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Home / World / One year of Russia-Ukraine conflict

Chinese envoy: Ukraine not an arena for fights between major countries

By MINLU ZHANG at the United Nations | | Updated: 2023-02-25 09:38
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The UN Security Council holds a high-level meeting on Ukraine at the UN headquarters in New York, on Feb 24, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

A Chinese envoy to the United Nations emphasized on Friday that Ukraine is not an arena for fights between major countries, and no one should seek to benefit from the conflict at the cost of the Ukrainian people.

"We call on Russia and Ukraine to resume negotiations without any preconditions," Dai Bing, charge d'affaires at the Chinese Permanent Mission to the UN, said at the UN Security Council Briefing on Ukraine.

The UN Security Council held a high-level meeting on Ukraine on Friday to mark the first anniversary of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. The meeting was attended by about 30 foreign ministers and diplomats.

"Conflicts have no winners," said Dai. "Launching diplomatic negotiations is the only right way to solve the Ukraine crisis. The international community should promote peace talks with the highest sense of urgency and work to create enabling factors and platforms for the resumption of negotiation," he said.

Dai said that bringing parties to the conflict back to the negotiating table is not going to be easy, but it is "the first step toward a political solution".

He noted that the Ukraine crisis has far-reaching impacts, but "developing countries are not parties to this conflict and should not pay an excessively high price for it."

Some relevant parties have been resorting to unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure, which "cannot solve any issue, and can only undermine the stability of the global industrial and supply chains and exacerbate the global food, energy, and financial crises," the envoy said.

"We hope that the relevant parties will take responsible actions and stop abusing unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction," said Dai.

Observing universally recognized international law and the basic norms governing international relations bears on the stability of the international system and international fairness and justice. They should be equally and uniformly applied in every place and on every issue without exception, said Dai.

"Some country, while stressing sovereignty and territorial integrity on the Ukraine issue, is blatantly interfering in other countries' internal affairs and undermining their sovereignty and territorial integrity. This reveals its double standard at full display. The international community is clear-eyed about this," he added.

Dai reiterated that the security of one country should not be pursued at the expense of others. Strengthening or even expanding military blocs will only undermine regional security and will never bring about peace.

He said Russia, Ukraine, and European countries are neighbors that cannot be physically moved away. "To realize lasting peace and stability in Europe, the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation must be abandoned, and the legitimate security concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and addressed properly, so as to build a balanced, effective, and sustainable regional security architecture," he said.

"Nuclear weapons must never be used, and nuclear war must never be fought. Faced with the risk that the Ukraine crisis could lead to an escalation of the conflict, major countries bear special and important responsibilities to maintain communication and coordination and to do everything they can to prevent a nuclear crisis."

Dai pointed out that the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is worsening and should be proactively and properly addressed.

"Relevant parties should avoid attacking civilians or civilian facilities, protect the vulnerable, including women and children, ensure humanitarian access, and respect the basic rights of prisoners of war. The international community should increase humanitarian assistance, help restore civilian infrastructure, and ensure the basic livelihood of refugees and displaced persons, with a view to preventing a humanitarian crisis on a larger scale," he said.

The humanitarian operations should earnestly follow the principles of neutrality and impartiality and avoid politicization, he added.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also attended the Security Council meeting on Friday and called for preventing further escalation of the conflict in Ukraine and giving peace "a chance".

Guterres said the Security Council has held more than 40 debates on Ukraine over the past year, and "the guns are talking now, but in the end we all know that the path of diplomacy and accountability is the road to a just and sustainable peace," he said.

China also released a paper on Friday stating its position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis, stating that dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis.

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