The government in Beijing wants Irina Bokova to become the next U.N. Secretary General.
Yang Zewei, a specialist on international organisations from Wuhan University, said China wanted an Eastern European lady to take over the highest position at the United Nations. They preferred Bokova over Natalia Gherman from Moldova, according to the South China Morning Post. Gherman is the former deputy prime minister of Moldova, while Irina Bokova from Bulgaria heads UNESCO.
Speaking of Bokova, Yang said “her strength is not confined to her gender or origin. Her experience in leading UNESCO, an international organisation not a nation, gives her more neutrality and credibility”. In the Chinese publication, Yang was quoted saying, because of her U.N. position, Bokova would likely not act in the interest of any particular country.
Zhang Guihong, a professor and executive director at the Centre for UN Studies at Fudan University, said Unesco maintained a good relationship with Beijing during the years it was under Bokova’s governance. “Beijing would be more comfortable cooperating with a familiar leader,” he added.
Recently, the Bulgarian government decided to stick to Irina Bokova as the Bulgarian cadidate for the U.N. post, after there were rumors according to which Kristalina Georgieva would replace her as the official candidate.