HARBIN, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- China sent 135 peacekeepers on Tuesday for a peacekeeping mission to Mali, marking the first time the country has dispatched security forces for a peacekeeping mission.
The team, including engineers, medical staff and security guards, departed from Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, Tuesday night.
They are the advance troops of a 395-strong force that China will send to Mali at the request of the United Nations. The team will be tasked with repairing roads and bridges, airport runways and facilities at camps, safeguarding the security of mission headquarters, as well as providing medical treatment and epidemic prevention.
Previously, more than 1,700 tonnes of equipment and materials have been transported by sea to the task execution area.
China established its 395-strong peacekeeping force to Mali on July 12. The members are from the Shenyang Military Area Command and the 211 Hospital of the People's Liberation Army.
The force's remaining servicemen are ready for departure according to the UN arrangement.
China calls for peace in Mali
BEIJING, April 16 (Xinhua) -- China hopes the international community can continue to play an active role in consolidating security in Mali, through close coordination with the Malian side, a Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Hua Chunying's remarks at a press briefing came after France started withdrawing its troops from Mali, with plans to have just 1,000 by the end of the year. Full story