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China 'gravely concerned' over Kosovo's independence
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Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations Wang Guangya expressed "grave concern" on Monday over Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, urging serious discussion on the matter and a responsible response.


"China opposes unilateral actions and objects imposed solutions by pressure," Wang told an emergency session of the UN Security Council.


"China maintains all along that the best way to resolve the issue of Kosovo status is for the two parties concerned to reach a mutually acceptable solution through negotiations. This should be the common goal of all the parties concerned," he said.


He also said the question of the status of Kosovo is not only an emotional issue for the Kosovo Albanians and Kosovo Serbs, but also bears on peace, security and stability of the Balkan region and even Europe at large.


"China always stands for peaceful resolution of disputes through political and diplomatic means, and supports a negotiated and proper settlement of the issue of Kosovo status," the ambassador said.


Noting that no substantive breakthrough was achieved during months of negotiations, Wang urged all parties "to show sincerity and flexibility, rather than giving up and even shutting the door of negotiations because of their differences."


He warned that Kosovo's unilateral action may "rekindle conflicts and turbulences in the region, which in turn would cause serious humanitarian crisis and adversely impact the entire Balkan region and beyond."


"China is deeply concerned over this," Wang said.


"The issue of Kosovo status does have its special nature. Nevertheless, to terminate negotiations, give up pursuit of a solution acceptable to both parties and replace such efforts with unilateral action will certainly constitute a serious challenge to the fundamental principles of international law," the ambassador said.


He called on all relevant parties to "take full account of the complexity and sensitivity of the Kosovo status issue and make a sober assessment of the potential adverse implications of the unilateral action for peace and stability in the region, act with maximum prudence and do their utmost to preserve peace, security and stability there."


Wang stressed that UN Security Council Resolution 1244 remains the political and legal basis for the settlement of the Kosovo issue, and that before the adoption of any new resolution by the Security Council, "all efforts and actions for the settlement of this issue should conform to the relevant provisions of Resolution 1244."


"If a resolution adopted by the Security Council is not observed and implemented, the resolution in question would become a mere scrap of paper; what's more, the authority and credibility of the Security Council as the primary organ for safeguarding world peace and security would be compromised," he said.


"This is not only the worry of China, but also that of the international community," Wang said. "The Chinese government therefore hopes that all members will show a responsible attitude and consider and address this issue seriously and prudently."


Noting that China agrees that the future of both Serbia and Kosovo lies in their eventual integration into Europe and appreciates the EU's desire to play an active role on the Kosovo issue, Wang said that China hopes that the EU will take into account not only the interests of Serbia and Kosovo, but also the concerns of other countries in the region.


"More importantly, it needs to pay attention to and uphold the authority and role of the Security Council in resolving the Kosovo issue. We hope the EU will make greater efforts to reconcile the positions of Serbia and Kosovo, urge the two parties to continue their dialogue, and encourage them to find a way out in the process of seeking integration into Europe."


Wang said that China sincerely hopes that all parties concerned will keep in mind the long-term interests of peace and security of the Balkan region, Europe and the world at large, and conduct candid negotiations and discussions for a constructive solution to the issue of Kosovo status.


"The Security Council and the international community should encourage Serbia and Kosovo to continue their pursuit of a mutually acceptable solution through political and diplomatic means," he added.


(Xinhua News Agency February 19, 2008)

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