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Du's death loss for China and world's peacekeeping mission: Defense Minister
Latest Updated by 2006-08-08 09:04:52
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Chinese UN observer, Du Zhaoyu, received high praise at a memorial ceremony in Beijing on Monday as China's military forces were asked to honour the memory of the fallen peacekeeper.

"Du's death is a loss for China and for the world's peacekeepers," Vice-Chairman of Central Military Commission (CMC) and Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan told more than 1,000 people from the military and the foreign ministry.

In the memorial hall a large photo of Du dressed in military uniform, hung on the front wall. Below it, his urn containing his ashes rested on a large billow of white flowers. Two soldiers stood guard and the smartly folded flag of Communist Party of China rested on the urn.

Cao eulogized Du and offered sympathies to Du's family on behalf of CMC and CMC Chairman Hu Jintao.

Du was a good son of the Chinese people, an excellent soldier and diplomatic official, Cao said, adding that Du's short life had been devoted to the military, the country, and the whole of the Chinese people.

Lt. Colonel Du Zhaoyu, aged 34, was killed during an Israeli air raid on Lebanon in late July, eight months into his tour of duty as a UN observer in the Middle East. Three other peacekeepers from Canada, Australia and Finland also died in the same attack. Du is the eighth Chinese soldier to die in UN peacekeeping missions since 1988.

Du's remains were cremated at Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing last Friday.

Cao noted that Du died in the line of duty as a UN peacekeeper, and his death shows the world that Chinese people love peace and that the Chinese army has become an important force in safeguarding world peace, Cao said.

Cao called on the military to turn their sorrow into determination to fulfil the tasks set by the CMC and the Chinese people.

"While mourning Du, we should also learn from him -- his patriotism, his devotion to world peace, and his heroism in the face of difficulties and hardship," Cao said.

Cao asked the Army to march along the hero's path, push forward China's military reforms, maintain preparedness and safeguarding world peace.

Following Du's death, three other Chinese UN peacekeepers were wounded in a separate incidents by a Hezbollah rocket that landed at their post in southern Lebanon last Sunday.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang had said China is very concerned and displeased by the incident, asking Israel and Lebanon to ensure the safety of UN peacekeepers.

He urged the two sides to cease fire immediately and return to the negotiating table to solve the conflict.

Some 180 Chinese military officers and engineers are working in southern Lebanon, as part of the UN peacekeeping mission.

Edior: Donald

By: Source: China Daily Website
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