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Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on Ukraine

2022-04-05 13:41

Madam President,

De-escalation and putting an early end to the conflict in Ukraine is the earnest expectation of the international community and the strong desire of China. As we have stressed many times, dialogue and negotiation is the only way leading to the door for peace. The Russian Federation and Ukraine have had rounds of negotiations. We welcome the two sides to stick to the general direction of peace negotiations, overcome difficulties and differences, and continue to build conditions for a comprehensive settlement of the crisis. The international community should create favorable conditions and environment for negotiations between the two sides, open up space for political settlement, and should not set up obstacles  for peace, let alone add fuel to the fire in  aggravation of confrontations. Every effort should be made to prevent the escalation of the local conflict.

China attaches great importance to the humanitarian issue in Ukraine and supports all initiatives and measures conducive to alleviating the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. As the conflict continues, we call on the parties to abide by international humanitarian law, protect the safety of civilians and civilian facilities, minimize civilian casualties, ensure safe and smooth humanitarian corridors for evacuees and humanitarian assistance, and guarantee the basic rights of women, children, and wounded and detained fighters. Humanitarian issues should not be politicized. The humanitarian needs of Ukraine and its neighboring countries are enormous. International humanitarian agencies should maintain neutrality and impartiality, actively mobilize and coordinate more resources, and make unremitting efforts to save lives and protect civilians. China has provided and will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to Ukraine and its neighboring countries.

Under international humanitarian law, civilians should be spared of any forms of violence in armed conflicts. Attacks against civilians are unacceptable and should not occur. The reports and images of civilian deaths in Bucha are deeply disturbing. The relevant circumstances and specific causes of the incident should be verified and established. Any accusations should be based on facts. Before the full picture is clear, all sides should exercise restraint and avoid unfounded accusations.

Madam President,

As pointed out by Secretary-General Guterres, the spillover effects of the Ukraine crisis is having a major impact on the world, developing countries in particular. This requires our greater attention and strengthened management. Sanctions are not an effective means to solve the problem, but will instead accelerate the spillover of the crisis, and bring new and complex problems. Today, with the deep development of globalization and the closely linked community of mankind, the implementation of all-dimensional and indiscriminate sanctions is tantamount to politicizing, instrumentalizing and weaponizing the world economy, triggering a serious crisis in the fields of global economy and trade, finance, energy, food, industrial chain, and supply chain, endangering decades of development gains of the international community, and making people of all countries pay a hefty price. The vast number of developing countries are not parties to the conflict, and should not be involved in this confrontation, let alone be forced to bear the consequences of geopolitical conflicts and great power competition. The world's major economies should be responsible for managing the risk of spillover of the crisis, and maintaining the stability of global markets and the momentum of global economic recovery.

Madam President,

More than 30 years after the end of the Cold War, such a geopolitical tragedy taking place in Europe now deserves our profound reflection. The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, and small- and medium-sized countries should not be pushed to the forefront of confrontation between great powers. All countries have the right to decide their foreign policy independently, and should not be forced to take sides. The security of all countries is indivisible, and the security of one country cannot be achieved at the expense of the security of others. We call upon the United States, NATO, and the European Union to engage in comprehensive dialogues with Russia to face head on their differences accumulated over the years, find solutions to the problem, and promote the building of a balanced, effective and sustainable regional security framework.

On the issue of Ukraine, China does not seek geopolitical self interest. It is not our mindset to watch the situation indifferently from the side line, let alone do anything to add fuel to the fire. There is only one goal we sincerely look forward to, and that is peace. China will continue to promote peace talks and play a constructive and responsible role in helping resolve the crisis in Ukraine.

I thank you, Madam President.

(Photo: Xinhua)

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