|Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on Ukraine|
China’s position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and clear. We always maintain that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter upheld, the legitimate security concerns of all countries taken seriously, and all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis supported. However, the Ukraine crisis is still ongoing. The fighting is still expanding with growing spillover effects. The prospect of peace has yet to materialize. The international community eagerly awaits the early assumption of peace. They also expect the Security Council to play its due role toward this end. What we need to reflect on is, has the Council found the right direction towards solving the issue? Has the Council made earnest efforts to ease the situation? China is ready to work with all peace-loving countries to promote peace and dialogue and facilitate the easing of the situation. At present, the priority in our opinion should be the following points.
First, there is a need to set up a safety valve for the conflict. The international humanitarian law should guide the conduct of parties to the conflict. Civilians and civilian facilities cannot be the target of military strikes. Recently, frequent attacks on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plants have led to widespread attention and concerns, casting a nuclear shadow over the world. China once again calls on all relevant parties to exercise restraint, act with caution, refrain from any action that may compromise the safety and security of the nuclear facility, and avoid crossing the nuclear safety red line. We also expect the IAEA to conduct a site visit to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant as soon as possible to make a professional and technical assessment of the situation, so as to take follow-up measures to prevent a nuclear disaster.
Second, there is a need to reduce the humanitarian impacts as much as possible. The international community should on the one hand make efforts to help Ukrainian refugees and displaced persons tide over the difficulties, and on the other hand, reduce the impacts of the conflict on the global food, energy and financial stability. China commends Secretary-General Guterres and relevant parties for their efforts to facilitate the grain export agreements. We are pleased to see that over 20 ships carrying over 700,000 tons of food have left Ukraine for multiple destinations around the world. This will play an important role in curbing rising food prices, stabilizing the international food market, and easing the food shortages in developing countries. At the same time, removing barriers to the export of food and fertilizers from Russia is also highly important. We hope that the UN can, in accordance with its MoU with Russia, help address the chilling effect caused by relevant countries’ abuse of sanctions, and ensure the stable and smooth running of the global industrial chains and supply chains. These are challenging times for developing countries. Cutting Official Development Aid will only make things worse. Developed countries should face up to the humanitarian impacts of such cuts, and adopt responsible policies and measures.
Third, there is a need to leave room for diplomatic solutions. Peace can never be achieved by imposing sanctions and pressure or sending weapons. Peace must be strived for and maintained by all parties working together. No matter how complex the situation is, how serious the differences are, the door to diplomacy and dialogue cannot be closed. The positive progress on the grain export agreements shows us the potential of diplomacy and the possibility of a political solution. We hope that Russia and Ukraine will continue the dialogue and communication between them so as to return to diplomatic negotiations at an early date, and create momentum needed for a ceasefire. The US and NATO should seriously reflect on the role they have been playing, and focus their efforts on what truly is conducive to peace, instead of adding fuel to the fire.
The Ukraine crisis and a series of recent tense developments around the world show that in this era that urgently needs solidarity and cooperation to collectively address challenges, we must be highly vigilant against any deliberate attempts to provoke troubles and intensify division and confrontation, and we must safeguard the global strategic stability. We should never allow the world to slide into a new Cold War.
Facts have proven that the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation must be firmly rejected. In over 30 years after the end of the Cold War, NATO keeps expanding eastward, which has not make Europe any safer, but sowed the seed of conflict. We humanity are living in an indivisible security community, and common security is in the utmost common interest of all countries. Security of a country should not come at the expense of that of another country, and security of a region cannot be realized by beefing up military blocs. Today in the 21st century, the Cold War mentality and zero-sum game are long-outdated concepts. Obsessing over military forces and seeking absolute security will only lead to constant escalation of the regional situation, which is not in the interest of any party.
Facts have proven that decoupling and choosing sides must be firmly rejected. The economies around the world are deeply integrated. Certain countries wantonly impose unilateral sanctions and long arm jurisdiction, and politicize and weaponize the economy, trade and technology, insist on decoupling and building “small yard, high fence”, which have led to further difficulties in people's livelihoods in developing countries, and threatened the global food, energy and finance security. Developing countries should not be made to bear the brunt of geopolitical conflicts and major country rivalry. They have the right to independently decide their foreign policies, and should not be forced to choose sides.
Facts have proven that double standard and selective application must be firmly rejected. Upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity should not just stop at quotes. All countries should actually abide by these principles in practice and should have consistency on different issues involving different countries while matching their words with deeds. With regard to state sovereignty and territorial integrity. the Chinese people have deep understanding of and strong feelings about it through firsthand experience. China consistently respects the sovereignty and territory integrity of other countries, and is determined to firmly safeguard its own sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The Ukraine crisis is a major test of our generation’s ability to maintain peace. Standing at this historical Crossroads, do we want to have? Peace or turmoil? Cooperation or confrontation? Progress or regression? We must make the right choice, a choice worthy of the people’s trust and of our times.