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China firmly opposes mercenary activities in Africa - official

By ZHANG RUINAN in New York | | Updated: 2019-02-05 11:28
Ma Zhaoxu, Chinese President Xi Jinping's special envoy, speaks at a UN Security Council high-level debate on mercenary activities in Africa on Monday, Feb 4, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

China firmly opposes mercenary activities in Africa and supports tackling the issue, said Ma Zhaoxu, Chinese President Xi Jinping's special envoy, at a UN Security Council high-level debate on mercenary activities in Africa on Monday.

"Mercenary activities threaten international peace and security and jeopardize the peace and stability of the developing countries, especially those of the African countries," said Ma, who is also China's permanent representative to the United Nations.

Mercenary activities also violate the principles and purposes of the UN charter, interfere in the internal affairs of African developing countries, and encroach on their sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, he said.

Ma called on the international community to abide by the purposes and principles of the UN charter and basic norms governing international relations, and adhere to the principle of sovereign equality and noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries on countering mercenary activities.

"We must support African countries in their effort to maintain their sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and fully respect the leadership of African countries in regional affairs and support the approach of African solutions to African problems," he said.

Ma said the international community should also strengthen international and regional cooperation and coordinate its actions in assisting African countries in properly responding to and ultimately eliminating the threats posed by mercenary activities.

The international community should also "have integrated policies in place, and pull together resources in different fields to strengthen coordination and law enforcement, so as to generate strong synergy in fighting terrorist activities," he added.

"We should support African countries in accelerating development, reducing poverty, eliminating the root causes of conflict and turmoil, and stepping up socioeconomic development in African countries," he said.

Ma said China firmly supports African countries and people in their pursuit of peace, tranquility, prosperity and development as well as Africa's implementation of the African Union's agenda 2063 and the silencing of the guns by 2020.

Ma said China decided to set up a China-Africa Peace and Security Fund for supporting peace, security, stability and peacekeeping cooperation between China and Africa.

He emphasized that China will continue to support Africa in achieving peace, stability and development, and work with Africa to build a stronger and closer community of shared future for China and Africa.

Equatorial Guinea, which holds the presidency of the council for February, organized the high-level debate, presided over by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea. Obiang met with Ma before the meeting and expressed appreciation that President Xi sent a special envoy to the meeting.

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