Why China vetoed UN sanctions against Zimbabwe


0

China instructed its ambassador to the United Nations Wang to veto the United States-sponsored resolution for United Nations Security Council sanctions on Zimbabwe, after its disputed 2008 elections, because South African President Thabo Mbeki had told Beijing that the United Kingdom and the United States were actively discouraging the Movement for Democratic Change from negotiating with President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

Both China and Russia, however, also approached Mugabe to impress on him the need to negotiate with the opposition in good faith.

China even went as far as rebuffing Mugabe’s direct request for Beijing to receive Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi officially.

ZANU-PF and the two factions of the MDC reached agreement two months later.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 08USUNNEWYORK630, CHINA, RUSSIA OUTLINE THINKING ON ZIMBABWE, SUDAN,

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

08USUNNEWYORK630

2008-07-16 01:21

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

USUN New York

VZCZCXRO7765

OO RUEHDU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN RUEHROV RUEHSR

RUEHTRO

DE RUCNDT #0630/01 1980121

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 160121Z JUL 08

FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4613

INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

RUEHGG/UN SECURITY COUNCIL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 USUN NEW YORK 000630

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/15/2018

TAGS: PREL PGOV SO SU ZM

SUBJECT: CHINA, RUSSIA OUTLINE THINKING ON ZIMBABWE, SUDAN,

MIDDLE EAST

 

Classified By: Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad for Reasons 1.4 b/d.

 

1. (C) SUMMARY. Chinese PermRep Wang told P-5 counterparts

this morning that Beijing had instructed him to veto last

weekend’s Security Council resolution on Zimbabwe after South

African President Mbeki called Chinese President Hu to

complain that the U.S. and UK were actively discouraging the

Zimbabwe opposition from engaging in negotiations with the

ruling ZANU-PF. Wang also reported that China has rebuffed

Zimbabwe President Mugabe’s request that his foreign minister

visit Beijing. Ambassador Khalilzad told the Chinese and

Russian on Zimbabwe that “you broke it, and we are watching

to see how you are going to fix it.” All agreed that the

Security Council could do little in the immediate aftermath

of the failed resolution and members would closely monitor

developments in the ground over the next week or two. The

group agreed that the Council should call for the Government

of Sudan (GOS) to exercise restraint in the aftermath of

International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor’s application

for an arrest warrant against President Bashir. British

PermRep Sawers, however, insisted that any such call for

restraint be linked to a call for GOS cooperation with the

ICC, a condition China and Russia resisted as obviously

boxing Bashir in and carrying a risk of prompting South

Africa and others to come to his defense. China and Russia

hinted that they may eventually advocate a suspension of the

ICC case against Bashir pursuant to Treaty of Rome Article

16, but all agreed to monitor developments closely over the

next several days before launching next steps. The group

also agreed that the forthcoming UNAMID renewal resolution

should largely track UNSCR 1769 as a technical rollover and

avoid excessive benchmarking. On Somalia, there was broad

consensus that Italian and Turkish leadership was not

yielding results. On the Arab draft resolution condemning

Israeli settlements, the Chinese and Russians said they could

support the current Arab draft, but would prefer to work with

the U.S. on a comprehensive resolution on the

Israeli-Palestinian conflict. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (C) Ambassador Khalilzad hosted the P-5 at a July 15

working breakfast. Guests in principals-only format were

Chinese PR Wang, Russian DPR Shcherbak, UK PR Sawers, and

French Political Coordinator de Riviere. Topics covered were

Zimbabwe, Sudan, Somalia, and the Arab draft resolution on

Israeli settlements.

 

Zimbabwe

——–

 

3. (C) Ambassador Wang revealed that President Mbeki of South

Africa called President Hu before the July 12 Security

Council vote on the Zimbabwe resolution to explain that South

Africa would be taking its alternative resolution (calling

for sanctions should Zimbabwe’s behavior not improve) off the

table in reaction to his conclusion that the UK and U.S. had

been actively discouraging the opposition Movement for

Democratic Change (MDC) from negotiating with Mugabe’s

ZANU-PF. In support of South Africa, Beijing then instructed

Wang to veto the U.S.-sponsored sanctions resolution.

 

4. (C) Wang and Russia’s Shcherbak told the group that both

their capitals have approached Mugabe to impress on him the

need to negotiate with the opposition in good faith. Wang

said China had gone so far as to rebuff Mugabe’s direct

request that Zimbabwe’s foreign minister, Simbarashe

Mumbengegwi, be received officially in Beijing.

 

5. (C) Ambassador Khalilzad told the Russian and Chinese that

their veto of the resolution effectively meant they had

together broken and therefore bought the Zimbabwe situation

and that the U.S. and others would now be looking at how they

would fix it. All agreed that the Council could do little as

an institution in the short term except closely monitor

events on the ground.

 

Darfur

——

 

6. (C) Russia and China both urged the rest of the P-5 to

confine the resolution renewing UNAMID to technical matters

largely tracking resolution 1769, which created the hybrid

force for Darfur. They argued that the resolution should

avoid excessive benchmarking but agreed to retain language in

the UK-draft endorsing, for example, the UN’s goal of 80

percent UNAMID deployment in calendar year 2008. The group

agreed that the resolution should call on the Government of

Sudan (GOS) to exercise restraint in the aftermath of the

recent International Criminal Court (ICC) filings against

 

USUN NEW Y 00000630 002 OF 002

 

 

Sudan President Bashir. The Chinese and Russian resisted UK

PermRep Sawer’s insistence that such a call for restraint be

linked to a call for GOS cooperation with the ICC, arguing

that Bashir would be boxed in by a call for cooperation with

his own indictment and that South Africa and others might

then feel compelled to come to his defense and thereby

exacerbate tensions. (NOTE. The UK draft resolution

renewing UNAMID does not expressly mention the ICC but

repeats language from UNSCR 1769 calling for “perpetrators of

crimes in Darfur” to be brought to justice. END NOTE.)

 

7. (C) Russia and China also hinted that they may yet come to

advocate a formal Security Council suspension of the ICC

process against Bashir pursuant to Treaty of Rome Article 16.

The group reached consensus, however, to monitor developments

closely for several days before deciding on next steps

colectively or individually.

 

Somalia

——-

 

8. (C) There was broad P-5 consensus that new leadership may

be needed to make progress in Somalia, perhaps with

Indonesian or Arab state activity replacing Italian and

Turkish.

 

Middle East

———–

 

9. (C) Separately, the Chinese and Russians said they could

support the current Arab draft resolution condemning Israeli

settlements, but would prefer to work with the U.S. on a

comprehensive resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

They generally welcomed the U.S. elements for a

comprehensive resolution circulated to the Security Council

and said they would have only a few changes to propose.

Khalilzad

 

(6 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHARETweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *