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China Favors Asian Candidate for UN Chief
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The Foreign Ministry said China firmly supports electing an Asian as the next UN secretary-general, believing the countries will maintain their solidarity to select a competent, prestigious and widely accepted leader of the world body.


Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao made the remarks yesterday after the UN Security Council held its first straw poll on candidates in New York.


"This poll is not designed to take any decision, but rather is planned to test what response the members of the UN Security Council might have on the official candidate," Liu said in a statement.


He said China also supports the consultation among the UN members, including members of the Security Council, to smoothly elect Kofi Annan's successor.


Wu Miaofa, former counselor of the Chinese delegation to the UN, said he hoped the Security Council would submit the final candidate to the General Assembly in September or October. If so, it will allow the new secretary-general preparation time before taking up the post at the beginning of next year.


Wu said more candidates could enter the race based on their own assessment of the vote as it is open to all qualified people until the final decision.


With all the talk of regional rotation, he said other candidates from Asian countries were still possible.


Wu said he personally preferred to see the secretary-general come from a small or medium-sized Asian country.


"As the majority of the 192-member UN are small and medium-sized nations, that kind of secretary-general will be more representative and universal," he said.


Wu said that as UN's role has been strengthened in the recent years, the international community, especially developing countries, have pinned high hopes on the organization.


"Thus the election of the UN secretary-general," he said, "is one of the most important diplomatic things in the world."


(China Daily July 26, 2006)


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