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Wu Hongbo, a senior Chinese diplomat with rich experience in economics and media, is widely believed to be competent to act as the new UN undersecretary-general for economic and social affairs.
Wu, who assumed his new position in the United Nations on Monday, served as ambassador to Germany from August 2009. A graduate of Beijing Foreign Studies University, Wu later studied in New Zealand. He served as chief representative of the Chinese delegation for the Sino-British Joint Liaison Group, ambassador to the Philippines and assistant foreign minister.
Wu's UN appointment was announced on May 31.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin welcomed the news on June 1, saying Wu is a skilled organizer and qualified to act as the head of the UN department of economic and social affairs.
According to the department's website, Wu will guide its normative, analytic and capacity development work, especially as it advances toward a post-2015 development framework with sustainable development at its core.
During a diplomatic career that spanned more than three decades, Wu, 60, maintained open and effective communications with media worldwide to promote China's stance on a number of issues, including economic cooperation.
But when speaking about his new mission, Wu described himself as "a small fish in a big pond".
"When you are working in the UN headquarters in New York and representing 193 countries in the world community, you realize how challenging the job is," Wu said at his farewell reception, according to the website of the Chinese embassy in Germany.
Despite Wu's modesty, Zhang Xiao'an, vice-president of the United Nations Associations of China, said Wu has outstanding leadership skills to accomplish his new goals. "It is essential for the UN undersecretary-general to have good leadership skills, and I'm sure that Wu has the ability."
(China Daily 08/08/2012 page23)