China to send 700 troops to South Sudan

World Today

China is preparing to send an infantry battalion of 700 troops to South Sudan for a U.N. peacekeeping mission, marking the first time China has sent a combat unit for a peacekeeping operation and the first time Chinese female combat soldiers will be sent on such missions. CCTV America’s Hu Chao reported this story from Laiyang, in east China’s Shandong Province.

The first 180 soldiers are preparing to head to a hotbed of violence and chaos in South Sudan. Though it has been over 20 years since China started its international peacekeeping mission, it’s the first time that a combat unit of ground troops has been sent. Prior to this, China’s peacekeepers mainly consisted of security guards, engineers and medics. Thirteen female infantry soldiers will also join the mission.

China to send 700 troops to South Sudan

China is preparing to send an infantry battalion of 700 troops to South Sudan for a UN peacekeeping mission. This marks the first time that China sends a combat unit for a peacekeeping operation. A ceremony was held on Monday in Laiyang, a city in east China's Shandong Province, to mark the upcoming trip. Our reporter Hu Chao has more.

The infantry battalion will be stationed in South Sudan’s capital, Juba, and will be responsible for missions all over the country. Their mandate is to protect civilians and U.N. staff, provide humanitarian rescues, and perform patrol and security duties.

“We’ve completed intense training sessions to fully prepare ourselves for the peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. We’ve been training to cope with various kinds of complicated emergencies that could take place during the mission,” Chinese peacekeeper to South Sudan Wang Zhen said.

China is now the biggest contributor of peacekeepers among all permanent members of the U.N. Security Council with more than 2,600 Chinese peacekeepers on international missions, mainly in Africa.

China’s military officials say the U.N. has great expectations for this infantry battalion and has called on China to send more peacekeepers for these types of missions, a sign that China is playing an increasingly important role in maintaining peace and stability in the world.