BEIJING, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- This year marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army of China, with the country's role as a responsible power fully embodied through its active participation in overseas peacekeeping missions.
Here are some facts and figures on China's overseas peacekeeping operations.
China started to participate in peacekeeping missions in 1990, when five military observers were sent to Damascus, the capital of Syria.
As of June 2017, the Chinese military had participated in 24 United Nations (UN) peacekeeping missions, sending 31,000 personnel, 13 of whom lost their lives on duty, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND).
Since 2008, the Navy has dispatched 26 escort task force groups, including more than 70 ships for escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia. More than 6,300 Chinese and foreign ships have been protected during these missions.
Meanwhile, China is currently the second-largest country to share UN peacekeeping costs from 2016 to 2018, only after the United States.
China would establish a 10-year 1-billion-U.S. dollar peace and development fund to support the UN work, set up a permanent peacekeeping police squad, and build a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated at the UN Peacekeeping Summit in September 2015.
Xi also pledged that China would provide free military aid of 100 million dollars to the African Union to support the establishment of the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis.
China would help train 2,000 peacekeepers for other countries and launch 10 minesweeping assistance programs for the next five years, said Xi at the summit.