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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council Briefing of Ukraine

2023-07-18 10:20

Mr. President, 

Since its outbreak, the Ukraine crisis has become increasingly protracted, expanded, and complex, with increasing cruelty, danger, and unpredictability. The international community should work together to prevent the situation from getting out of control, achieve a ceasefire and cessation of fighting sooner, and promote a political settlement of the issue. I have stress four points. 

First, we must step up efforts to promote talks for peace. The evolution of the battlefield shows that military means cannot solve the Ukrainian crisis, and the continuation of conflict will only bring more suffering to civilians and may even lead to unpredictable and irreparable situations. No matter how long the crisis lasts, it will eventually be solved by political means. For some time now, rational voices supporting the resumption of talks have become stronger and stronger. Developing countries from Asia, Africa, and Latin America have put forward peace proposals. Despite different contents, they already flagged a strong desire to resolve the crisis through political means. Both parties to the conflict should work together to meet each other halfway to explore solutions that accommodate each other's concerns, correspond to regional realities, and help bridge differences. The international community should work together to create the necessary conditions for ceasefire and create a favorable atmosphere for peace talks.

The Ukraine crisis is a major outbreak of security frictions in Europe. There are many lessons worth of profound reflection. The crisis once again proves that the outdated mentality and dangerous practices such as pursuing absolute security, inciting bloc confrontations, and expanding military alliances that can only bring turmoil and unrest to Europe and the whole world. The key to the ultimate solution of the crisis is to uphold a common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security vision and promote the construction of a balanced, effective, and sustainable European security architecture. 

Second, we must control the spillover effects of the crisis. The recovery of the world economy after the pandemic has been sluggish. The Ukraine crisis has interacted with other factors and dealt a severe blow to global development, bringing fragility to global foods, energy, and financial security. Developing countries are facing more difficulties in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. We should devote our limited financial resources to addressing common global challenges. The countries concern should immediately stop abusive use of unilateral sanctions and long arm-jurisdiction to ensure safe and smooth global industrial chains and supply chains, increase support and assistance to developing countries, and do more things that are conducive toward economic growth. China appreciates the important role of the Black Sea grain transportation package agreement in stabilizing world food markets, and hope that relevant parties can properly resolve the black sea grain transportation issue through dialogue and consultation. 

Third, all efforts should be made to respond to humanitarian crisis. Millions of people were displaced by the protracted conflict and many important large infrastructures were destroyed. Parties to the conflict should strictly abide by international humanitarian law, strictly follow the principles of necessity, differentiation, and proportionality, protect civilians and civilian infrastructures, provide rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access, and spare no efforts to alleviate the suffering of civilians. Women and children are the most vulnerable groups in armed conflict and should be given special care. China encourages the international community and humanitarian agencies, on the basis of abiding by principles of humanitarian relief, to step up humanitarian assistance to people affected by crisis. The irresponsible transfer of cluster bombs can easily give rise to humanitarian issues. Humanitarian concerns and legitimate military security needs should be handled in a balanced way. Prudence and restraint should be exercised in transfer of cluster bombs. 

Fourth, nuclear safety and security must be ensured. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant and the nearby area have seen increasing risks, and recently explosion was heard again from those areas, which is deeply worrying. We once again call on both parties of the conflict to remain rational, exercise maximum restraint, abide by the Convention on Nuclear Safety and other international laws, and steadfastly avoid man-made nuclear accidents. China supports the IAEA in continuing to maintain contact with all parties and playing a constructive role in ensuring the safety and security Ukraine's nuclear facilities. China has always maintained that nuclear weapons should not be used, and that nuclear wars should never be fought. We have been calling for all efforts to prevent escalation of conflict into nuclear crisis. 

Mr. President, 

On the issue of Ukraine, it has been China's consistent position that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be safeguarded, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be complied with, the legitimate security concerns of all the parties should be respected, and all efforts conducive the peaceful settlement of the crisis should be supported. We have maintained close communications with the parties to the conflict, other relevant parties, and the developing countries in general, and have taken practical measures to actively promote peace talks, alleviate humanitarian crisis, and control spillover effects. In February this year, China released its position paper on the political solution to the Ukrainian crisis, with 12 propositions including respect for sovereignty, cessation of hostilities, initiation of peace talks, stop of unilateral sanctions, among others. China will continue to use this as the basis and work with the international community to make unremitting efforts for the political settlement of Ukraine crisis. 

Thank you, Mr. President.

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