Published: 10:03, March 1, 2022 | Updated: 10:03, March 1, 2022
China calls for direct negotiations on Ukraine crisis
By Minlu Zhang

Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, speaks during a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York, the United States, May 3, 2021.  (XIE E / XINHUA)

China's ambassador to the United Nations on Monday called for efforts to create an enabling condition for direct negotiations over the Ukraine crisis and warned against the politicization of humanitarian assistance to the Eastern European nation. 

The situation in Ukraine is changing sharply and has evolved to a point that China does not wish to see and where it is not in the interests of any party, Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN, told an emergency special session of the UN General Assembly, on Ukraine. 

Zhang stressed that the immediate priority is for all parties concerned to exercise necessary restraint and prevent further worsening of the situation, while stepping up diplomatic efforts aiming for a political solution. 

"China welcomes the start of direct dialogues and negotiations between Russia and Ukraine," he said. 

"Ukraine should serve as a bridge of communication between the East and the West, rather than an outpost for confrontation between major powers. We call for efforts to create an enabling atmosphere and conditions for direct negotiations between the parties concerned, as this is the fundamental way to resolve the issue," Zhang said. 

Ukraine should serve as a bridge of communication between the East and the West, rather than an outpost for confrontation between major powers. 

Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN 

The envoy said all actions taken by the UN and the relevant parties of the international community should "prioritize regional peace and stability and the universal security for all and should help de-escalate tensions and facilitate a diplomatic settlement". 

"China does not approve of any approach that may exacerbate tensions," said Zhang. 

China supports relevant UN agencies' continued work on humanitarian aid in Ukraine, said Zhang. "We believe that the safety of civilian life and property and their humanitarian needs should be effectively guaranteed," he said. 

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China always earnestly fulfills its responsibility of maintaining international peace and security, the ambassador said. 

"It is our consistent and unequivocal position that all countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected, and that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be upheld. China will continue to play a constructive role in the pursuit and realization of peace," he said. 

The Cold War has long ended, Zhang said. "The Cold War mentality based on bloc confrontation should be abandoned. Nothing can be gained from stirring up a new Cold War, but everyone will stand to lose," he said. 

One country's security should not come at the expense of other countries' security. And regional security should not rely on reinforcing or even expanding military blocs, he stressed. 

China supports the European Union, NATO and Russia in resuming dialogues, bearing in mind the concept of indivisible security, properly addressing the legitimate security concerns of all parties, including those of Russia, and striving to put in place a balanced, effective and sustainable European security mechanism, so as to achieve lasting peace and stability on the European continent, he said. 

The safety of life and property of all civilians, including those of foreign nationals, and their humanitarian needs should be effectively guaranteed, Zhang told a Security Council meeting on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine on Monday. 

China welcomes the remarks by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the UN will play an active role in coordinating the humanitarian assistance in Ukraine, he said. 

"In our view, the United Nations and the international community should provide humanitarian assistance in accordance with the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality as set forth in General Assembly Resolution 46/182, and avoid politicization," he said.