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Statement by H.E. Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of China, At UN Security Council Meeting On the Issue of Chemical Weapons in Syria

2013/09/28

Mr. President,

The issue of Syria is now the top concern of the international community. In the past two years and more,over seven million Syrians became homeless and there was tremendous loss of life and property. In this august hall, the Security Council has discussed major issues involving war or peace on many occasions.Neither Syria nor the Middle East region can afford another war. In dealing with the Syrian issue, the Security Council must bear in mind the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, act with a sense of responsibility to the Syrian people, the world and history, and ensure that any decision it takes can stand the test of history.

Several weeks ago,dark clouds of war overshadowed the Syrian issue and many countries were deeply worried.China opposes the use of force in international relations.We believe that military means cannot solve the Syrian issue.Rather it will bring greater turmoil and disaster. We are heartened to see that the Security Council has just unanimously adopted Resolution 2118,bringing the Syrian situation back to the track of peace from the verge of war and presenting a new opportunity for seeking a political settlement of the Syrian issue. This is the first time that the Security Council takes a joint major action on the Syrian issue in the past over one year. This resolution is in keeping with the general direction of a political settlement of the Syrian issue, reflects the role of the Security Council and upholds the solidarity of the Security Council.The Chinese side welcomes the adoption of the resolution.

Mr. President,

China suffered deeply from the use of chemical weapons by Japanese invaders during the Second World War. We are firmly opposed to the use of chemical weapons by any country, any group or any individual.whoever uses chemical weapons should be condemned by all.

China welcomes the fact that the Syrian government joined the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) not long ago. Resolution 2118 has set out the overall objective of the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria and the roadmap for the follow-up work. The Chinese side is ready to send experts to participate in relevant work and provide financial support in this regard. We hope that the relevant parties will stay in close cooperation, fulfill their respective responsibilities and implement the OPCW decision and Security Council resolution in a comprehensive and accurate manner so as to eventually achieve a proper settlement of the issue of chemical weapons in Syria.

The humanitarian situation in Syria is getting grimmer. China is deeply concerned. The Chinese government has provided over 11million US dollars of humanitarian assistance to Syrian civilians in and outside of Syria. China is now providing 15 million RMB Yuan worth of emergency humanitarian aid to Jordan and will provide over 24 million RMB Yuan in cash remittance for emergency humanitarian aid to the World Food Program and the World Health Organization, which will be used to help the displaced people inside Syria and Syrian refugees in Lebanon. We will continue providing humanitarian help to Syria and its neighbors to the best of our capability.

Political settlement is the only way out for Syria. This process should go side by side with the process of destruction of chemical weapons in Syria. Resolution 2118 clearly asks for the implementation of the Geneva Communiqué and calls for the convocation of the Geneva II Conference.Relevant parties in Syria should keep in mind the interests of Syria and its people, realize a ceasefire and cession of violence as soon as possible, put an end to the crisis through dialogue and rebuild the homes for Syrians.China hopes that the international community will build consensus and promote the early convening of the Geneva II Conference.China will continue with its support for the mediation efforts of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Joint Special Representative Alkhdar Brahimi.

Mr. President,

The Syrian issue is highly complex. Neither the destruction of chemical weapons nor the process of political settlement will be a plain sailing.Going forward, there will probably be this problem or that. We hope that all parties will keep their patience and composure, uphold the principle of peaceful settlement of disputes and stick to the direction of political settlement. As a permanent member of the Security Council, China stands ready to work with all the parties and make unremitting efforts for comprehensive, proper and long-term settlement of the Syrian issue.

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