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Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi speaks at the opening of the Fifth Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum in Hammamet, Tunisia, May 31, 2012/XINHUA

Focus on China

Chinese envoy calls on EU to uphold genuine multilateralism

UNITED NATIONS, June 10 – A Chinese envoy on Thursday called on the European Union to uphold genuine multilateralism, renounce double standards, avoid bloc politics, and oppose division and confrontation.

China supports the United Nations and the EU in carrying out cooperation in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and in jointly upholding and practicing genuine multilateralism, said Geng Shuang, China’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.

The COVID-19 pandemic has once again demonstrated that all countries in the world are a collection of intertwined interests with a shared future. No country can stay out of harm’s way by looking after its own interests only, nor can any country fight alone, he told a Security Council meeting on UN-EU cooperation.

Strengthened cooperation between the United Nations and regional and sub-regional organizations helps strengthen the international collective security mechanisms, maintain international peace and security, contribute to the response to global challenges, and promote the common development of all countries, he said.

“The times we live in and the challenges we are facing make multilateralism imperative. The EU itself is a product of multilateral response to common challenges. As an important force on the world stage and an active advocate of multilateralism, the EU should take the lead in respecting international law and the universally accepted basic norms governing international relations, holding fast to the principles of mutual respect, treating each other as equals and working together for mutually beneficial outcomes, renouncing double standards, avoiding bloc politics, and opposing division and confrontation,” he said.

China hopes that the EU, in its external engagement, will pursue the policy of non-interference in other states’ internal affairs. China would like to see an EU that champions genuine multilateralism and plays a greater, more positive and constructive role in international affairs, said Geng.

For a long time, the EU has done a great deal of useful work to help neutralize the tensions and bridge differences between various parties, resolve some regional hot-spot issues, and implement Security Council resolutions, he said.

China acknowledges the EU’s efforts to pursue a return to compliance with the Iran nuclear deal and hopes that the EU will continue to play its coordinating role and work with all parties concerned to help bring about an expeditious political solution to the Iranian nuclear issue. China looks forward to the EU continuing to contribute to the maintenance of peace and stability on the African continent, and in particular, to lend stronger support to African-owned peace operations. China commends the EU for its long-standing assistance in improving the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory, and hopes the EU will continue to play a constructive role in promoting a comprehensive, just, and lasting solution to the Palestinian issue, he said.

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China encourages the EU, in the process of resolving hot-spot issues, to fully respect the sovereignty of the countries concerned, take into serious consideration the realities of the countries concerned, safeguard the authority of the United Nations, and effectively strengthen coordination and cooperation with other regional organizations.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has repeatedly underscored that achieving sustainable and inclusive development is the most effective way to tackle the root causes of conflict once and for all. As the largest provider of official development assistance, the EU should do more to help developing countries in general, and war-torn countries in particular, to recover and rebuild and eliminate the root causes of conflict, said Geng.

“We hope that the EU will further increase its international aid; place a greater focus on eradicating hunger and poverty, developing health and education, and promoting post-COVID reconstruction; channel resources to areas where the most urgent needs exist, so as to make a greater contribution to the effort of developing countries to implement the 2030 Agenda, achieve sustainable development, and promote and consolidate peace through development,” he said.

China attaches great importance to its relations with the EU and has always seen the EU as an important force in the process of multi-polarization. The two sides have extensive common interests and broad prospects for cooperation in maintaining world peace and promoting common development, said Geng.

China is ready to strengthen dialogue and exchanges with the EU, deepen coordination and cooperation, join hands in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change-related challenges, jointly safeguard genuine multilateralism, strengthen and improve global governance, and work hand in hand to safeguard the international system with the UN at its core and the international order based on international law, he said.

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