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China Calls Out U.S. as Causal Factor Behind Rising Middle East Tensions

Ambassador Zhang at the UN Security Council UN Photo Eskinder Debeb

China’s UN Ambassador Zhang Jun pulled no punches during a UN Security Council meeting yesterday that was called by Russia following the Feb. 2 U.S. strikes on Iraq and Syria. Zhang explicitly pointed to the role of the U.S., by name, in the rising levels of violence in the region. “The U.S. purports that it does not seek to create conflict in the Middle East or anywhere else, but in reality it does precisely the opposite. The U.S. military actions are undoubtedly stoking new turmoil in this region and further intensifying tensions. History has repeatedly shown that military means is not a solution and that the excessive use of force will only lead to a bigger crisis. The U.S. actions will certainly exacerbate the vicious circle of tit-for-tat violence in the Middle East. We have witnessed too many examples and precedents in this regard,” Zhang said.

“It must be pointed out that underneath the rising tensions in the Middle East over the past few months, the fundamental reason is the failure to implement a ceasefire in Gaza. China has repeatedly emphasized that an immediate ceasefire in Gaza is a critical overriding prerequisite for everything else and a top priority for international diplomatic efforts,” Zhang continued. “All parties should heed the strong call and the overwhelming consensus of the international community and support the Security Council in taking strong actions to promote an immediate ceasefire

“We call the country concerned [i.e., the U.S.] to demonstrate political will and determination, take more practical actions to safeguard regional peace and stability, make less selfish geopolitical calculations, and play a constructive role that is expected of it,” he concluded.

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