International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Chief Rafael Grossi reacts next to IAEA's head of the Department of Nuclear Safety and Security Lydie Evrard as he speaks to the press after the return an IAEA team from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine, at Vienna International Airport in Schwechat, Austria on Sept 2, 2022. (JOE KLAMAR / AFP)
UNITED NATIONS – China on Tuesday expressed support for the continued presence of the experts of the International Atomic Energy Agency, UN's nuclear watchdog, at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi and his colleagues were able to make a successful visit last week, which helps gain a comprehensive and objective understanding of the nuclear facilities' operation and damage, so as to take targeted actions, said Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the UN
Speaking at the Security Council briefing on the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, Geng Shuang, said: "for some time, the safety and security of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been nerve-racking for the international community. And it has been the unanimous expectation of all to facilitate an IAEA field visit to the plant as soon as possible."
The envoy said that thanks to the joint corporation of Russia and Ukraine, IAEA Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi and his colleagues were able to make a successful visit last week, which helps gain a comprehensive and objective understanding of the nuclear facilities' operation and damage, so as to take targeted actions.
"China is pleased with this positive development, and recognizes the efforts of Director General Grossi and the IAEA experts," he said.
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However, Geng warned that despite repeated warnings and appeals from the international community, the shelling of the power plant continues.
Even after the IAEA visitors arrived at the power plant, the shelling did not take a break, he said. "This is truly worrying."
The ambassador noted that the Chernobyl nuclear accident has not faded in memory, and the effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident not dissipated to date.
"The world cannot afford yet another nuclear disaster," he said.
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Geng Shuang (front), China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, addresses a UN Security Council meeting on the question concerning Haiti at the UN headquarters in New York, on Oct 4, 2021. (CIA PAK/UN PHOTO/HANDOUT VIA XINHUA)
Geng said that China hopes that the resident experts can provide continuous, steady and professional technical support to guarantee the safety and security of the nuclear facilities
"We once again call on the parties concerned to remain committed to humanity, scientific rationality, communication and cooperation, strictly abide by the convention on nuclear safety and other relevant international laws, earnestly safeguard the seven pillars proposed by Director-General Grossi, avoid all actions that endanger the safety and security of nuclear facilities, and refrain from repeated tests on the edge of danger," said Geng.
He said that China hopes that the resident experts can provide continuous, steady and professional technical support to guarantee the safety and security of the nuclear facilities.
He repeated a previous call on all parties to "adopt a responsible approach to promote the de-escalation of the situation, work to find a peaceful solution to the crisis in Ukraine, work together to build regional peace and tranquility, and jointly maintain global security and stability."
READ MORE: IAEA experts to stay permanently at Zaporizhzhia plant
On Sept 1, Grossi led the IAEA mission to the Zaporizhzhia plant, which suffered strikes in recent weeks and raised international concerns about its safety. Grossi told reporters on Friday that two of the agency's experts would remain permanently at the nuclear power plant.