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China Opposes Forced Voting on UN Reform

China voiced opposition on Thursday to forced voting on any resolution about the expansion of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that might undermine the unity of UN member countries or the process of reform.


"The UNSC reform is an issue of major importance that concerns the immediate interests of every country. It needs extensive, transparent discussions and unanimous agreements so as to find a converging point and compromised plan," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Kong Quan said at yesterday's regular press conference.


"That is the only way forward to UN reform, to help the UN play an effective and authoritative role in world affairs and to maintain unity among the UN member countries," he said.


Germany, Japan, Brazil and India, known as the Group of Four or G-4, circulated a draft resolution on May 16 proposing their permanent seats in the Security Council along with two African countries. They have indicated they will put it to a vote by the General Assembly this month.


The G-4 resolution needs to be approved by at least two-thirds of the 191 UN member states to be adopted.


China's UN Ambassador Wang Guangya said in New York on Wednesday that China will  vote against the resolution if the G-4 puts the proposal to a vote next week because it effectively divides the UN member states into two opposing groups.


Nevertheless, Kong reiterated China's stance on the UNSC reform, expressing China's support for it.


He said the reform should help enhance the authority and efficiency of the Security Council. He said reforms should also focus on increasing the representation of developing countries.


Kong added that reforms should give more opportunities to small and mid-sized countries to participate in the decision-making of the Security Council. Further, they should adhere to the principle of keeping balance among regions and take into account the representation of different cultures and civilizations.


He also pointed out that the UNSC reform is only one part of the UN reform agenda.


"We worry that the reform of the Security Council has been over-emphasized by some parties while other UN reforms have been overlooked," he added.


UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in his UN reform report submitted to the General Assembly in March, proposed to make a decision on council expansion before September.


While addressing the 59th session of the General Assembly, Wang Guangya said that China supports reforms of the Security Council, but objects to setting a timetable for the process or forcing a vote on reforms in the absence of a consensus.


Foreign ministers of China, Russia and India met yesterday in the Russian city of Vladivostok for an informal meeting.


Kong said the meeting was important for closer trilateral cooperation, and maintaining regional peace and stability.


Turning to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Kong said China has not given up efforts to resume the six-party talks despite some difficulties arising in the process.


He said China hopes that the US and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will show more goodwill toward each other so as to promote mutual trust. This will help to create more favorable conditions for the resumption of the talks.


The six-party talks collapsed almost a year ago after three rounds of multilateral meetings aimed at persuading Pyongyang to drop its nuclear program.


Discussing Sino-US trade relations, Kong said China opposes the US decision to impose trade barriers on Chinese textiles. 


The US government announced last month that it would limit imports of seven kinds of Chinese textiles and clothing, with the aim of limiting yearly increases of certain Chinese textiles in the US market.


Kong said Sino-US trade ties have developed rapidly over the years, but pointed out that trade could not have advanced if benefits were only one-sided.


He said China believes friendly consultation is the best way to solve trade frictions between the two countries.


US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez arrived in Beijing yesterday morning. He said the US hopes to resolve the textile dispute through consultations and continue to strengthen economic and trade relations with China.


Turning to other state visits, Kong announced that Vice Premier Zeng Peiyan will visit Russia, Oman, United Arab Emirates and Qatar from June 6 to 17. Zeng will also attend the Second South Summit to be held in Doha, Qatar.


Meanwhile, Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer will visit China from June 12 to 15, and Kenyan Foreign Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere from June 8 to 12.


(Xinhua News Agency, CRI.com June 3, 2005)

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