chinese transportation, engineer and medical units all work hard and well engaged with local people in the country where 85 percent of the population live below the international poverty line.
Liberia had witnessed political instability since 1980 when a military coup overthrew the True-Whig Party leadership, which led to the deaths of between 250,000 and 520,000 people and devastated the country’s economy. A peace agreement in 2003 led to democratic election in 2005.
China has since 2003 sent peacekeepers to Liberia as part of efforts to back UN peacekeeping missions, currently, more than 500 Chinese peacekeepers are carrying out various UN missions in the country.
Keeping roads open is one of the major missions for Chinese peacekeepers in the country as it sees significant rainfall during the May-October rainy season.
“Keeping the roads open is very important for industry and people moving farm produce,” Price added.
Price also lauded Chinese transportation unit, as they registered “zero accident rate” during their mandate in Liberia.
China has stepped up its peacekeeping effort globally over the past two decades. Chinese President Xi Jinping in September at a UN summit announced that in the next five years, China is to provide a total of 100 million U.S. dollars of free military aid for the Africa Union (AU) to support the establishment of the African Standby Force. China is also to deploy its first helicopter detachment in UN peacekeeping missions in Africa.
Price said China’s support to AU will help greatly improve its ability to respond to regional crisis and challenges to come, describing the plan to deploy helicopter detachment as valuable for China.
The UN official also said Chinese peacekeepers help build sound community relations and boost communication among peacekeepers from other countries via holding various cultural activities.