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Statement by H.E. Ambassador LIU Zhenmin, Deputy Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, at the 62nd UNGA Session on Agenda Item 21 "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States against Cuba"
New York, 30 October 2007


Mr. President,

The Chinese Delegation associates itself with the statement made by Pakistan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

For 15 consecutive years, the General Assembly has each year adopted a resolution urging all countries, in compliance with the UN Charter and the principles of international law, to repeal or invalidate all laws and measures with extraterritorial effect that compromise the sovereignty of other States, undermine the legitimate rights and interests of entities and persons under the jurisdiction of those States, and affect the freedom of trade and navigation. Regrettably, however, the long-term economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba imposed by its rich neighbor is still in place.

In the age of economic globalization, exchanges and cooperation on an equal footing among countries represent the trend of our times. Normal economic, commercial and financial ties among countries are in the interest of all countries and are by no means a favor given by any one country to others. Dialogue on an equal footing is the best way to resolve any difference. The international community has the right to raise serious concerns over the embargo and sanctions suffered by Cuba over the years and request the country concerned to end such embargo and sanctions.

The 40-odd-years of embargo and sanctions against Cuba not only harm the interests of Cuba and many other countries, thus seriously hampering development efforts at the international level; but also go against the principles of democracy, freedom, the rule of law and human rights. First, the practice of attempting to force another country, through embargo and sanctions, to give up its right to independently choose its path of development, even to overthrow its government, constitutes a violation of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the basic norms governing the contemporary international relations. This kind of practice has nothing to do with promoting democracy and freedom. Second, the embargo and sanctions imposed against Cuba are extra-territorial in nature, and are therefore in violation of the international law and can by no means promote democracy and freedom in any country. They are opposed by all countries and run counter to the principle of trade liberalization. Third, the embargo and sanctions have seriously obstructed and constrained the efforts of the Cuban people to eradicate poverty, improve their living standard, pursue economic and social development, and achieve the MDGs. They undermine the rights to life and to development of the Cuban people.

Mr. President,

The Chinese Government always maintains that countries should develop state-to-state relations based equality in compliance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and work to promote democracy and the rule of law in international relations. We believe that countries should, in light of their specific national conditions, choose their own political, economic, and social systems and the mode of development. Differences between states should be solved through dialogue and cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

In view of the above, the Chinese Government requests the ending of the economic, commercial and financial embargo and sanctions imposed by the country concerned against Cuba at an early date. It is our hope that there will be dialogue rather than confrontation, and contacts and exchanges rather than embargo and sanctions. We hope the relevant UN resolutions will be implemented without delay. China therefore supports the draft resolution submitted by Cuba under the current agenda item.

Thank you, Mr. President.



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