"Thousands of beautiful silk rolls have been unrolled in the year of Dog;
hundreds of steps will be climbed in the Year of Pig."
Quoting the Chinese New Year couplet, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing
aroused laughter yesterday at the China-UN New Year Party at Diaoyutai State
Guesthouse in Beijing.
But China's pledge supporting the United Nations in its efforts to maintain
peace and security and promote international human rights was taken seriously.
"China supports the United Nations in playing the leading role in upholding
global peace and security and its advocacy of dialogue and co-operation and
opposition to wilful resort to pressure or force," Li told representatives and
staff of the United Nations and other international organizations in China.
While China shores up the world organization in "playing its due role in
promoting international human rights," Li also emphasized that China hoped the
UN's new Human Rights Council will endeavour to enhance constructive
co-operation and steer clear of the old path of political confrontation."
He said China was a "staunch supporter of the multilateral system with the UN
at the core," which shoulders the task "to realize the goal of human society to
achieve enduring peace and common prosperity."
The task is all the more important as "mankind faces rare opportunities for
development, but is also confronted with many threats and challenges," Li said,
adding that "more than ever before, the world needs a strong United Nations in
the new era."
And China believed in "strengthening the UN's authority and role, and
improving its capacity to respond to threats and challenges through necessary
and proper reform," he said.
Highlighting China's confidence in the future of the UN and of
multilateralism, Li also stressed that development should take priority in the
"China supports the UN in making a greater contribution to promoting common
development, and in its efforts to strengthen development mechanisms, and
ensuring development resources," Li said.
The Chinese foreign minister also offered "a big thank you" to the UN and its
agencies for their work in China.
"As a developing country, China still faces many challenges in development,"
he said. "I am sure we can continue to count on the support and assistance from
the UN agencies represented here today and the international community."
China's support and co-operation with the United Nations is recognized,
Khalid Malik, UN Resident Co-ordinator, said in his remarks.
He cited China's leadership in promoting international co-operation and
providing relief efforts to disaster-hit countries.
Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general designate, said last Friday that he would
co-operate with China to promote peace, security and development and enhance
human rights, according to a report by Xinhua.
In an interview with reporters from Asian media organizations, Ban said he
was very pleased to see that China, as one of the permanent members of the UN
Security Council and one of the most important member states of the United
Nations, had played an increasing role in international affairs, not only in
Northeast Asia, but also in world affairs.
China has also been playing a very constructive role in many regional issues,
including the Six-Party Talks to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean
With rapid development in the political, economic and social fields, China
has been gaining the respect of the international community, Ban said.
"I expect, as secretary-general of the United Nations, that China will
continue to play an important and constructive role in international politics,
as well as in development strategy for the developing countries," he said.
(China Daily 12/20/2006 page2)