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Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang speaks during a daily briefing at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Beijing in March. Photo: AP

‘Good riddance,’ China says as Germany leaves UN Security Council

  • Ambassador Geng Shuang was responding to outgoing German envoy Christoph Heusgen’s appeal for Beijing to free two detained Canadians for Christmas
  • Germany is ending its two-year term on the 15-member council, and Heusgen is planning to retire after over 40 years as a diplomat

Germany’s UN envoy, during his last scheduled UN Security Council meeting, appealed to China to free two detained Canadians for Christmas, prompting China’s deputy UN envoy to respond: “Out of the bottom of my heart: good riddance.”

Germany finishes a two-year term on the 15-member council at the end of this month and Ambassador Christoph Heusgen plans to retire after more than 40 years as a diplomat.

“Let me end my tenure on the Security Council by appealing to my Chinese colleagues to ask Beijing for the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. Christmas is the right moment for such a gesture,” Heusgen told the council session, whose official agenda topic was Iran.

Kovrig, a former Canadian diplomat who was working as an adviser for the International Crisis Group think tank, and businessman Spavor were detained by Beijing in 2018 soon after Canadian police picked up Huawei Technologies Co Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on a US warrant.

German diplomat Christoph Heusgen speaks during a press conference at the UN headquarters in New York in July. Photo: EuropaNewswire/Gado/Getty Images

China’s deputy UN ambassador, Geng Shuang, accused Heusgen of abusing the Security Council to launch “malicious” attacks on other members “in an attempt to poison the working atmosphere”.

“I wish to say something out of the bottom of my heart: good riddance, Ambassador Heusgen,” Geng said.


Spy case against two Canadians in China for 'political gains', says Trudeau

Spy case against two Canadians in China for 'political gains', says Trudeau

“I am hoping that the council in your absence in the year 2021 will be in a better position to fulfil the responsibilities … for maintaining international peace and security.”

Heusgen also used the Security Council meeting to advise Russia’s deputy UN ambassador, Dmitry Polyanskiy, to read certain articles about Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, who said he had tricked a Russian secret agent into disclosing details of a botched plot to kill him.

Navalny says Russian agent put poison in his underwear in murder plot

Russia’s FSB security service dismissed the recording as a fake.

Polyanskiy replied: “It seems he’s developed a certain dependency on the council, there’s never a meeting without criticism of Russia even if that’s not suitable for the subject matter. I hope that after January 1 that Christoph’s symptoms will improve.”