China: Changes needed in Middle East, N Africa

Updated: 2012-03-13 06:56


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UNITED NATIONS - China on Monday called for deep, rational thinking and a comprehensive, integrated strategy to deal with changes in the Middle East and North Africa.

The call came as Li Baodong, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, addressed a Security Council high-level meeting on the situation of the Middle East.

The situation in the Middle East and North Africa is undergoing some unprecedented changes as evidenced by the turbulence in some countries, Li said, adding that the developments in the Middle East have major implications on world political and economic affairs.

Without stability and development in the region, the world economy will find it hard to recover and world peace will be put under great risks, said Li.

"In order to properly handle these changes in the Middle East and North Africa, we need to be engaged in deep, rational thinking and adopt a comprehensive and integrated approach to ensure stability and peace in the region and meet the demands of the people in a better and orderly way," Li noted.

"We must respect the demands and aspirations of the people in the region for change and development, and respect their rights to manage their internal affairs, choose political system and development path," Li said. "The issues of the Middle East should be handled by the people in the region; the future and destiny of the region is in the hands of the people."

The ambassador also said that China hopes the relevant parties of the region could express their political aspirations through legal and non-violent means, solve their differences through dialogue, consultations and other peaceful means, and achieve proper solutions by launching an inclusive political process.

"We urge all parties concerned to avoid violence and armed conflicts, restore national stability and normal social order as soon as possible," Li said.

In addition, the international community should adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and the basic norms governing international relations, respect the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the countries in the region, Li said.

The international community can provide necessary constructive assistance to the efforts of the countries to solve their internal crisis through political means, he added.

"China is opposed to any attempt of the external forces to engage in military intervention and to push for 'regime change.' Sanctions and threat of sanctions are not conducive to a proper solution to the problems," he said.

Furthermore, Li stressed that the resolutions of the UN Security Council must be fully and strictly implemented. No party should willfully interpret the resolutions, nor should any actions be taken beyond the mandate of the Security Council.

"China is against any interference in internal affairs in the name of humanitarianism," he stated.

On the peace process in the Middle East, Li told the meeting that any stagnation or even regression of the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks will only lead to more turbulence and conflicts.

"The more complicated and severe the situations we are facing, the more important it is for the international community to redouble its diplomatic efforts, and strive for an early resumption of the peace talks," Li said. "China appreciates the efforts made by the Quartet mechanism for the Middle East issue, and supports the Security Council in playing a bigger role in promoting the Middle East peace process."