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Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the Security Council Ministerial Debate on Conflicts in Europe

2017/02/21

China commends Ukraine for taking the initiative to convene today’s ministerial-level open debate on resolving conflicts in Europe. We also welcome Foreign Minister Klimkin, who is presiding over today’s meeting. I would like to thank Secretary-General Guterres for his briefing.

China listened attentively to the statements made by Mr. Zannier, Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and Ms. Schmid, Secretary General of the European External Action Service. In recent years, the situation in Europe has generally been calm and positive progress has been made on hotspot issues. However, complex and uncertain factors remain pronounced, as manifested by terrorist attacks in some countries, the ongoing refugee crisis and the rise in traditional and non-traditional security challenges. Therefore, the concerted efforts of all countries are required to respond to such challenges. I would like to emphasize the following points.

First, we must foster the concept of a community of shared future for mankind. After the people of Europe suffered the devastation of the two world wars, cherishing peace is the common aspiration of all countries. European integration is a regional cooperation process that was the first of its kind to be launched, the fastest to develop and the most remarkable in progress after the Second World War. As most European countries have national interests that are deeply intertwined and have close relations with countries outside of the region, they can better the importance of building a community of shared future. We hope the countries of Europe will discard the zero-sum-game notion; build a new model of international relations characterized by win-win cooperation at its core; pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security; actively bring into play their strengths in economic development and interconnectivity; constantly create new growth drivers based on converging interests; enhance cooperation with other regions of the world; and make unremitting efforts towards achieving lasting peace and common development.

Secondly, all countries should adhere to resolving disputes peacefully. They should continue to uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and stay committed to settling their differences through dialogue and consultation. Parties to volatile issues in Europe should display good will; respect each other; enhance mutual trust; build up consensus; and endeavor to find comprehensive, just and lasting solutions to the issues. The international community and regional countries should play an active role in facilitating peace talks and encouraging the parties concerned to scale up their dialogue, meet each other halfway and seize positive momentum, with a view to enhancing mediation efforts and contributing positively to peaceful settlement.

Thirdly, diversity in civilizations should be respected. The diversity of and differences among the nations, religions and cultures in European countries represent an important source for progress in the region. All countries should continue to engage in all-embracing and harmonious exchanges among civilizations, while acknowledging the differences; advocate ethnic integration; promote dialogue among religions; defuse and reconcile differences through mutual learning and complementarity; foster a stable and harmonious social environment; and create an enabling climate for properly handling regional conflicts, terrorism and refugee issues.

Fourthly, cooperation between the Security Council and regional organizations in Europe, such as the European Union (EU) and the OSCE should be strengthened. The Security Council is the core mechanism responsible for maintaining international peace and security, while the EU and the OSCE have accumulated rich experience in conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. They should make full use of their respective strengths and form synergies to resolve conflicts in Europe and safeguard peace and stability in the region. Relevant efforts should be guided by the principles of objectivity, impartiality and respect for the sovereignty of the countries concerned. Furthermore, efforts should be made to heed the views of the parties concerned, while refraining from double standards and the imposition of one’s will upon others.

China has always attached great importance to the strategic position and role of Europe, and Sino-European relations have consistently been a priority in Chinese diplomacy. We welcome a united, stable and prosperous Europe. China stands ready, through the One Belt, One Road initiative and other platforms — including the Sino-European Cooperation Mechanism — to deepen the comprehensive Sino-European strategic partnership, which is based on mutual benefits and win-win cooperation. We also stand ready to work with the EU to achieve fresh progress in four partnership areas through the promotion of peace, growth, reform and civilization, and to make a greater contribution to achieving lasting peace in Europe and common prosperity.

(Photo by LI Muzi, Xinhua News Agency)

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