Beijing: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
asked China to play a greater role in solving African crises
during a meeting with the president, but did not discuss the
country`s human rights record or the imprisonment of Nobel
Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo.
Ban met with President Hu Jintao yesterday at the Great
Hall of the People in the heart of Beijing, one day after
attending a summit in Shanghai with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
and other leaders.
"Since taking office, you have done a great deal of
effective work to promote the work of the United Nations,
improve the UN`s work, improve international cooperation,
promote world peace and stability," Hu told Ban.
Rights advocates have urged Ban to join other world
leaders in publicly expressing concern over Liu`s
imprisonment, as well as the treatment of his wife, Liu Xia,
who has been under house arrest since the award was announced
Liu Xiaobo, a 54-year-old literary critic, is serving an
11-year sentence for subversion imposed in December after he
co-authored a bold appeal known as Charter 08 calling for
reforms to the country`s single-party communist political
At UN headquarters in New York, spokesman Martin Nesirky
told reporters that human rights did not come up in Ban`s
meeting with Hu because there were many other issues to
discuss. Nesirky added that the world body`s previous
tatement on Liu, which did not call for his release but said
Ban has long advocated for improvement on human rights, still
Philippe Bolopion, UN advocacy director for Human Rights
Watch, accused Ban of failing "in one of his most basic
duties, which is to be a clear voice on human rights."