Ban meets Chinese president, PM, on visit focusing on food, global crises

UN chief Ban Ki-moon was meeting top Chinese officials Wednesday during a visit to Beijing expected to focus on food security and other major international challenges. Ban was due to first meet Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, followed by afternoon sessions with Premier Wen Jiabao and president and Communist Party leader Hu Jintao. In a speech at Beijing's Foreign Affairs University on Tuesday, Ban praised China's role as a net grain exporter but also called on the communist leadership to further join in efforts to address soaring food prices, climate change and global disease outbreaks. "This is an area where China stands tall. You are leading the activities of the UN as one of the five permanent members of the Security Council and your financial and peacekeeping contribution is growing," Ban said.