- Title: CHINA: U.N. chief praises country's role in defusing tension on Korean peninsula
- Date: 19th June 2013
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (JUNE 19, 2013) (AGENCY POOL) UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON WALKING IN AND SHAKING HANDS WITH CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING PHOTOGRAPHERS MEETING IN PROGRESS XI SPEAKING BAN AND U.N. DELEGATES LISTENING MEETING IN PROGRESS BAN SPEAKING XI AND CHINESE DELEGATES SEATED BAN AND U.N. DELEGATES SEATED MEETING IN PROGRESS
- Embargoed: 4th July 2013 13:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: General
- Reuters ID: LVAF5ILMUJ3LT7ZHHH3B3B0N7WFI
- Story Text: Chinese President Xi Jinping met with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Beijing on Wednesday (June 19).
The two leaders shook hands before sitting down for a formal meeting in the Great Hall of the People.
Experts say that the worsening Syrian crisis and North Korea would top Ban's list of discussions with Chinese leaders.
During an interview with China's state television CCTV on Tuesday (June 18), Ban said the Syrian crisis needs a political solution, not a military one.
China has long advocated a political resolution to the crisis.
Ban also visited a Chinese peacekeeping training centre in the Chinese capital earlier on Wednesday. He watched training programs and toured the facilities, China's state television CCTV reported.
Ban praised China's role in reducing tension on the Korean peninsula.
"I really appreciate the constructive role China has been playing in reducing tension on the Korean peninsula and facilitating dialogue between the two parts of Korea. It is important that first of all, tension be reduced so that both parties of Korea can engage in dialogue. We count on the Chinese government continuing influencing a constructive role to that goal so that peace and stability can be maintained in the Korean peninsula," Ban told a group of Chinese reporters.
China and North Korea held a ministerial-level meeting on Wednesday, the highest-level contact between the two neighbours since U.S. President Barack Obama and President Xi met in California in early June and agreed Pyongyang had to denuclearise.
The meeting comes just a few days after Pyongyang proposed high-level talks with Washington and ahead of a scheduled summit between China and South Korea in Beijing later this month.
China, the closest thing Pyongyang has to a major ally, backed the latest round of U.N. sanctions on North Korea, imposed for its February 12 nuclear test.
Some Chinese banks have also curtailed ties to their North Korean counterparts in the wake of a crackdown by Washington on the North's finances.
Beijing has also repeatedly urged North Korea to return to so-called six-party talks that group China, the two Koreas, the United States, Japan and Russia and aimed to get Pyongyang to halt its nuclear programme.
Ban arrived in Beijing on Tuesday (June 18) and is scheduled to meet with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday (June 20).
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