China media: UN role

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi has urged countries to follow the UN Charter Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi has urged member nations to follow the UN Charter

Papers support China's growing role in the United Nations as it takes over the rotating presidency of the Security Council for the month of February.

China initiated an open debate over the principles of the UN Charter, calling for introspection and reaffirmation of the commitment to the charter, the Xinhua News Agency reports.

"In China's view, any unilateral move that bypasses the Security Council is illegal and illegitimate," Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has been quoted as saying in state media.

According to another Xinhua report, Mr Wang has denied claims that his statement was aimed at Japan.

A commentary by the news agency observes that China's open debate attracted attention from around 80 UN member states, including Malaysia, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine and Venezuela.

"The active participation [of other countries] shows wider international endorsement of China's initiative," says the article.

'Not a challenger'

Pointing out that China has "garnered popularity" in the UN, the China News Service dismisses speculation that Beijing's initiatives are "aimed at any particular country".

"China is also sending out a clear and important signal that it is a participant, a guardian and a reformer of the world order. It is definitely not a challenger," says the report.

Echoing similar sentiment, the People's Daily asserts the significance and relevance of the UN Charter.

"In the past 70 years, the world has in general maintained peace and stability… Facts have shown that the principles of the UN Charter are effective and it is needed to protect world peace and development," says the daily.

The state-run paper adds that it is "timely" for China to call for the debate and urges other countries to "take the opportunity to reiterate their firm support to the UN Charter and to inject new meaning into it".

Chinese papers have previously criticised some countries, particularly the US, for often bypassing the UN on crucial world issues and taking unilateral decisions.

Iran talks

Elsewhere, papers are closely watching developments in the Iranian nuclear issue after negotiators met on Monday.

Iran and six international powers, the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany, are aiming to reach a framework agreement in March and a final deal by 30 June.

The group are trying to negotiate an agreement which addresses concerns that Iran is seeking nuclear weapons technology, something Tehran denies.

The talks are due to resume in Geneva next Monday at political director level.

A Xinhua report highlights that Iran "has been a target of UN sanctions as a result of alleged attempts to build nuclear weapons".

"The West accuses Iran of developing an atomic bomb under the cover of a civilian programme. But Tehran insists on the peaceful purpose of its nuclear programme," notes the news agency. 

According to the report, China has called for "political resolve from all the parties". Wang Qun, head of the Chinese delegation, tells the news agency that the negotiations are at "a crucial juncture" and "challenges are mounting".

Noting "key differences" remain between the US and Iran, a People's Daily report says negotiations "remain difficult". It supports China's call for "political will" to solve the issue.

'Return peak'

And finally, the Spring Festival's travel madness is back in the spotlight as millions of people try to get back to cities.

The Chinese New Year travel rush is known to be the world's largest annual migration with hundreds of millions of people travelling to different cities and towns.

Noting the cold and foggy weather conditions during the "return peak", the Beijing News reminds travellers to stay safe and urges traffic departments to provide timely updates on road conditions to the public.

BBC Monitoring reports and analyses news from TV, radio, web and print media around the world. You can follow BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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