UN chief to discuss Korean issue with China

Updated: 2013-06-16 15:30


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UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that he is looking forward to meeting members of the new Chinese leadership and he hopes to see "an even bigger and stronger partnership" between the United Nations and China.

The secretary-general made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua ahead of an official visit to China from June 18 to 21 at the invitation of the Chinese government.

This will be his first visit to China since President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other members of the new Chinese leadership assumed office, Ban said.

"I am really looking forward to meeting the new leadership," he said.

China and the United Nations have been maintaining a strong partnership and they could be even closer partners on issues such as the promotion of sustainable development, he said.

On China's role in the UN affairs, Ban said, "China is one of the crucially important member states of the United  Nations with your enhanced economic growth such global leadership which has risen."

"I hope China will do more for the whole contribution to the international community starting from peacekeeping operations and also contributing to the international communities on going efforts to define a sustainable development agenda where the sustainable development goals will be at this core."

When asked about his agenda for the upcoming China trip, the UN chief said that he will discuss with the Chinese leaders many regional issues including the situation on the Korean Peninsula, the situation in Syria, Mali, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

He said he expects that China will continue to play a very constructive role in maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in facilitating dialogue between South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, "thus, reducing the tension on the Korean Peninsula."

The UN chief added that such efforts will benefit beyond the peninsula and be conducive to peace and harmony in Northeast Asia.

Ban highly commended the recent efforts by China to defuse tension on the peninsula, especially Xi's receiving of a special envoy from the DPRK.

"I would like to have more in-depth discussions with President Xi Jinping and other leaders on how China can contribute further to the reduction of tension on the Korean Peninsula," he said.