|Ambassador Geng Shuang: Good riddance, Ambassador Heusgen|
On December 22, the United Nations Security Council held a virtual briefing on the Iranian nuclear issue. In his remarks, German Permanent Representative Ambassador Christoph Heusgen commented on the Michael Kovrig case. He claimed that Michael Kovrig was treated unfairly in China and that China should release him as soon as possible. Ambassador Geng Shuang, Deputy Permanent Representative of China requested the floor again and categorically rejected German Ambassador's remarks. The text of Ambassador Geng's remarks is as follows:
As I said, barring any unexpected, this should be the very last meeting for 2020 at the Security Council. Reflecting on this year at the Council, we had cooperation and coordination, and also moments of disagreement. Some made irresponsible remarks which resulted in division of the Council.
As noted by some colleagues just now, the Iranian nuclear issue is one of the very few important agenda items on which the majority of Council members could manage to maintain unity. We had hoped that through discussing or reviewing this item, we could possibly conclude the work of the Council for the current year, so that we can give everyone a happy ending. Regrettably, such a wish was pretty much dashed thanks to the remarks by the Permanent Representative of Germany. What he said is totally irrelevant to the theme of today's meeting, and represents a far cry from the fact. It is totally contrary to the spirit of cooperation and unity. In his last remarks, he in such a malicious manner launched attacks against other Council members. He abused the platform of the Security Council in an attempt to poison the working atmosphere of the Council. In my last statement, I did bid him farewell, well, pretty much out of courtesy and of course in a diplomatic manner. Now, I wish to say out of the bottom of my heart: Good riddance, Ambassador Heusgen. I am hoping that the Council in your absence in the year 2021 will be in a better position to fulfill the responsibilities and mandate for maintaining international peace and security.
I wish to emphasize that China is a country of rule of law. Anyone found in violation of China's laws will be punished. The Chinese judicial authorities handle cases in accordance with law, and the rights of interests of the persons concerned have been guaranteed. According to Ambassador Heusgen, Michael Kovrig is his good friend. If you have anything to say to him, you can certainly do it through legitimate channels. You don't have to abuse the Council, give a shout out to demonstrate your friendship or fraternity with Michael Kovrig to show your concern for his welfare. What you did in fact couldn't help him in any way. The only thing it does perhaps is to present yourself as someone who speaks his mind. I don't know whether that is a responsible behavior and what you think deep down in your heart.
Lastly, I wish to repeat what I said in my last intervention: I hope that the upcoming year will bring everybody health and tranquility, peace and security, solidarity and cooperation.
Thank you, Mr. President.