Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the UN Security Council Briefing on Ukraine

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February 23, 2024

Madam President,

I thank Secretary-General Guterres for his earlier briefing.

The ongoing Ukraine crisis is threatening to become a protracted, compounded, and wider one. This tragedy that could have been avoided has become what it is today. This is most distressing and worthy of deep reflection. The international community should pull together in search of a just and sensible solution to settle the crisis politically and let peace prevail as soon as possible.

First, efforts should remain focused on a political settlement. The Ukraine crisis has caused incalculable damage. The most pressing priority of the hour is to stop hostilities, launch peace talks, and restore peace. Peace is in the interest of all parties. The sooner peace talks begin, the less the damage that is done. Any action that is conducive to peace and greater trust, however small it may seem, is worth our genuine effort as long as there is a glimmer of hope. We call upon the parties concerned to show a sense of responsibility and make constructive diplomatic efforts to promote deescalation and detente. It is favorable conditions for the resumption of negotiations that they should be creating, not man-made obstacles to make peace harder to achieve, much less to supply weapons, stoke the fire and pour oil on it, and to profit from the prolonged crisis. We look forward to greater efforts by the UN to promote peace talks and alleviate the humanitarian situation.

Second, we must stay the course towards common security. In the face of complexities and challenges, we must be firmly committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security. We must respect the legitimate security concerns of all countries and never lose sight of the fact that security is indivisible, that one country’s security cannot be achieved at the expense of other countries’ security, and that regional security cannot be guaranteed by strengthening or even expanding a military bloc. The legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries should be taken seriously and addressed properly. It must be pointed out that the situation Europe is facing today is closely related to the repeated eastward expansion of NATO since the end of the Cold War. We encourage NATO to do some soul-searching, come out of the cage of Cold War mentality, and refrain from acting as an agent of trouble instigating bloc confrontation. We urge the head of NATO to look at the world through an objective lens, stop saber-rattling, and do things that are genuinely conducive to world peace.

Third, the spillover effects of the crisis must be proactively managed. The world is in enough turmoil. It cannot afford to be hit by more crises that are bigger than what we already have. Attempting to solve problems by creating more problems does not work. Certain countries, using the Ukraine crisis as a pretext, have indiscriminately imposed unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction and exerted unjustified pressure on the businesses of other countries, which has adversely impacted the global industrial and supply chains and disrupted the order of global trade. The world economy is interdependent, and it is wrong to instrumentalize or weaponize the world economy. China firmly opposes the unlawful sanctions imposed on Chinese companies by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union using the Ukraine issue as an excuse. China will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises and citizens.

Fourth, we must actively advocate the equitable and orderly multi-polarization of the world. The Cold War ended over 30 years ago. Since then, the international landscape has undergone profound adjustments and the multi-polarization of the world has picked up pace. This is the trend of the times and the tide of history. Humanity is a community with a shared future. All countries, large and small, are equal members of the global community when it comes to international relations and are entitled to a place in the international arena. All countries should jointly abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, adhere to the universally accepted basic norms governing international relations, and practice true multilateralism together without selective application or double standards. For the world to slide back to the colonial age is not an option. International affairs should not be monopolized by a minority of countries. Trying to obstruct other countries’ progress through hegemony and bullying is not right, and it would not work. On the other hand, major countries have a special responsibility for world peace and security, and must conduct their relations responsibly and manage their differences properly in pursuit of win-win cooperation.

Madam President,

China played no part in the creation of the Ukraine crisis, nor is China a party to the crisis itself. We have not been watching the fire from across the river, much less cashing in on the crisis. On the question of Ukraine, China has always maintained that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be observed, the legitimate security concerns of all countries should be taken seriously, and all efforts conducive to a peaceful settlement of the crisis should be supported. China will continue to play a constructive role and make unremitting efforts towards a political settlement of the Ukraine issue.

Thank you, Madam President.


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