World / Asia-Pacific

Candidate for UN chief backs Beijing's direct talks stance

By An Baijie (China Daily) Updated: 2016-07-08 07:37

Parties involved in maritime disputes should use peaceful means to settle their differences in line with international law, said a candidate for UN secretary-general.

Danilo Turk, a former president of Slovenia, made the remark on Tuesday when asked by China Daily to comment on China's call for direct dialogue and negotiation with countries in dealing with maritime disputes.

Candidate for UN chief backs Beijing's direct talks stance

"Every dispute settlement process includes the element of negotiation. It is fundamental that parties to a dispute retain communication throughout the dispute settlement process," Turk said.

"In addition, China has declared commitment to seeking win-win outcomes as its basic principle in handling international relations. This is wise and should help in finding solutions to the actual disputes," he said.

Turk, a Slovenian diplomat, professor of international law, human rights expert and politician, was nominated by the government of Slovenia in February as a candidate for UN secretary-general. He visited China from Monday to Wednesday.

First UN ambassador

He was the first Slovenian ambassador to the UN, from 1992 to 2000, and the UN assistant secretary-general for political affairs from 2000 to 2005.

He became a nonresident senior fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial studies at Renmin University of China in June last year.

China's proposed Belt and Road Initiative "is a very welcome initiative and a symbol of a new phase of globalization", he said, adding that it will open new horizons to cooperation - including the involvement of small and medium-sized enterprises in areas of manufacturing and technology, services and tourism.

Turk declined to comment on the arbitration case unilaterally brought by the Philippines against China over South China Sea disputes. China maintains that the arbitral tribunal of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has no jurisdiction in the issue.

Prior to Turk's visit, Miroslav Lajcak, Slovakian minister of foreign and European affairs, who is also a candidate for UN secretary-general, visited Beijing and talked with Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday.

An election is set this year for the ninth UN secretary-general, to succeed Ban Ki-moon, whose term will end on Dec 31. There are currently 11 candidates, seven of whom have visited China and met with Wang.

Jin Yong, a professor of international relations at Communication University of China, said it is vital for the candidates to seek the support of China, one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.


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