First stop of Ban Ki-moon’s upcoming trip to China: interaction with Weibo followers

Jul 17, 2012

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will start his three-day visit to China from 17 July. His first activity in Beijing is to communicate with followers of the United Nations channel on Sina Weibo, the most popular microblogging platform in Chinese.

Upon arriving at the hotel from the airport, the Secretary-General will start to interact with the followers of UN Weibo at 7:30 pm, 17 July local time. Mr. Ban will listen to the comments, suggestions and expectations of the followers on the work of the United Nations, and will answer relevant questions.

Started yesterday, Weibo users have submitted more than 2000 questions about the United Nations, the role of the Secretary-General or various global issues on the UN agenda such as Syria crisis, youth unemployment and human rights. People are encouraged to keep sending questions at the Weibo platform ( until the end of the conversation.

The 45-minute conversation will be conducted in English and simultaneously interpreted into Chinese. It will be hosted by Ms Yang Lan, one of China's most famous talk show hosts and is going to webcast live on Weibo which has over 350 million registered users. The event will be also recorded as one episode of Yang’s signature show “Yang Lan One On One” and broadcasted across satellite and terrestrial television networks, covering over 879 million viewers throughout the greater China region.

The Secretary-General has always placed great importance to communication with the public, especially young generation. With the rise of social media, Mr. Ban actively takes advantages of these platforms and last September, he became the first United Nations Secretary-General to present himself on social media and directly interacted with Internet users around the world through Weibo, Facebook, Twitter and Livestream. In this event, out of the over 6000 questions raised by global Internet users, about half were from UN Weibo, which now has over 2 million followers.

This will be the Secretary-General’s fifth visit to China since he took the office in 2007.