Li Qin, 1963 - 2010
UN Police (China)
Li Qin, a national of the People’s Republic of China, was the Commander of the 8th Formed Police Unit from China deployed to the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).
Qin was born and grew up in Yunnan Province. He joined the People’s Liberation Army in 1980 and two years later was admitted into the Kunming Military Academy where he studied Vietnamese. After obtaining his Bachelor’s degree, he held various positions as a technical translator, language teacher and drug enforcement officer.
Qin was well known for his anti-drug efforts, which he undertook during his time as border police officer in Yunnan Province. He was involved in breaking up transnational drug-trafficking rings many times over the years. In one notable case, in 2005, and in collaboration with his police counterparts in Myanmar, Laos and Thailand, his team successfully caught a drug tycoon. For this and other achievements, he received several awards.
In August 2008, Qin and the other members of his team successfully completed their first peacekeeping mission to Haiti for which they received a Peacekeeping Medal from their country. Ten months later they returned for their second term for which they received a second medal in January 2010.
In Haiti, Qin and his team demonstrated their abilities in a number of difficult crowd control situations. Mamadou Diallo, former MINUSTAH UN Police Commissioner in MINUSTAH, recalled one episode in particular in southern Haiti where Qin’s team was able to restore order immediately where other teams had failed.
Qin was recognized as an excellent leader “who inspired not only his own people, but myself as the Deputy Police Commissioner in charge of Operations,” said Superintendent Jean-Michel Blais, MINUSTAH’s former Deputy Police Commissioner. “He took pride in whatever he did, and demonstrated great professionalism,” another colleague said, adding that “his soldiers all respected him and followed his orders strictly.”
Qin not only managed his team with discipline, but applied this discipline to himself as well. A long-time smoker, he gave up cigarettes after being appointed the Commander of his unit in Haiti in order to set an example for his team.
His team members remembered him as a “caring brother and supportive friend” who enjoyed socializing, pingpong and dancing.
A workaholic, colleagues remembered that Qin often worked late into the night, and sometimes even slept in his office. But no matter how late, he never forgot to call his daughter to let her know that he was safe.
Recognized as a national hero, Qin and his fellow Chinese peacekeepers who died in Haiti were honoured with a Peacekeeping Hero award by the Ministry of Public Security of China.
Qin is survived by his wife and his teenage daughter.