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Chinese peacekeeping troops leave for Liberia
2004/03/17
    Chinese peacekeeping troops left two Chinese cities on Tuesday for a UN peacekeeping mission to Liberia in western Africa.

    Aboard UN planes, the 70-member advance team of an engineering group left Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, Tuesday morning.

    The 35-member medical team left Fuzhou, provincial capital of east China's Fujian Province, Tuesday afternoon.

    According to sources with China's Defense Ministry, at the request of the United Nations, the Chinese government will send 550 peacekeeping troops to Liberia, including a 240-member transport company, a 275-member engineering team and 35 medical staff for a UN hospital.

    The engineering team was especially trained in logistics, transportation, oil supply, medical service and acclimation. The team was equipped with vehicles for command, rescue, bathing, cooking and refrigeration, sources said.

    The engineering team, during their one-year mission will conduct non-military tasks such as building roads, blindage, houses, repairing and maintaining airports and ensuring water and electricity supply.

    The medical team, which will offer service for UN peacekeepers in an eastern city of Liberia, was equipped with ambulances as well as vehicles for water-purifying, washing and sterilizing, bathing, energy-generation and refrigeration.

    "The major difficulty is the vile natural environment such as the hot and humid weather, malaria and un-secure situation," said the 43-year-old Xiao Hai, captain of the medical team and surgeon of a major military hospital in southeast China's Fujian Province.

    Since China applied to the United Nations to offer peacekeepingtroops in 1988, the country has sent over 2,000 peacekeepers on 11UN peacekeeping missions. Enditem

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