Beijing: China`s infantry battalion to South Sudan is set for departure, marking the country`s first batch of soldiers to participate in the United Nations peacekeeping mission.
A rally was held Monday in Laiyang city in China`s Shandong province. The dispatch was approved by the central military commission and its chairman Xi Jinping, Xinhua reported.
Previous Chinese peacekeepers were mainly engineering, transportation, medical service and security guard corps.
The 700-strong infantry battalion includes 121 officers and 579 soldiers. Forty-three members have participated in peacekeeping missions before this. An infantry squad composed of 13 female soldiers will also participate in the mission for the first time.
The first batch of 180 soldiers will fly to South Sudan in January 2015, with the rest travelling via air and sea in March.
As the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, China has deployed over 27,000 personnel around the world as of September 2014, according to the ministry of national defence.
A total of 2,027 Chinese peacekeepers are currently posted in various conflict zones.