Chinese envoy urges NATO not to fan block confrontation using Ukraine crisis as excuse

China’s permanent representative to the United Nations has urged NATO not to fan bloc confrontation or a new Cold War by using the Ukraine crisis as an excuse.

“The Ukraine crisis has once again sounded the alarm for the world,” Zhang Jun said on Tuesday while addressing a UN Security Council Briefing on Ukraine.

“Security is indivisible. A blind faith in the position of strength, the expansion of military alliance, and the pursuit of one’s own security at the expense of the security of other countries will inevitably lead to security dilemma,” Xinhua news agency reported quoting Zhang.

Zhang noted that NATO’s five eastward expansions after the Cold War have not only failed to make Europe securer, but also sowed the seed of conflict, a lesson worth reflecting on.

“The Cold War ended a long time ago. It is necessary for NATO to reconsider its own positioning and its responsibilities, completely abandon the Cold-War mentality that is based on bloc confrontation, and strive to build a balanced, effective, and sustainable European security framework in line with the principle of indivisible security,” he said.

China pays close attention to NATO’s strategic adjustment and is deeply concerned about the policy implications of its so-called “Strategic Concept,” the envoy said.

Citing that certain NATO leaders lately painted other countries as a threat, Zhang underscored the fact that it is NATO itself that has made troubles in different parts of the world.

“We urge NATO to learn its lessons, and not to use the Ukraine crisis as an excuse to stoke worldwide bloc confrontation or a new Cold War, and not to look for imaginary enemies in the Asia Pacific or artificially create contradictions and divisions,” he said.

Zhang stressed that China firmly opposes certain elements clamouring for NATO’s involvement in the Asia Pacific, or an Asia Pacific version of NATO on the back of military alliances.

“The long-outdated Cold War script must never be reenacted in the Asia Pacific. The kind of turmoil and conflict that are affecting parts of the world must not be allowed to happen in the Asia Pacific,” he said.

“Asia Pacific countries share the appreciation of the hard-won peace and prosperity, and the wish to focus on mutually beneficial cooperation in pursuit of common development and revitalization. Any attempt to go against the tide of history is doomed to fail,” he said.

The continuation of the Ukraine crisis is regrettable and worrying, Zhang said, emphasising that dialogue and negotiation is the only viable way to restore and consolidate peace.

“For some time now, China has joined all peace-loving countries calling for a ceasefire. We have been committed to promoting peace talks, and making relentless efforts to de-escalate the situation, restore peace, mitigate the humanitarian situation, and stabilize the global economy,” he said.

China supports direct negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, and also welcomes the UN secretary-general’s good offices on issues including grain export, said Zhang.

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