China expresses grave concern over destruction of Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam
Published: Jun 07, 2023 01:42 PM
Zhang Jun Photo: Xinhua

Zhang Jun File photo: Xinhua

China is gravely concerned over the destruction in the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam and urges all parties to the conflict to abide by international humanitarian law and to do their utmost to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) at the UN Security Council Emergency Meeting on Ukraine on Tuesday.

China is "concerned" about the protraction and even further escalation of the Ukraine crisis. China urged the parties concerned to submit to good sense, exercise restraint, and resume peace talks as soon as possible, according to Zhang. 

The protection of civilians and critical civilian facilities in armed conflict is an important principle enshrined in international humanitarian law. "We are deeply concerned about the resulting humanitarian, economic, and ecological consequences," Zhang said.

The collapse of the dam has caused major inundations. China supports the "active efforts" by the UN and humanitarian agencies to assist to the best of their ability in the evacuation of the affected population, followed by further assistance, according to Zhang.

Martin Griffiths, under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator said at the meeting that the destruction of the Kakhovka hydroelectric power plant dam was the most significant incident of damage to civilian infrastructure since the start of the Ukraine crisis, which will have grave and far-reaching consequences for many people, according to the UN.

The UN and humanitarian organizations have already operated to address the impact, including by providing urgent assistance to more than 16,000 affected people.

China reiterated that in the event of a nuclear disaster, "no one can stay immune," Zhang said. China called for maximum restraint, avoiding words and deeds that could escalate confrontation and lead to miscalculation, and maintaining the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Zhang noted.

China will continue to stand on the side of peace and with partners concerned, to make unremitting efforts to promote peace talks and achieve a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis, Zhang noted.