China says it will maintain focus on the African continent, as it assumes leadership of the United Nations Security Council for the month of March.
Zhao Lijian, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Tuesday that Somalia and Sudan’s Darfur region are top priorities as China leads discussion on regional security hotspots. He also noted Afghanistan and Syria during his daily press briefing.
“China intends to convene three open debates on upholding multilateralism, combating terrorism and extremism in Africa, and strengthening peacekeeping capacity building respectively,” he added.
“Faced with the fluid and complicated international situation, the world needs multilateralism and a stronger UN and Security Council more than ever,” Zhao added. “China will act responsibly and constructively to enhance solidarity and cooperation in the Council to contribute more to world peace and security.”
Yesterday, UN Ambassador for China Zhang Jun, above, added detail to those priorities, noting that the Security Council’s debate on peace and security, and the threat of extremism, will be held on March 11.
“I have talked to many African ambassadors, I have talked to several special envoys,” Zhang said. “We hope that with that, we are able to hear views from the African Union, from the Secretariat, from African states, especially in obtaining some practical ideas.”
Zhang wants to promote political solutions on hotspot issues, while addressing challenges in UN peacekeeping.
“We also hope we can give a bigger role to African regional organizations in tackling these new threats,” he added.
Zhang’s entire briefing is available at this link.