China urged to "create space" for civil society

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) addresses a joint press conference with Wang Yi, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China.

China has been urged by the UN Secretary-General to "create space" for civil society groups in the country so they can "act as a catalyst for social progress and economic growth."

Ban Ki-moon was speaking after meeting China's Foreign Minister in the capital, Beijing.

Dianne Penn reports

Mr Ban lauded the "deepening" cooperation between the United Nations and China, and the nation's "path-breaking leadership on sustainable development and climate change." 

But he told Foreign Minister Wang Yi that his country needed to do more to facilitate the work of civil society representatives. 

"I encourage China's leaders to create the space needed for the civil society to play as a crucial role. Environmental activists, human rights lawyers and defenders, good government watchdogs and other citizens groups can act as a catalyst for social progress and economic growth." 

And he added that along with a free and independent media, they can help ensure accountability and thereby support the state to be more effective and strengthening the standing in the eyes of the people. 

Dianne Penn, United Nations

Duration: 56″

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