UN SG wishes for enhanced cooperation with China

United Nations, Feb 6:UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Winter Olympics, calling for stronger cooperation between China and the United Nations.

“The Secretary-General expressed his appreciation for China’s strong support to the United Nations and multilateralism. He also expressed the wish for enhanced cooperation between the United Nations and the People’s Republic of China in all the pillars of the Organization’s work ? peace and security, sustainable development, including climate change and biodiversity, and human rights,” the UN said in a statement on Saturday.

According to the release, Guterres congratulated Xi Jinping and Wang Yi on Saturday with the organization of the Olympic Games and stressed the importance of unity and solidarity and working on bridging geopolitical divides.

“The Secretary-General also expressed his expectation that the contacts between the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Chinese authorities will allow for a credible visit of the High Commissioner to China, including Xinjiang,” the UN said.

Guterres also discussed regional issues with Xi Jinping and Wang Yi on Saturday, with particular emphasis on Afghanistan, according to the United Nations.

At the end of January, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that China welcomes the upcoming visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, at the invitation of the Chinese side. According to Chinese media reports, China had agreed to host a visit to Xinjiang by Bachelet in the first half of the year, after the Winter Olympic Games.

Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is the largest province in China that borders seven countries, including Afghanistan. At the end of August 2018, experts from the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reported that up to 1 million ethnic Uyghurs could be in “re-education camps” in China’s Xinjiang, but the Chinese government has repeatedly denied all accusations of alleged abuse in the region.