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UPDATED: 10:58, October 12, 2004
Annan urges China to play bigger role in world
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Photo:Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan delivers a speech in Qinghua University in Beijing, Oct. 11, 2004. Annan arrived in Shanghai on Oct. 9, kicking off his five-day official visit to China as guest of the Chinese government.
Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan delivers a speech in Qinghua University in Beijing, Oct. 11, 2004. Annan arrived in Shanghai on Oct. 9, kicking off his five-day official visit to China as guest of the Chinese government.
Visiting United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Tuesday that the UN would work with China to maintain world peace and security and promote co-operation and development.

Annan made these remarks during talks with Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.

Li said the Chinese Government would continue to support the central role of the UN in international affairs.

Annan and Li discussed the situation in Iraq, Sudan and Afghanistan, reform of the United Nations and the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue as well as China's participation in UN peacekeeping missions.

Annan is in Beijing on a five-day official visit, which started on Saturday. He will meet President Hu Jintao Tuesday.

He is also due to visit an eco-village and HIV/AIDS testing centre, and tour the Chinese peacekeepers' training centre at Langfang in North China's Hebei Province today.

China currently provides close to 1,000 military and police personnel for 12 UN peacekeeping operations.

Annan yesterday hailed the 25th anniversary of UN-China partnership as "a testimony to the strong partnerships the UN has forged in China."

He said the UN had not only established partnership with the Chinese Government but also with business and civil society in the nation.

He added the partnership also applied within the United Nations itself "so that many parts of the UN system now work together to place our collective expertise at the disposal of the Chinese people."

State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan yesterday also attended the 25th anniversary of the UN-China partnership. He highly praised UN agencies in China for their contribution to the country's reform and modernization cause.

"Together we aimed at improving the well-being of Chinese nation and people and delivering the best we could," said Khalid Malik, Resident Co-ordinator of UN in China.

At the ceremony, Annan presented UN awards to six eminent people, Li Lanqing, Huang Hua, Peng Peiyun, Deng Pufang, Wei Yu and Long Yongtu, who were recognized for the special contribution they have made to China-UN co-operation.

To commemorate the anniversary, UN China held an exhibition in the garden of the Beijing office of the United Nations Development Programme to showcase the 25 years of collaboration between China and the UN. The exhibition consisted of eight booths, one for each of the UN Theme Groups established to co-ordinate the work of the various UN agencies working in China. The exhibition will remain until UN Day, 24 October, with special viewings organized for schools and community groups.

Annan also delivered a speech at Tsinghua University Monday.

He called on the Chinese students to help ensure global security and achieve the UN's Millennium Development Goals.

Annan said that with its large population and its rapid economic growth, China was being relied on to reach the Millennium Development Goals, set by world leaders in 2000.

"It is theoretically possible that we might succeed in halving the proportion of very poor people in the world by 2015, simply because China had succeeded in lifting almost all its people out of that category, even if most countries in Africa still had the same proportion," said Annan.

"I urge you all -- and your contemporaries throughout China -- to commit yourselves to finding answers to our century's great challenges of poverty, disease, and environmental degradation," he said.

He also urged the students to "go out and make the world better."

The UN chief also expressed his thanks to China for its participation in the UN peacekeeping mission in Haiti, saying that China is playing a greater role in dealing with threats and challenges to world peace and security, and helping the world to rebuild and improve the global security system in the 21st century.

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