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Interview: United Nations enjoys "strong support" from China: UN chief

By Gu Zhenqiu (Xinhua)

08:22, July 13, 2012

UNITED NATIONS, July 12 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon said that the United Nations enjoys "strong support" from China in most of important agendas of the world body, which include peacekeeping, development, human rights and humanitarian assistance.

The secretary-general made the statement in a recent interview with Xinhua on the eve of his visit to China, the first one since he got re-elected as the UN chief in June 2011.

"I am very pleased and excited to have an opportunity to be visiting China again," said the secretary-general, who has been to China many times before, adding that he saw the upcoming visit very important because it comes in the early months of his second term, which began on Jan. 1.

CHINA'S ROLE

"I'm very much grateful for China's continuing support and global role China is playing in the international community," he said. "Most of the important agendas the United Nations is doing to have a strong support from the Chinese government: peacekeeping, development, human right issues, humanitarian assistance."

"China has been expanding its global role all throughout the world," he said, adding that during his upcoming visit to China, " I'd like to discuss all this matter, (and) how we can strengthen further the cooperative relationship and partnership between UN and China."

During his stay in Beijing, Ban is expected to meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao and other Chinese leaders, and he is scheduled to attend the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, which is slated for July 19-20 in the Chinese capital.

"Any important agenda within the United Nations, starting from peace and security, development, human rights, (and) humanitarian assistance, all these require Chinese active support and engagement," he said.

"As the secretary-general of the United Nations, I will emphasize the importance of Chinese stronger and enhanced participation and engagement to Chinese leaders," he said. "I am very much grateful for Chinese support for the United Nations, as well as for me as the secretary-general."

CHINESE CULTURE

Ban, a Korean national, said that he learned "many important, valuable wisdom" from the Chinese classics, which "have given me a lot of inspiration and wisdom."

"From (the) Chinese classics, we learn many important, valuable wisdom," he said. "These are the ones that have influenced me since early, early days, like Kongzi (Confucius), Mengzi (Mencius) lessons of these great philosophers, and educators, have given me a lot of inspiration and wisdom."

Confucius and Mencius were both great philosophers in ancient China, their thoughts are still flowering in both China and many other countries. Confucius (551-479 BC) had talked about heaven and humanity becoming one, imagined humankind and the natural world in perfect harmony. Mencius (379-281BC) earned him the title "second sage," meaning a great thinker just next to Confucius. Chief among his basic tenets was an emphasis on the obligation of rulers to provide for the common people.

"Their thoughts are becoming more and more universal now in the world," Ban said.

Although he started to practise Chinese calligraphy when he was a child, a modest Ban said, "I am just a beginner."

"I'm very much impressed, whenever I see many beautifully written calligraphies by many Chinese people," he said. "I want to really learn more, because I am still practising it."

"By practising calligraphy you can also concentrate," he said. "This is not only good for spiritual way, but also helps your body health, by concentrating you can forget about all of this, but you can only devote all your time and energy on writing this calligraphy."

"I simply don't have much time to practice, whenever I have time, I and my wife really enjoy writing and practising calligraphy," he said.

In mid-January this year, Ban displayed one of his Chinese calligraphy work at an exhibition held at the UN headquarters in New York, sending his good wishes to the Chinese people as the Year of the Dragon is coming.

Ban's work contains two Chinese characters, "Heping," which means "peace." Although the strokes seem a little bit immature, the calligraphy as a whole is well-balanced and beautiful.

"Peace, Heping you said just now, development, and human rights, these are three pillars of the United Nations Charter, one day I presented my own writing, Heping to one of the exhibitions, in the UN, I feel proud, but even so, my calligraphy was not good enough, " he said. "I need more practice."

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