Donald Trump is “making the world a very dangerous place” by escalating tensions with Iran, a leading Chinese diplomat has warned.
Chen Wen, who deputises for Beijing’s UK ambassador Liu Xiaoming in his absence, told Sky News that the growing hostilities between Washington and Tehran were of great concern and needed to be resolved peacefully.
She was particularly critical of the US president over his decision to assassinate Iran’s top general Qassem Soleimani, which sparked retaliatory strikes on two Iraqi air bases housing American forces.
Image: President Trump has been accused of ‘making the world more dangerous’
“China always opposes the use of force in international relations and the interventionist act of the US poses great danger to international norms and relations,” she said.
“These kinds of actions, if they continue, would be making the world a very dangerous place.”
The diplomat, who in her role as charge d’affaires heads up the Chinese embassy in London when Mr Liu is away, accused Mr Trump of adhering to “the law of the jungle” by launching the controversial drone strike against Major General Soleimani last week.
Ms Chen said she thought Mr Trump was “making the world more dangerous”, and added: “Killing a general just because you believe he is a bad guy, on the soil of another country, is a clear violation of international norms.”
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The retaliatory strikes by Iran have not led to a further escalation of military tensions, with Mr Trump suggesting the American response will be limited to more sanctions.
He has defended his decision to order the killing of Maj Gen Soleimani, hailing it as “American justice”.
‘Soleimani’s no longer a monster… he’s dead’
Tehran, meanwhile, has rejected suggestions by western intelligence agencies that it accidentally shot down a Ukrainian passenger plane shortly after the aircraft had taken off from the Iranian capital.
The Ukrainian International Airlines flight crashed just hours after the strikes on the Iraqi bases, sparking fears another missile could have been fired at the jet because the city remained on high alert.
Video appears to show missile striking plane
Ms Chen said it was “too early to speculate about concrete answers”, although Iran has said it will be in a position to reveal the cause of the crash as early as Saturday.
She added: “We continue to urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint and bring back dialogue and consultation, which is the only way to resolve this escalation. The task is to reduce the tensions.”
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The Ukrainian state security service has said it was prioritising a missile attack and terrorism as possible causes of the plane crash on Wednesday, which killed all 176 people on board.
Among the dead were 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians and four Britons.
Source : Sky News