China firmly opposes mercenary activities in Africa, says Chinese envoy

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 5: China firmly opposes mercenary activities in Africa, and will always support African nations’ pursuit of peace and prosperity, said Chinese Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ma Zhaoxu here on Monday.
Mercenary activities are a threat to peace and stability in African countries, and China calls for greater international efforts to address the problem, said Ma as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s special representative at a UN Security Council meeting on mercenary activities in Africa.
He said these activities interfere with the internal affairs of the developing countries, and infringe on their sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, adding that china stands firmly against such activities.

The Chinese representative urged the international community to support African countries in accelerating their development, reducing poverty, eliminating the root causes for conflict and turmoil, and stepping up socio-economic development in African countries.

Ma also pledged China’s continued support for Africa to achieve peace, stability and development, and expressed the hope for China and Africa to jointly build a closer community with a shared future.

Also, at the meeting, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the international body stands ready to continue to support governments in tackling mercenary activities.
“The United Nations stands ready to continue to support governments in tackling mercenary activities, including through deepening our dialogue with relevant regional organizations and national institutions,” said the UN chief.

Noting that the nature of mercenary activities has evolved over the years, Guterres said that “they are exploiting and feeding off other ills such as transnational organized crime, terrorism and violent extremism.”

The UN General Assembly adopted the International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries in 1989.

The UN chief told the Council that only 35 states are parties to the convention and called on “those states that remain outside the Convention to accede to or ratify it without delay.”

Monday’s meeting was called by Equatorial Guinea, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council in February.

Shortly before the meeting, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the president of Equatorial Guinea, spoke highly of the bilateral relations between his country and China during his meeting with Ma.

Obiang also said he attaches importance to Equatorial Guinea’s relations with China, adding that he is willing to further promote cooperation between the two countries in various fields.



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