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Wang Yi: we should seek political solutions, accommodate the interests of all parties, promote national reconciliation and uphold multilateralism when addressing international problems

2014/09/27

On September 27, 2014, Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a statement at the General Debate of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly. He pointed out that as we have seen in Gaza, Iraq, the Central African Republic and South Sudan, our world is far from peaceful. How can we open the door to lasting peace? China believes that we should do the following:

First, we should seek political solutions. To beat swords into ploughshares may take time and effort; but history and reality have repeatedly demonstrated that to meet violence with violence will not lead to enduring peace, and the use of force will create more problems than solutions.

Coercive action should have the authorization of the Security Council. If a country places its domestic law above international law and interferes in other countries’ internal affairs at will or even seeks regime change, the legitimacy of its action cannot but be questioned by the international community.

Second, we should accommodate the interests of all parties. Parties to a conflict should reject the zero-sum approach, address each other’s concerns in negotiations and endeavor to meet each other half way. They should seek to meet their legitimate concerns through consultation in a mutually accommodating way.

When conducting mediation, the international community should uphold justice and take an objective and balanced position. Countries should not be partial to any party in the conflict. Still less should they pursue their own agenda through their involvement.

Third, we should promote national reconciliation. The ongoing armed conflicts are largely caused by ethnic and sectarian tensions. The process of national reconciliation and the process of political settlement should be advanced in tandem with each other.

All parties should uphold the UN Charter, develop and practice a culture of inclusion and tolerance, and uproot the seeds of hatred and retaliation, so that the fruit of inclusion and amity will grow on post-conflict land.

Fourth, we should uphold multilateralism. We should give full play to the role of the UN and observe international law and the basic norms governing international relations. Chapter Seven of the UN Charter is not the only means for the Security Council to maintain international peace and security. We should make better and full use of the means of prevention, mediation and conciliation stipulated in Chapter Six.

Given their familiarity with local developments, we should leverage the strengths of regional organizations and countries and support them in addressing regional issues in ways suited to their region.

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