Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Saturday, March 08, 2003

China Reiterates Opposition to New Resolution on Iraq

Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said on Friday that China opposes to introducing a new UN resolution on Iraq, "particularly one that authorizes force" , during talks with US Secretary of State Colin Powell.


China Reiterates Opposition to New Resolution on Iraq
Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan said on Friday that China opposes to introducing a new UN resolution on Iraq, "particularly one that authorizes force."

Tang, who came to New York Thursday for the UN Security Council meeting on Iraq issue scheduled for Friday, made the remarks during talks with US Secretary of State Colin Powell.

Tang said he saw no reason to shut the door to peace at this moment. The Chinese government is not in favor of a new resolution, particularly one authorizing the use of force against Iraq, he added.

Tang said the international community is now extremely concerned over the Iraq issue.

Therefore, the settlement of the issue should not only serve the target of destruction of weapons of mass destruction, but also the cause of safeguarding world peace and development and upholding the authority of the UN Security Council, said the Chinese minister.

To resort to the use of force is not a good option for solving any problem, he said, adding that a war would only produce a catastrophic humanitarian disaster and economic turmoil.

He cautioned that a possible war against Iraq would also cause many other new issues. "The challenges facing the world are too many enough and efforts should be made to avert the emergence of new man-made issues."

Tang stressed that the UN Security Council Resolution 1441 approved last November is a result of unity and cooperation by all member countries. And the weapons inspection process based on the resolution should in no way be left unfinished.

For his part, Powell reiterated US position on the Iraq issue, saying that the United States understood China's point of view on the matter.

The United Nations Security Council should focus on fully implementing Resolution 1441 rather than introducing a new resolution authorizing the use of force, Tang said in a meeting with a delegation of Arab foreign ministers from Bahrain, Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Secretary-General of the Arab League Amr Moussa.

Tang said the Iraq issue is now at a critical juncture of whether there will be a political solution or a military one.

A majority of Security Council members called for continued weapons inspections in Iraq so as to find a political solution to the issue, Tang said. He also expressed his belief that as long as the United Nations carries on its weapons inspections in Iraq, a peaceful solution still remains possible.

The Arab foreign ministers warned that should a US-led war break out in Iraq, the Middle East situation, especially the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, would become even more complicated and difficult to solve and is likely to tumble out of control.

The Arab League hoped that UN Security Council Resolution 1441 would be fully implemented and weapons inspections could continue and utmost efforts would be made to avert war in Iraq.

The delegation also spoke highly of China's just stand on the Iraq issue and its constructive role in solving the crisis, and pledged to strengthen friendly ties between China and Arab states.

Tang met separately with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on Friday to exchange views on the Iraq issue.

The minsiter said the latest reports submitted by the chief UN inspectors indicated that arms inspections in Iraq have begun to make substantial progress, and China believes there is no reason for the Security Council to give up inspections.

Meanwhile, he urged Iraq to strengthen its cooperation on substance with the UN inspectors in a more proactive manner.

Tang said China supports the memorandum proposed by the three countries of France, Russia and Germany and the joint statement by the foreign ministers of the three countries. China is not in favor of any new Security Council resolution, particularly one authorizing use of force, he said.

Tang noted many conflicts in the world are not to be resolved by military means, on the contrary, wars can only lead to new problems and unrest. The international community should make the utmost efforts to avoid war either from a humanitarian viewpoint or for the purpose of maintaining regional and world peace and stability.

Ivanov spoke highly of the cooperation between Russia and China, saying he was convinced that there is still the possibility of solving the Iraq issue peacefully.

He stressed that there is no need for the Security Council to adopt any new resolution authorizing the use of force and it is unwise to attempt to solve the issue by war. He said Russia is ready to work together with other countries for a political solution of the Iraq issue within the framework of the United Nations.

Villepin expressed appreciation for China's support to the memorandum and foreign ministers' joint statement of the three countries. He said France was opposed to a new Security Council resolution authorizing use of force since arms inspections in Iraqwere making headway.

Straw expressed understanding of China's position and said Britain is willing to keep contact with the Chinese side on the issue.

On the same day, Tang also held talks with Guinean Foreign Minister Lonseny Fall, whose country currently holds the rotating Security Council presidency. Fall noted that China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, plays an important role in pushing forward a political solution to the Iraq issue.

By People's Daily Online

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