China’s UN envoy: Bloc confrontation must be rejected
Minlu Zhang, China Daily Global, August 25, 2022 — A Chinese ambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday reiterated the need to safeguard global strategic stability and to be cautious against attempts to provoke trouble and intensify division and confrontation.
Obsessing over military forces and seeking absolute security will lead only to constant escalation of the regional situation, which is not in the interest of any party, Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, told a Security Council meeting on the Ukraine conflict.
“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,” said Zhang.
The Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation must be firmly rejected, said Zhang. 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, he said.
Decoupling and choosing sides must be firmly rejected, said Zhang. He said 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; they insist on decoupling and taking a “small yard, high fence” approach. He said those actions 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,” the ambassador said.
All countries should actually abide by these principles in practice and should be consistent on different issues involving different countries while matching their words with deeds, said Zhang.
“With regard to state sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Chinese people have deep understanding of and strong feelings about it through firsthand experience,” he said. “China consistently respects the sovereignty and territory integrity of other countries and is determined to firmly safeguard its own sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
China hopes 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 cease-fire, Zhang added.
“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,” he said.
Zhang said there is a need to set up a safety valve for the Ukraine conflict. 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 plant 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, the envoy said.
“We also expect the International Atomic Energy Agency 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,” Zhang said.
“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,” he said.
There is a need to reduce the humanitarian impact as much as possible, he added.
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 global food, energy and financial stability, Zhang said.
China is pleased to see that more than 20 ships carrying over 700,000 tons of grain have left Ukraine for multiple destinations around the world, Zhang said. That will play an important role in curbing rising food prices, stabilizing the international food market and easing the food shortages in developing countries, he said.
“We hope that the United Nations can, in accordance with its memorandum of understanding 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,” said Zhang.