Xi Jinping said that U.N. peacekeeping operations bring confidence to conflict areas and hope to the local people, during his address at the U.N. Leaders’ Summit on Peacekeeping Monday.

Xi Jinping Peacekeeping speech

Xi Jinping Peacekeeping speech

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“As we speak people in many conflict region places are still suffering,” Xi said.

The Chinese president said that greater support should be given to African nations, who have the greatest peacekeeping needs.

“The international community and the U.N. should support African countries in creating their own capacity in keeping peace and stability so that African issues can be addressed in an African way,” Xi said.

He also said that as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, China has taken part in peacekeeping operations for 25 years and has a been a top troop and fund contributor to operations.

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He said that China will join the new U.N. peacekeeping readiness system and has taken a lead in setting up a permanent peacekeeping police squad with 8,000 Chinese troops.

Xi also said that China will give favorable consideration to U.N. requests for more Chinese engineering soldiers, transport, and medical staff in U.N. peacekeeping operations.

China will also train 2,000 peacekeepers from other countries over the next five years and carry out 10 de-mining assistance with programs that will include training and equipment provisions.

China will also provide $100 million in free military aid to the African Union over the next five years to support building an African standby force and the African capacity for immediate response to crisis, Xi said.

The Chinese president also announced that China will send the first peacekeeping helicopter squad to U.N. peacekeeping operations in Africa, and that part of its pledge of $1 billion in the China U.N. peace and development fund will be used to support U.N. peacekeeping operations.

He closed his address by honoring the 18 Chinese men and women who have laid down their lives in peacekeeping operations including He Zhihong, a U.N. peacekeeper from China who died in 2010 in Haiti.

“She left behind her five-year-old son and elderly parents,” Xi said of He Zhihong. “She once wrote: ‘In this vast world I might be just like a small and light feather, but even so, I would like this feather to carry the wish for peace’ That was her wish, and this is also China’s commitment to peace.”