|Explanatory Statement by H.E. Ambassador Wang Guangya, Permanent Representative of China to the UN, on Draft Resolution on Myanmar at the Security Council|
China is firmly opposed to adopting the draft resolution on Myanmar by the Security Council. In order to avoid taking vote on the draft, China has engaged in extensive discussions and consultations with all Council members, especially the sponsor. Regrettably, our suggestions and goodwill failed to prevail. Today's meeting is the last option that China wishes to see. Before the vote, China would therefore reiterate the following principled positions.
First, like the rest of the international community, China sincerely hopes that Myanmar enjoys economic development, social harmony, rule of law and inclusive democracy. This is in the interest of the Myanmar people, all countries in Southeast Asia and the entire international community. Undeniably, Myanmar is now faced with many challenges in political, economic and social areas, and some problems are quite serious. But no country is perfect and every country will have to go through a process of constant improvement. Therefore, China supports the continuing efforts of the Myanmar government and all parties in the country for inclusive dialogues and national reconciliation. So far, the international community and ASEAN in particular have offered many constructive recommendations to Myanmar, which could serve as important parameters for improving the situation in the country. China sincerely hopes and expects that the Myanmar government would give due considerations to these recommendations, listen to the call of its own people, learn from the good practice of others, and speed up the process of dialogues and reforms, so as to achieve prosperity for its nation, bring benefit to its people and contribute to peace, stability and development in Southeast Asia.
Secondly, China encourages and supports the Secretary-General's good offices under the mandate of the General Assembly. In recent years, there is rising interest and concern by international community on Myanmar, which is quite understandable. China always believes that the United Nations can play a constructive role in this regard. Thanks to the efforts by various parties, Under Secretary-General Gambari paid, at Myanmar's sincere invitation, two visits to the country, had frank talks with Myanmar leaders and achieved certain progress. While the UN Secretariat is at the transitional period, China supports the Secretary-General to appoint his special representative on Myanmar as soon as possible. We are also looking forward to another visit by Mr. Gambari, and hope that he would continue his dialogue with Myanmar and enhance the mutual trust and confidence. As Mr. Gambari emphasized in his briefing to the Security Council last November, Secretary-General's good offices are a process of dialogues and engagement, which needs time and patience. China sincerely calls upon the international community and the Myanmar government to cherish the current sound interaction between each other, constructively support Secretary-General's good offices, and work together to gradually achieve long-term stability and development in Myanmar. The tenth ASEAN summit will be held soon. China will, as always, support ASEAN to play a leading role in addressing the issue of Myanmar.
Thirdly, the Myanmar issue is mainly an internal affair of a sovereign state. The present domestic situation in Myanmar does not pose a threat to international or regional peace and security. No one will dispute that Myanmar is indeed faced with a series of grave challenges such as refugees, child labor, HIV/AIDS, human rights, and drugs. But similar problems exist in many other countries as well. If only because Myanmar is encountering this or that kind of problems in the above areas, it should be arbitrarily labeled as a prominent or potential threat to regional security, be included in the agenda of the Council and followed by adoption of a resolution, then situation of all other 191 UN Member States may also need to be considered by the Security Council. Such approach is obviously neither logical nor reasonable. As a matter of fact, none of Myanmar's immediate neighbors, the entire ASEAN members or most Asia-Pacific countries believe the notion that the current situation in Myanmar poses a threat to regional peace and security. Since various relevant UN agencies have already proceeded their discussions on Myanmar issue and the primary responsibility entrusted by the UN Charter to the Security Council is to maintain world peace and security, China holds that there is no need for the Security Council to get involved and nor should it take action on the issue of Myanmar. Otherwise, it will not only exceed the mandates of the Council, but also hinder the discussions by other relevant UN agencies, and bring no good to Secretary-General's good offices.
It needs to emphasize that China, as an immediate neighbor of Myanmar and a Security Council member from the Asia-Pacific region, has attached no less importance to the situation in Myanmar than anybody else. Although Myanmar's domestic political process may not achieve as much result as expected, the progress is undeniably moving on, slowly but steadily. As an old Chinese saying goes, one cannot enjoy eating hot bean curd if being too anxious. While the intention of the international community is sincere and good, it has to go with practical and feasible means and ways, catering to the national condition of Myanmar. Otherwise, there would be unwanted and undesirable consequences. Moreover, if the situation in Myanmar becomes turbulent as a result of external interference, the primary victims will certainly be the people of Myanmar and its neighboring countries. Therefore, China, together with other countries in the region, wishes more to see Myanmar enjoy political stability, economic development and ethnic harmony. China has always adopted a responsible approach, and made vigorous efforts to encourage and facilitate the Myanmar government to address its problems step by step. It is also our consistent position that the internal affairs of Myanmar should be handled mainly and independently by the Myanmar government and Myanmar people through consultation. The international community can offer all kinds of constructive advice and assistance, but should refrain from arbitrary interference.
Based on the above principled position, China strongly opposes the inclusion of Myanmar into the agenda of the Council, and is firmly against adopting any Security Council resolution on Myanmar. China therefore cannot but vote against the draft resolution before us.
Thank you, Mr. President.