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FM: China Opposes 'Immature' UN Reform

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Jianchao said in Beijing on Thursday that China firmly opposes an "immature plan" proposed by some countries for UN Security Council reform.


"China is quite concerned about this action," Liu said at yesterday's regular press conference.


He said that divergent views on Security Council reform still exist and UN members need to find convergence and a compromise through consultation. It is important to maintain the unity and long-term interests of the UN, not to fix and amend a controversial plan, he added.


Germany, Japan, Brazil and India, known as the Group of Four or G-4, circulated a draft resolution on May 16 proposing giving the four countries permanent seats on the Security Council along with two African countries.


The G-4 is also asking other UN member states to become co-sponsors of the draft resolution and has indicated they will put it to a UN General Assembly vote in June.


China's UN Ambassador Wang Guangya said in New York last Wednesday that China objects to putting the G-4 resolution to a vote next week because UN members are divided on the resolution.


"The proposal of an immature plan has taken Security Council reform off track and has seriously undermined the overall development of the UN reform process and the preparation work for the September UN summit meeting," said Liu.


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


While addressing the 59th session of the General Assembly, Wang said China supports Security Council reform, but objects to setting a timetable for the process or forcing a vote on any reform plan that lacked consensus.


The G-4 announced an alliance in September last year to support each other for their inclusion on the Security Council as permanent members. Their resolution needs to be approved by at least two-thirds of the 191 UN member states to be adopted.


Asked to comment on China's position paper on UN reform, published on Tuesday, Liu said a package of measures would be "not helpful" and more discussion is needed before reaching a decision.


"China supports UN reform and a strengthened role and multilateralism to better cope with global threats and challenges," Liu said, but simple reforms should be implemented soon, and more complicated and controversial measures discussed further with a "prudent attitude."


He said China will take part in the UN General Assembly's discussion on relevant questions positively and constructively, and push for results at the summit meeting this September.


Turning to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Liu said China has always firmly supported the realization of a nuclear-weapon-free peninsula, although it does not have information about nuclear weapon development in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).


"China hopes the six-party talks process will reach this objective," he said.


Liu said the reopening of the six-party talks is the common aspiration of all parties concerned and the international community, and China was "delighted" that DPRK and US officials met twice in New York and the DPRK expressed its desire to return to the talks.


The DPRK informed the US that it is willing to resume the six-party talks, but did not specify a date, US State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said on Tuesday after their meeting in New York.


Liu stressed that the issue is highly complex and extremely difficult, but he hoped the talks would be resumed as soon as possible. Concerns, questions and considerations will be presented under the framework of six-party talks and gradually resolved by reaching a consensus through consultation.


"No matter how complex and how hard the issue is, all the parties concerned have expressed over and over again of their willingness to make efforts to achieve the goal," Liu said. "If they really make sincere and goodwill efforts in a pragmatic and constructive way, the process will move on, though quite slowly sometimes."


He called on all concerned parties to make more efforts to resume the talks as soon as possible since the DPRK and the US had already made positive contacts.


China and the DPRK have kept normal and effective contact and consultation on various bilateral and international issues including the Korean nuclear issue, he said.


Liu also announced that Jamaican Prime Minister Percival J. Patterson will visit from June 19 to 24.


(Xinhua News Agency June 10, 2005)

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