Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan on Friday renewed China's appeal to the United Nations Security Council to take up its responsibility and do all it can to avoid war against Iraq.
Addressing the Security Council meeting on the Iraq issue, Tang said it remains a tough task for the international community to ensure the implementation of the relevant council resolutions and the full and comprehensive destruction of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
"Under the current circumstances, there is no reason to shut the door to peace. Therefore, we are not in favor of a new resolution, particularly one authorizing the use of force," Tang said.
He noted that much progress has been made in the weapon inspections, and Resolution 1441 has been implemented smoothly on the whole, and therefore it is highly necessary to continue the inspections.
"We believe that as long as we stick to the road of political settlement, the goal of destroying Iraq's WMDs could still be obtained," he said.
Tang stressed that Resolution 1441 did not come by easily. "Given the current situation we need resolve and determination, and more importantly, patience and wisdom," he added.
He urged the Security Council to maintain unity and cooperation more than any time ever so as to preserve its authority. The council should provide strong support and guidance to the two inspection bodies in their work, let them continue inspection and find out the truth until they complete the mandate of Resolution 1441.
The minister also urged the Iraqi government to strengthen its cooperation on substance with the UN inspectors in real earnest and to create conditions necessary for a political settlement.
He said that the Iraqi issue bears on peace and development in the Gulf region and the world at large. In an effort to find a solution to that issue, the international community must take into full account the shared interests of all nations and the long-term interests of human development, he added.
He recalled the strong appeal by council member states for a political resolution of the Iraqi issue inside this meeting hall and justified the cries of "Peace, Not War" worldwide.
He said there is no reason for the international community to remain indifferent to the strong demands and outcries.
All countries in the world, faced with the common task of maintaining peace and achieving development and prosperity, desperately need a stable and peaceful international environment, he said, citing an ancient Chinese saying that "among all things in universe, human beings are of paramount importance and peace is most precious."
Tang came here for the Security Council meeting on the Iraq issue, his third trip since last month for the purpose.