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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UNGA Meeting on Ukraine

2023-07-18 18:00

Madam President,

The Ukraine crisis has dragged on to this day with no signs of easing on the ground, military logic still prevailing, and slow progress in peace talks, which all point to a worrying prospect. The international community should make concerted efforts to step up peace talks and negotiations, so as to promote an early ceasefire and political solution.

First, we must exercise reason and restraint and make every effort to prevent the situation from spiraling out of control. Since the outbreak of the crisis, “Black Swan” and “Gray Rhino” events have occurred one after another and uncertainty continues to grow. If the fighting is allowed to drag on, it would only create more risks, and any horrific scenarios could be possible. We hope that both parties will exercise calm and restraint, strictly abide by international humanitarian law and the principles of necessity, distinction and proportionality, protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, provide rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access, and do their utmost to alleviate civilian suffering. The safety and security of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant always strikes a sensitive nerve of the international community. We support the continued engagement of the IAEA with all parties and their constructive role in ensuring the safety and security of Ukraine’s nuclear facilities. China has always maintained that nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought, and has always called for the prevention of escalation into a nuclear crisis. The parties concerned should strictly observe the bottom line of nuclear security, stay far away from the red line of nuclear war, and make every effort to avoid the situation from falling apart to a point of no return.

Second, we must engage in dialogue and promote a political solution to the crisis. There are no winners in a war or conflict. Dialogue and negotiation are the only correct way out of the crisis in Ukraine. No matter how complex the situation is, the door to political settlement must not be closed, and efforts for peace must not relent. The international community must continue to promote the resumption of contacts between the parties and build consensus, so to create conditions for the final political settlement of the crisis. The crisis in Ukraine is essentially the accumulation of security tensions in Europe, a tragedy brought about by Cold War mentality and bloc politics. There are no simple solutions to complex problems. All parties should uphold the common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security philosophy and, on the basis of accommodating each other's legitimate concerns, explore the building of a balanced, effective, and sustainable European security architecture, so as to fundamentally address the security deficit behind the crisis and achieve peace and stability on the European continent.

Third, we must strengthen solidarity and cooperation and reduce the spillover effects of the crisis. The crisis has wiped out a decade of development gains and wealth in the conflict zones. The parties concerned have suffered incalculable loss. At a time of deepening globalization, conflicts and other factors interplay and compound each other, slowing down the pace of global recovery and sustainable development. The sooner a ceasefire is put in place and unilateral sanctions halted, the more investment made in maintaining food, energy, and financial security and in helping developing countries cope with risks, the sooner the resilience of the global industrial and supply chains will be restored and the world economy regain its vitality. We call on the international community, in particular the UN, to continue to place development issues high on the international agenda, resolve the spillover effects of the Ukraine crisis, help developing countries tide over the difficulties, and prevent the hard-won development gains from being reversed. China appreciates the important role played by the Black Sea grain initiative in stabilizing the global food market and hopes the parties concerned will, through consultation, appropriately address the issue and make joint efforts to safeguard international food security.

Madam President,

On the issue of Ukraine, China has always maintained that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be safeguarded, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter observed, the legitimate security concerns of all parties taken seriously, and all efforts conducive to resolving the crisis peacefully supported. China will continue to stand on the side of peace and dialogue and strengthen communication and coordination with all parties concerned and work together to promote an early political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

Thank you, Madam President.

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