Peoples Daily: It's Time for In-depth Reflection on Kosovo

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at
Sat Jun 10 23:55:05 MDT 2000

China: It's Time for In-depth Reflection on Kosovo
China said Friday that it is time for in-depth reflection on Kosovo, a
Yugoslav province, where the current situation is very critical as Serbs are
suffering from deportation and persecution.

The statement came as Shen Guofang, the deputy Chinese permanent
representative to the United Nations, took the floor at an open U.N.
Security Council meeting, at which Bernard Kouchner, head of the U.N.
Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), briefed the 15-nation body
on the latest developments in the Serbian province.

"We are of the view that it is time for in-depth reflection," he said. "The
Security Council has the political responsibility and moral obligation to
face this reality, and it should seriously seek the resolution to the
serious problems faced by Kosovo, otherwise the credibility of the United
Nations will continue to be impaired."

"First, the international presence should respect the sovereignty and
territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY)," he
said."UNMIK should respect the laws of FRY and seek cooperation with FRY."

However, "some of the current administrative measures adopted in Kosovo
impair the sovereignty of FRY and it has created a false impression that
Kosovo is going to independence."

Shen said that "any attempt to lead Kosovo to independence is dangerous and
illegal, it will deprive the Balkan region of peace and the ultimate victim
will be the people of the Balkan region." "UNMIK can not afford to make a
slightest mistake on this very important policy of issue," he said.

Secondly, "we are very concerned with the security of Serbs and other
minorities in Kosovo," he said.

"We firmly oppose any forms of ethnic cleansing," he said. " The flagrant
violations of basic human rights in Kosovo, no matter when it take place and
which ethnic group it target, can not be accepted by the international

"All human rights violations are crimes," he said. "The crimes, be they big
or small, can not be tolerated."

"In the same way, it is irresponsible to use past events as excuses to
explain the way to the critical situation," he said. " We are concerned at
the ways UNMIK and the international peacekeepers turn about the situation."

Apart from that, he said, "What arises our particular concern is that a
large number of non-Kosovo Albanians have entered Kosovo, and this will
change the demographic composition of Kosovo," which has a multi-ethnic
society since ancient times.

"There should a Kosovo where different ethnic groups can have peaceful
coexistence, and this should be the target of UNMIK," he said.

"We are opposed to any attempt to create national division and sabotage
national unity," he said. "Fundamentally, the solution to the Kosovo issue
can only be achieved within the framework of FRY through substantial
autonomy and good ethnic policy."

Macdonald Stainsby
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