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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at the UN Security Council after a Procedural Vote

2024-03-25 18:00

Madam President, 

25 years ago, without the authorization of the Security Council and bypassing the UN, NATO flagrantly launched a military strike against the sovereign state of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, thereby starting an illegal war in the Balkans. 

25 years have passed after the start of the war, but the tension in Kosovo is still high, and the wounds of the countries and people of the Balkans have not yet healed. Still experiencing wars, Europe is mired in a security dilemma. Wars waged against sovereign states under the pretext of human rights and humanity and violations of the UN Charter and international law continue to take place from time to time. The impact of that war 25 years ago is far from over, and its cautionary lessons are still profound. 

In view of this, China supports the holding of a meeting of the Security Council on the 25th anniversary of the NATO bombing of the FRY, in order to take stock of and reflect on this important historical event and to discuss and debate how to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, practice true multilateralism, advocate fairness and justice, and safeguard international peace and security under the current circumstances. Regretfully, some members raised doubts about this, and the Security Council just had a vote on this issue. We are disappointed to see the result of the vote. 

Madam President, 

Here before closing, I am compelled to say that during NATO bombing of the FRY 25 years ago, there was a deeply painful day that the Chinese people would never forget. On May 7, 1999 local time, NATO, led by the United States, launched multiple precision-guided missiles and bombed the Chinese Embassy in the FRY, resulting in the death of three Chinese journalists, the injury of more than 20 Chinese diplomatic personnel, and the destruction of entire Chinese diplomatic premises. This is a flagrant violation of China’s sovereignty, a serious offense to the sentiment of the Chinese people, and a gross violation of international law and the basic norms governing international relations. The Chinese people do not preach hatred, but we will never forget history. The Chinese people do not advocate violence for violence, but we will never allow the recurrence of such a historical tragedy. 

Thank you, President.

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