File Photo: Chinese Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ma Zhaoxu speaks at the UN Security Council's open debate on the Middle East situation at UN headquaters in New York, on July 24, 2018. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- China's envoy to the United Nations (UN) on Monday called for restraint from Belgrade and Pristina amid their latest tension.
"The parties concerned should refrain from any rhetoric or action that may complicate or escalate the situation and should create enabling conditions for a lasting solution to the Kosovo issue," Ma Zhaoxu, Chinese permanent representative to the UN, told the Security Council.
The parties should reach a mutually acceptable solution through dialogue within the framework of relevant Security Council resolutions, Ma said.
China respects Serbia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, understands Serbia's legitimate concerns over the Kosovo issue and commends Serbia's efforts to find a political solution, he said.
Dominated by ethnic Albanians, Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which has not been recognized by Belgrade.
Ma said China hopes the parties concerned will continue their practical, constructive dialogue, stay firmly committed to a political solution, implement the agreements reached, gradually enhance mutual trust, meet each other halfway and continue to build consensus for a lasting solution acceptable to all parties.
Tolerance, reconciliation and harmonious coexistence among all ethnic groups in Kosovo are in line with the fundamental interests and development needs of all nationalities, he said.
"We hope the parties concerned will prioritize the well-being of the people, protect the legitimate rights and interests of all ethnic groups, promote their economic and social development, and jointly safeguard peace, stability and prosperity in the Balkans," Ma said.
The Security Council should remain seized on the Kosovo issue and encourage the parties to engage in genuine dialogue in good faith, so the council can continue to play a constructive role in pursuit of a proper solution, Ma said.
The latest tension culminated over the adoption on Friday of three laws by Kosovo's parliament on transforming the Kosovo Security Force, which was condemned by Belgrade.
On Nov. 21, following Kosovo's failed bid to join the International Criminal Police Organization, the government of Kosovo announced an increase of the tariff on goods imported from Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina from 10 to 100 percent.