China's envoy to the United Nations called the United States irresponsible and ignorant for its handling of a Security Council draft resolution on South Sudan.
The draft resolution, adopted by the UN Security Council on Wednesday, renewed the mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for a year until March 15, 2024.
He said that the United States put national positions above the views of the countries concerned or the collective view of the council and even halted consultations and forced a draft through to a vote when differences remained.
Dai Bing, the charge d'affaires of China's permanent mission to the United Nations, criticized the preliminary draft, which allows the mission to "take all necessary measures" to "engage any actor, including the government of South Sudan and its proxies, that is credibly found to be preparing attacks, or engages in attacks, against civilians," and also provides that UNMISS doesn't require prior authorization or permission of the government of South Sudan to undertake its mandated tasks.
It is not a privilege but a responsibility to serve as a penholder, or lead negotiator, said Dai, adding that China had to abstain from voting.
Following strong demands from many Security Council members, including troop-contributing countries to the UNMISS, modifications were made to the contentious elements.
Still, there is an overemphasis on the use of force as a preferred means of civilian protection, he said.
"Such a mandate is very likely to create new difficulties to the work of UNMISS and will put more than 19,000 peacekeepers in danger," he added.
A peacekeeping mission is not designed to replace the role of the host country's government but rather to help it in capacity-building and support it in fulfilling the responsibility to protect civilians, Dai said.
Consent of the parties, impartiality and non-use of force except for self-defense or defense of mandates are the basic principles for peacekeeping that shall not be overstepped, he added.
Dai said that China's proposal to help South Sudan address climate change was also rejected in the draft.
He said issues such as elections, finance and resource management are a country's internal affairs.
"We urge the relevant member to show the impartiality and inclusiveness as expected of a penholder and make genuine efforts for consensus," Dai added.