UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 18 — China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said on Friday that NATO should contribute positively to world peace and stability, instead of merely being a troublemaker.
“We urge NATO to draw lessons from history, abandon the obsolete Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation, and stop dangerous acts of creating imaginary enemies, destabilizing Europe, and messing up the Asia Pacific. It should contribute positively to world peace and stability, instead of merely being a troublemaker,” Zhang told the Security Council briefing on Ukraine.
“I would like to point out that NATO, on the one hand, claims to remain a regional defensive alliance, while on the other hand, constantly seeks to breach its geographic confines and expand its agenda, stoke division and tensions, create fears and confrontations, and keep strengthening military and security ties with Asia Pacific countries,” said the ambassador.
“This is obviously self-contradictory. We note with concern that the NATO secretary general recently made many irresponsible and unfounded remarks on the situation of Asia Pacific,” Zhang explained.
The envoy stressed that the Ukraine crisis is, in essence, the culmination of security conflicts in Europe closely related to NATO’s constant eastern expansion since the Cold War.
“Pursuing absolute security and political exclusion and containment by force against a specific party is the very crux of the reason why Europe is in the security plight. If following such a mindset, Europe, and even the whole world will be caught up in greater turmoil,” he said.
“We once again call on Russia and Ukraine to cease fire and start peace negotiations as soon as possible,” said Zhang.
He called on the United States, EU, and NATO to sit with Russia for a comprehensive and in-depth dialogue.
“Based on the principle of security indivisibility, they should discuss how to build a balanced, effective, and sustainable security architecture and realize common security,” he said.
“In this context, every effort should be made to stop any attempt to hype up the conflict and to avoid its escalation and expansion,” the envoy added.
Zhang underscored the importance of strictly complying with international treaties and implementing legal obligations in good faith, noting that they are the basic requirements of the rule of law.
“This is what practising true multilateralism is about. Regrettably, when it comes to negotiating agreements that failed to be implemented, the Minsk Agreement is not the only case. The Paris Agreement on climate change faces major setbacks because of the withdrawal of one key party,” he said.
The JCPOA, or the Iran nuclear deal, has yet to be revived, he said. “Some major bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements are now being withdrawn from, violated, hollowed out, and weakened.”
“Should such a trend continue, great harm would be inflicted on the world. This is something we should be highly vigilant against. Relevant countries also should conduct serious reviews and reflections on this,” said Zhang.
The ambassador said that human society is facing unprecedented challenges, but peace development, cooperation, and mutual benefit are still unstoppable historical trends.
“Globalization is making our global village smaller, but the world is big enough to accommodate common development and progress of all countries. To strive for a bright future for humankind, all countries should pursue a just cause for the common good, and promote inclusiveness, mutual learning, peaceful coexistence, and cooperation,” the ambassador noted.
“There is a need to respect each other’s legitimate and reasonable security concerns, rather than cling to the Cold War mentality or engaging in bloc politics or exclusive small circles,” he said.
“There is also a need to realize win-win cooperation by integrating to economic globalization, rather than expecting others to lose or trying to stay ahead by suppressing the development of other countries,” he said.
Zhang said that major countries should behave in a way commensurate with their status, and work together with others to maintain stable international relations, rather than putting the interests of their own over the common interests of the international community or seeking dominance and dictating the whole world.
“The world is once again at a historical crossroads. We call on all peace-loving countries to unite under the banner of the UN, practice true multilateralism, and promote the spirit of the rule of law to maintain common security, promote common development, and create a shared future,” Zhang concluded. (Xinhua)