BEIJING, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- The remains of Chinese UN observer Lt. Colonel Du Zhaoyu, who died last week during an Israeli air raid on Lebanon, were cremated at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery in Beijing on Friday.
Liang Guanglie, chief of the general staff of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, paid his respects and expressed sincere sympathy for Du's family.
Chinese President Hu Jintao, Vice-Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) Guo Boxiong, CMC Vice-Chairman and Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and other senior leaders presented wreaths at the service.
Du's body was covered with the flag of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and surrounded by white roses and cypress leaves.
Hundreds of people, including Du's colleagues, schoolmates, teachers and neighbors, attended the service.
The 34-year-old Du Zhaoyu was sent to Lebanon last December as a UN observer. He is the eighth Chinese military member who died in UN peacekeeping missions since 1988, when China joined the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and started to participate in missions.
China sent its first UN observer to the Middle East in 1990, organized its first UN peacekeeping force in 1992, which was sent to Cambodia, and has sent peacekeepers to the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Liberia.
China is the largest peacekeeping force contributor of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, and its forces have performed more than 5,000 tours of duty for UN peacekeeping missions. There are still 1,489 Chinese UN peacekeepers on duty in nine UN mission regions. Enditem