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China gets more senior posts in int'l organizations
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More Chinese of international educational background are expected to represent China in international organizations, according to a Shanghai-based expert in international affairs.

The Wall Street Journal reported on January 20 that Chinese economist Justin Yifu Lin was expected to be named chief economist of the World Bank by the end of this month. The 56-year-old is co-founder and head of Peking University's China Center for Economic Research (CCER). The key post of the World Bank focuses on working out research plans and development trends. If picked for the post, Lin will become the first economist from a developing world to hold this position.

Two months ago, the WTO Dispute Settlement Body (DSB) formally appointed Zhang Yuejiao, a Chinese lawyer, on the seven-member Appellate Body. This organization issues final rulings in trade disputes; Zhang is the first Chinese to serve on the judicial body.

Previously in 2005 Vice Minister of Education Zhang Xinsheng was elected as Chairman of the Executive Board of the United Nation's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). On November 9, 2006, Dr. Margaret Chan, with full backing from China, was appointed as Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO). She is the first Chinese national elected to head a specialized UN body. Zhao Houlin was chosen as Deputy Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) the following day.

Sha Zukang, Permanent Representative of China to the UN office at Geneva, was named as Under-Secretary-General for the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs on February 9, 2007, making him the seventh Chinese diplomat to hold an Under-Secretary-General post since China took its seat at the world body in 1972. From October 2005, China began to get involved in campaigns for high-level UN positions and its satellite agencies and has garnered many key posts in the last two years.

"As China's influence has been improved, its voice is quite necessary in settling many international issues, some of which cannot even be solved without China's participation. There is a pressing need for international organizations to get personnel support from China and make more Chinese work at important positions,"Su Changhe told Global Times. Su is Executive Associate Dean of School of International & Diplomatic Affairs at Shanghai International Studies University and expert in international affairs.

"Not only achievements within professional fields but also global and objective viewpoint are important in selecting officials of International organizations. We have noticed that the newly-selected senior officials from China, all with international educational backgrounds, are familiar with the cultural differences between China and the western world, and also can better represent China," said Su. He based his statement on his long-term study of international organizations.

Su believed that more Chinese would be selected as senior officials inside international organizations. "International organizations need China's voice,"said the expert.

( by Yang Xi, January 29, 2008)

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