|Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing on Ukraine|
The Ukraine crisis has been dragging on for more than five months now. This crisis has not only had a serious impact on Europe, its negative spillover effect is also reverberating globally. Affected by wars and sanctions, the impediment to food and fertilizer exports from Ukraine and Russia is not only posing the challenge to global food security, aggravating the plight of vulnerable developing countries, but also making it more difficult for the international community to achieve the 2030 Agenda and to promote a stable recovery of the world economy.
We are pleased to see that last week in Istanbul, with the joint efforts of the relevant parties, Russia, Ukraine, Türkiye, and the United Nations signed an agreement on shipping grain out of Ukraine, and that Russia and the United Nations signed an agreement on the export of Russian food and fertilizers. Currently a Joint Coordination Center with the participation of the four parties has been established, and the preparation is progressing smoothly for the first shipment of grain out of Ukraine. This brings hope for easing the food shortage and the suffering of the poor in developing countries and for alleviating the global food crisis. China welcomes this. China commends Secretary-General Guterres and all parties concerned for the positive role they played.
The signing of the two agreements shows that as long as we do not relent our efforts, there is still room for the parties to resolve problems through consultation. We are encouraged by the effort of Russia and Ukraine in transcending their political differences for constructive engagement. We also hope that the two parties will continue to maintain dialogue and communication and strive for an early return to diplomatic negotiations and achieve ceasefire as soon as possible.
The issue of grain shipping is very complex. It is quite common to encounter difficulties of one kind or another in implementing the agreement. The parties concerned should adhere to their political will, uphold the spirit of cooperation, strengthen communication and coordination, and properly address the challenges, so that they can jointly promote the implementation of the agreements and get it off to a good start and push it forward continuously. The international community should see the signing and implementation of the two agreements from the humanitarian perspective, reject politicization, create a favorable environment for the follow-up implementation of the agreements, and provide solid guarantees.
Since the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis last February, China has been taking an objective and impartial approach, and proceeding from the historical perspective and the merit of the issue itself. China has been standing on the side of peace and on the side of humanitarian efforts, calling for a ceasefire to stop fighting, facilitating a cool-off, actively promoting peace talks, and providing humanitarian assistance. China has successfully put forward a six-point initiative and the International Food Security Cooperation Initiative to ease the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. China has provided two batches of humanitarian assistance totaling 15 million yuan to Ukraine, with an additional 20 million yuan in emergency humanitarian aid to be provided in the near future. We made our efforts in a responsible way to mitigate the spillover effect of the crisis, and will continue to play an active, constructive role in stabilizing international trade and world economic order.
China’s position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and clear, and will stand the test of history. We have always maintained that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, the legitimate security concerns of all countries be taken seriously, and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter be abided by. All efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis should be supported. We have stated China’s position many times in the Council recently, and I would like to emphasize three points today.
First, the Ukraine crisis shows that the security of all countries is indivisible. Only by attaching importance to the security of others and safeguarding the security of everyone, can our own security be truly realized. All countries should uphold a common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security concept, attach importance to each other's legitimate security concerns, build a balanced, effective, and sustainable global and regional security architecture, and jointly safeguard world peace. Putting one's own security above that of others, attempting to strengthen military blocs, establishing absolute superiority, and even shaping the surrounding environment of other countries according to their own standards will only lead to conflict and confrontation, divide the international community, and make themselves less secure.
Second, the Ukraine crisis shows that the evolution of the changes unseen in a century is accelerating, and our world is facing more and more instability and uncertainty under the intertwined impact of war and pandemic. In an era of changes and challenges, no country can deal with them alone, and no country is insulated. At a time when the international community is in dire need of unity and cooperation to overcome the difficulties together, it is extremely irresponsible and dangerous to cling to the Cold War mentality and bloc politics, to promote decoupling, to erect barriers, to politicize, instrumentalize and weaponize economic and trade exchanges to coerce other countries to take sides, and to deliberately create division and confrontation. The international community should be highly alert to this counter current and resist it together. We must not let the crisis of Ukraine kick off a new Cold War. We must not repeat the mistakes of history. We must not let humanity experience once again the unbearable scourge of war.
Third, the Ukraine crisis shows that only by adhering to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, can we enjoy peace and development, and any deviation from this will only bring conflict and anxiety. As the legal cornerstone of today's international order, the UN Charter is irreplaceable in its role and unshakable in its status. Compliance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be consistent, with words matching with deeds, instead of saying one thing while doing another, not to mention double standards or selective application. While some country has repeatedly emphasized the principle of sovereignty over the issue of Ukraine, it has incessantly challenged the sovereignty of China over Taiwan and even deliberately created tensions in the Taiwan Strait. This is a disregard and an infringement of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. China has always respected the sovereignty of other countries and certainly hopes that its own sovereignty be respected by other countries. China is resolute and firm as rock in its will to safeguard national sovereignty. No one should underestimate the determination and ability of more than 1.4 billion Chinese people to defend its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. I hope the country concerned will see this clearly and not play with fire.
Thank you, Mr. President.