Video of China's UN envoy goes viral on social media

2017-03-04 04:39:47 GMT2017-03-04 12:39:47(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

UNITED NATIONS, March 4 (Xinhua) -- In recent days, a video clip of Chinese UN envoy's rebuttal against criticisms of China's veto of a UN draft resolution on Syria has gone viral over the Internet and social media.

China and Russia voted Tuesday against a Western-backed draft UN resolution aiming to impose sanctions over alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Matthew Rycroft, Britain's permanent preventative to the UN, blasted the veto as a move that "undermines confidence in the international community's ability to tackle flagrant violations of international law." His words were later echoed by senior diplomats from the United States and Japan in separate remarks.

In a seven-minute defense of China's vote, Liu Jieyi, China's permanent preventative to the UN, told the council that investigations on the use of chemical weapons are still ongoing and "it is too early to reach a final conclusion."

He said the council should support the joint inquiry to carry out its investigations in a professional manner and make conclusions with accurate, detailed and solid evidence.

"We oppose the use of chemical weapons by any state, any organization and any individual under any circumstance," he added.

The senior Chinese diplomat also went off his prepared statement, and urged that "some countries should reflect on why the situation in the Middle East and Syria has developed to what it is today."

"What roles have these countries played? Which acts are gracious and which are not?"

There was plenty of social media response from around the world to China's stance.

Njagi Muchangi from Kenya posed on Facebook that it is "the best response by the Chinese diplomat, hope others understand the deep meaning in that statement."

Predrag Lazic from Serbia posted on Facebook, "Congratulations to China and Russia on their consistent behavior."

The resolution, if adopted, would have imposed asset freezes and travel bans on individuals and entities associated with the Syrian government based on allegations of chemical weapon attacks made by a joint probe of the UN and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The vote came when a new round of intra-Syrian peace talks in Geneva is underway.

Russian Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Safronkov said the draft was put to a vote based on a doctrine of western states in spite of the efforts taken in Geneva to settle the Syrian crisis.

"We see this as an attempt to retard and undermine the current political and diplomatic efforts," he said.

The draft resolution would also have banned the supply of helicopters to the Syrian government. Safronkov said the measure would undermine counter-terrorism as well as humanitarian relief efforts in Syria.