Chinese lament death of Annan, who held objective views on China

By Liu Xuanzun Source:Global Times Published: 2018/8/19 19:28:39 Last Updated: 2018/8/19 23:03:52

Chinese lament death of friendly Kofi Annan

A man stands near a poster on Sunday depicting the late Kofi Annan, former United Nations secretary-general and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. The poster was pasted outside his family home in Bompata town in Kumasi, Ghana. Photo: VCG

The death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan, perceived by many Chinese as a China-friendly world leader, was lamented by internet users and experts on Sunday.

Annan died peacefully at the age of 80 in a hospital in Bern, Switzerland on Saturday after a short illness, according to a statement released on Saturday on the website of the Kofi Annan Foundation.

Thousands of Chinese social media posts lamented Annan's death.

The Chinese-language hashtag "former Secretary-General of the UN Kofi Annan passed away" on Sina Weibo was viewed more than 10 million times as of press time.

"You were a good friend of the Chinese people and you greatly contributed to world peace and development," posted Sina Weibo microblog user zuojiaxiaoyongle.

"History will not forget you, China will not forget you."

Born in 1938 in Ghana, Annan served as the seventh UN secretary-general from January 1997 to December 2006.

He visited China seven times during his terms, and even more after he left office.

In a speech delivered at Peking University in 2015, Annan said that China has reasserted its centrality in global affairs thanks to its domestic economic reform and openness to the outside world.

China had everything to gain by upholding a rules-based international order while also working to reshape that order to fit the new realities, he said.

"Annan visited China multiple times during his terms, experienced firsthand China's changes over time and made relatively objective assessments of China's achievements," Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University's Institute of International Relations in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday.

Li noted that Annan's terms in office coincided with China joining the World Trade Organization and China's accelerating reform.

Annan was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize for Peace jointly with the UN.

In Annan's terms, during the UN reform he balanced the interests of different parties and kept the organization stable, Li said. Annan took effective care of the needs and appeals of developing countries.

"For changes Annan has brought about to the UN and his contributions to the world and peace, he deserves to be remembered and respected," Li said.

Newspaper headline: Chinese lament death of friendly Kofi Annan


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