The NATO aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia began on March 24, 1999, and the Embassy of China in Belgrade was targeted in the shelling on May 7 of the same year.

“23 years ago, the United States-led NATO army flagrantly violated the relevant international conventions and basic norms of international relations, brazenly went around the UN Security Council and bombed the sovereign country of Yugoslavia for 78 consecutive days, leading to the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians, including three Chinese journalists,” communicated the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the NATO shelling of the Chinese embassy inflicted serious damage on United States-China relations.

“For more than 20 years, the NATO, a relic of the Cold War, not only has not been buried in history, but continues to fuel the situation as an instrument of certain countries in their quest for hegemony, inflicting serious damage and threatening world security and stability, as well as international justice and impartiality” stressed the Ministry.

Beijing believes that “the international community ought to be exceptionally vigilant and firmly oppose this”.

“China is firmly opposed to hegemony, the politics of power and the Cold War mentality. Beijing will always stand up for a common, comprehensive and sustainable new concept of security, which is in line with the pursuit for world peace and mutually beneficial development,” said the Chinese Ministry.

In their words, China is contributing to preserving peace and development across the world, and they stressed that “neither the people of China, nor those of Serbia, nor the international community shall forget the NATO’s barbaric act of aggression”.

“The best way to commemorate this day is to remember history, preserve peace, and never let this part of history repeat itself. It is our hope that the United States and the NATO truly repent for the crimes they committed at that time, fully leave the Cold War mentality behind, and stop pressuring and extorting sovereign countries,” said the statement.

The Ministry expressed hope that the United States would seriously consider the legitimate concerns of all countries regarding security, in order to truly contribute to peace, long-term order and stability in Europe and around the world.