|Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on Ukraine|
I thank Secretary-General Guterres, Under-Secretary-General Griffiths, and High Commissioner Bachelet for their briefings. I have also listened to the statement by Ms. Luzan.
The fighting in Ukraine has been going on for more than two months. China has repeatedly expounded its position thereon. The longer the conflict lasts, the more people will suffer. The priority at hand is to step up efforts to promote ceasefire and cessation of hostilities. Secretary-General Guterres visited Russia and Ukraine last week, and met with the leaders of the two countries, calling for creating conditions for effective dialogue, so as to achieve a ceasefire as soon as possible. The Secretary-General has also made unremitting efforts to mitigate the humanitarian situation. It is heartening to know that after the visit of the Secretary-General and thanks to the intensified coordination between the UN and the ICRC, Russia and Ukraine have agreed to arrange for the evacuation of the civilians stranded in Mariupol. More than 300 civilians have been successfully evacuated from Mariupol and other places to Zaporizhzhia. China welcomes this positive progress that was made possible through consultations among relevant parties, and thanks the Secretary-General for his instrumental role.
At present, the humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict remains dire, and the ever-increasing civilian casualties are deeply lamentable. Once again, we call on the parties to the conflict to exercise maximum restraint, avoid hurting innocent civilians and civilian facilities, and give priority to ensuring the humanitarian relief and assistance for such vulnerable groups as women and children. Building on the evacuation work in Mariupol, all parties concerned should establish a broader and more efficient humanitarian coordination mechanism, so as to ensure the safe and smooth operation of the evacuation and humanitarian channels, and minimize the humanitarian impact resulting from the conflict. International humanitarian agencies should continue to mobilize the international community to increase the resource inputs, help Ukraine and its neighboring countries cope with the pressure of the humanitarian relief, and spare no effort to save lives, alleviate people's sufferings, and create conditions for the safe and orderly return of refugees to their homes.
The signs that point to a prolonged and extended conflict are truly worrying. It has to be pointed out that delivering weapons will not deliver peace, and in a conflict there is no winner. Dialogue and negotiation is the only and inevitable way to resolve disputes. Russia and Ukraine have built some groundwork in the previous negotiations, all more reason for them to continue to talks against all odds. The international community should create enabling conditions for the Russia-Ukraine negotiations, and do more things to facilitate the political settlement, rather than the other way around. It is not only morally despicable to try to benefit from aggravating the conflict, but also dangerous in reality. Doing so is doomed to backfire.
The continued conflict and all-dimensional and indiscriminate sanctions are subjecting people in all countries, especially developing countries, to higher food prices, oil prices, and other hefty costs. Arbitrary seizure and freezing of foreign exchange reserves of other countries is tantamount to weaponizing economic interdependence, which is bringing more uncertainties and perils to the world economy and international relations. We call on the international community to strengthen macro-economic policy coordination, and work together to effectively regulate and contain the negative spillover effects of the Ukraine conflict.
Lessons from the Ukraine crisis are profound and deserve serious reflections. Security of all countries is indivisible. To base one country’s security on the insecurity of other countries is neither reasonable nor operable. NATO’s repeated eastward expansion after the Cold War has not only failed to make Europe any safer, but also sowed the seeds of conflict. Contrary to its claim to be an organization defensive in nature, NATO has wantonly launched wars against sovereign countries, causing colossal casualties and humanitarian disasters. The day after tomorrow is May 7. on May 7, 1999, NATO fired a number of precision-guided missiles at the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia, killing three Chinese journalists and injuring more than 20 Chinese diplomats. The Chinese people will never forget this barbaric atrocity, and will never allow such history to repeat itself. Now that the Cold War is behind us, NATO should naturally size up the situation, and make necessary adjustments. Clinging to the anachronistic doctrine of security and keen to provoke bloc confrontations and create tensions in Europe and even the Asia Pacific region and the wider world, such practices as harmful to others as they are deleterious to the perpetrators themselves, and deserve nothing less than China's firm opposition.
The world does not need a new Cold War, and it cannot afford greater turmoil and division. China solemnly advocates that in order to solve the practical problems of the security for all humanity and seek long-term solution to world peace, all countries should reaffirm their commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, earnestly uphold the principle of indivisibility of security, forge synergy through consultations, and build together a balanced, effective and sustainable global and regional security architecture.
Thank you, Madam President.