|China is Here for Peace|
New York, 28 September 2015
Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,
I appreciate President Obama's initiative to convene this peacekeeping summit.
Peace is the common aspiration and lofty goal shared by all mankind. It was for the purpose of peace that the UN peacekeeping operations came into being. Now as an important means of upholding world peace and security, the peacekeeping operations bring confidence to the conflict areas, and hope to the local people.
As we speak, people in many conflict-ridden places around the world are still suffering. They have stronger yearning for peace, higher hopes for the United Nations and greater expectations for the peacekeeping operations. The following is what China stands for:
- The basic principles of peacekeeping should be strictly followed. The UN Charter and the Hammarskjold principles, as the fundamental guidelines for peacekeeping operations, should continue to be adhered to. The Security Council resolutions should be implemented in their entirety, allowing no country to act beyond their mandate. The peacekeeping missions should be carried out with the situation on the ground and the will of the local people in mind. Exit strategies need to be timely formulated and executed.
- The peacekeeping system needs to be improved. The peacekeeping operations should be aligned with preventive diplomacy and peace building in sequence and coordinate with political mediation, rule of law, national reconciliation and improvement of livelihood at the same time. The UN Security Council should be more attentive to opinions of parties directly involved and troop-contributing countries. A better coordinated peacekeeping partnership should be established between the United Nations and relevant regional organizations.
- Rapid response needs to be enhanced. Fast deployment of peacekeeping operations can give peace more chance and win more time to save lives. China welcomes UN's establishment of a new Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System, and calls on member states to join the system.
- Greater support and help should be given to Africa. Africa has the biggest peacekeeping needs. In the long run, the international community and the United Nations should support African countries in increasing their own capacity in keeping peace and stability so that African issues can be addressed in an African way.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has taken part in peacekeeping operations for 25 years. We are a main troop and fund contributing country to these operations. To support the improvement and strengthening of UN peacekeeping operations, I hereby announce that:
First, China will join the new UN Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System and has thus decided to take the lead in setting up a permanent peacekeeping police squad and build a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops.
Second, China will give favorable consideration to UN requests for more Chinese engineering soldiers and transportation and medical staff to take part in UN peacekeeping operations.
Third, in the coming five years, China will train 2,000 peacekeepers from other countries, and carry out 10 demining assistance programs which will include training and equipment provision.
Fourth, in the coming five years, China will provide free military aid of US$100 million to the African Union to support the building of the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis.
Fifth, China will send the first peacekeeping helicopter squad to UN peacekeeping operations in Africa.
Sixth, part of the China-UN peace and development fund will be used to support UN peacekeeping operations.
In UN peacekeeping operations, 18 Chinese men and women in uniform have laid down their lives. Five years ago, we lost He Zhihong, a peacekeeping policewoman in the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti. She left behind her four-year-old son and elderly parents. She once wrote: in this vast world, I may be just like a small feather. But even so, I want this feather to carry the wish for peace.
This was her wish, and it is also China's commitment to peace.