Hebei to get Asia's largest peace officer facility
China is to build Asia's largest peacekeeping police training centre in Hebei province.
Xinhua says the centre will cost about 160 million yuan (HK$150 million) and be able to accommodate 250 officers, with 50 places made available to foreign police officers.
It quoted Gao Zaicun, vice-president of the Academy of the Chinese People's Armed Police Force, as saying that the centre, in Langfang, was expected to be built by the end of next year.
Mr Gao made the announcement at a briefing during a visit by the UN under-secretary general in charge of peacekeeping operations, Jean-Marie Guehenno.
Wang Honghai, an officer of the academy, said yesterday that mainland policemen first took part in UN peacekeeping activities in 1998.
Two years later, the China Peacekeeping Civil Police Training Centre was established.
Mr Wang said the centre had trained 251 students selected from the Chinese police force. Of these, 197 had sat examinations administered by the United Nations and 159, or 80 per cent, had passed.
Senior police officers and peacekeeping experts from several countries, including the US, Canada and Norway, have lectured at the centre.
'They stay for a week or two and are then replaced by others,' Mr Wang said.
There are currently 69 Chinese police officers taking part in UN peacekeeping operations in East Timor and 15 in Bosnia, said Mr Wang.