More English Needed as China Steps Up Peacekeeping

The People’s Liberation Army has been more active in peacekeeping missions around the world, and is now finding a need for more English training for their troops to communicate more effectively with U.N. personnel, Reuters reports:

China has sent more than 14,000 peacekeepers, mostly military observers, engineers and medics, to U.N. peacekeeping operations in the last 20 years. About 2,000 Chinese are currently serving, Senior Colonel Kui Yanwei told reporters.

“The relatively low English standards of peacekeepers” ranks after general security issues and a lack of trained teachers with peacekeeping experience among the challenges they face, Kui said.

“We need English for better communications with the other U.N. personnel and teams,” peacekeeping veteran Liu Zhao said, in fluent English, as he showed reporters around a compound modeled on the Chinese camp in Darfur.

As China’s economic muscle has given it greater clout in the United Nations, it has experimented with peacekeeping activities.

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