China is preparing to send its first infantry battalion to southern Sudan to participate in the UN peacekeeping mission. A rally was held on Monday in the city of Laiyang in Shandong Province, Eastern China. The dispatch was approved by the Central Military Commission and its chairman Xi Jinping, reported Chinese news agency Xinhua.
Xinhau also reported that the 700-strong infantry battalion included 121 officers and 579 soldiers. Forty-three members have participated in peacekeeping missions before. An infantry squad composed of 13 female soldiers will participate in a peacekeeping mission for the first time.
Reports indicate that the first 180 soldiers will fly to South Sudan next January, with the rest travelling via air and sea next March.