China welcomes any initiative and measure that can help alleviate and resolve the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, a Chinese envoy said Thursday.
"China's fundamental starting point is to promote the international community and the UN to attach great importance to the humanitarian situation in Ukraine," China's permanent representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun told the UN General Assembly Special Emergency Session on Ukraine.
Zhang added that China calls on the parties concerned to strengthen coordination on the humanitarian issue, effectively protect the safety of civilians, especially vulnerable groups such as women and children, and facilitate the personnel evacuation and humanitarian relief operations.
"Based on the current situation, when dealing with the humanitarian issue of Ukraine, the principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality established by General Assembly resolution 46/182 should be strictly observed to prevent the politicization of humanitarian issues," said the ambassador.
On the current humanitarian situation in Ukraine, the envoy said that "it is heart-wrenching to see the continued deterioration of humanitarian situation in Ukraine, as well as the civilian casualties and massive displacement of people caused by the conflict."
"The top priority now is for the parties concerned to maintain maximum restraints, avoid more civilian casualties, and reach a negotiated ceasefire as soon as possible, especially to prevent a larger-scale humanitarian crisis," he said.
Referring to the draft resolution on the humanitarian situation in Ukraine put forward by France, Mexico and others, which was adopted at the General Assembly, the ambassador said that "China recognizes the purpose of the draft resolution, and appreciates the efforts made by France, Mexico and relevant countries in promoting consensus."
However, he pointed out that "it is clear that some elements of the draft resolution go beyond the humanitarian context and some issues are so complex that can only be solved through political negotiations between the parties concerned."
"The draft resolution proposed by South Africa focuses on the humanitarian issue, and addresses the important aspects of the current situation in Ukraine, while emphasizing that the cessation of hostilities is a key first step towards improving the humanitarian situation," he said, adding that "we believe that, under the current conditions, the draft resolution proposed by South Africa is more conducive to promoting the unity of the UN membership and to opening the door for further dialogue and negotiation and a diplomatic solution."
"Therefore, China has co-sponsored the draft resolution proposed by South Africa," the ambassador noted.
On the impact of the Ukraine crisis, Zhang underscored that "the spillover effects of the Ukraine crisis have further brought about global impacts."
"The world is yet to emerge from the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the ever-escalating implementation of sweeping, non-discriminatory sanctions have caused and will further cause a huge impact on global economy, trade, finance, energy, food and industrial and supply chains, seriously affecting the normal lives of people in all countries, and making the already difficult world economy even worse," he said.
"Developing countries, which make up the majority of the world, are not parties to this conflict. They should not be drawn into the issue and forced to suffer the consequences of geopolitical conflicts and major power rivalry," he said.
The ambassador stressed that in addressing international and regional hotspot issues, there cannot be only two options, namely the use of force and sanctions. "In the face of complex situations, all countries have the right to independently and autonomously decide their own foreign policies. Relevant countries should not adopt a simplistic approach of either friend or foe, black or white, and should not force any country to pick a side."
"Respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries is a basic norm governing international relations that applies to all countries and all situations. There should be no exceptions, still less double standards," he added.
Zhang underlined the importance of dialogue and negotiation, noting that is "the only way out for the Ukraine crisis."
"China strongly calls on the international community to remain rational, strengthen unity and make unremitting efforts for ceasefire and peace. China will continue its constructive role in facilitating peace talks," said the ambassador.
Produced by Xinhua Global Service