Friday, August 05, 2005

Bolton, China Agree to block any UNSC Expansion

Bloomberg - John Bolton used his first full day as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations to forge a strategy with China aimed at defeating a formula offered by four U.S. allies to expand the Security Council, the Chinese envoy said.

Chinese Ambassador Wang Guangya said he and Bolton decided to coordinate efforts yesterday to block the initiative by Japan, Germany, Brazil and India, during one of Bolton's first meetings in New York with a UN envoy. President George W. Bush used a constitutional power known as a recess appointment to send Bolton, 56, to New York on Aug. 1 after Senate Democrats who called Bolton too brash for the job prevented a vote on his confirmation.

``We agreed to work together to make sure our interests are being maintained,'' Wang told reporters today at the UN. ``That means we have to work in parallel ways to make sure the unity of UN members will not be spoiled by this maneuver.''

The U.S. and China share veto power on the Security Council with the other three countries whose permanent seats date to the UN's founding in 1945: the U.K., Russia and France. The veto holders have final say over any Security Council changes.

The U.S. publicly backed Japan, the world's second biggest economic power, for a permanent seat last month, expressed opposition to India's attempt and has been noncommittal about the prospects of Brazil and Germany. The U.S. has called for one other permanent council member, besides Japan. Russia and France support Germany for a permanent seat.

Wang said they agreed to lobby ``our different friends in different parts of the world'' to defeat the draft resolution introduced by Brazil, Germany, India and Japan. The Group of Four, as they call themselves, want the Security Council to be expanded to 25 from 15 members as the first in a series of steps leading to their obtaining permanent seats on the panel. They would have no veto power for at least 15 years, according to their proposals.

The U.S. mission to the UN confirmed the Bolton meeting with the Chinese diplomat and wouldn't comment on the specifics of their discussion.