1964-11-13 - UNESCO Spat over Maritime Site
Summary: Rebellion fomented by the Chinese and the Soviets pull UNESCO out of American diplomatic lockstep.
Related: Starfall
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Paris (Reuters) — In a move called "highly unusual" by senior diplomats in the State Department, Chinese officials tabled a private request to protect a submarine archaeological site with UNESCO Director General this morning. The UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization is a body with wide powers to identify and protect sites of superb natural and historical interest.

The Chinese proposal demanded immediate assistance to prevent "military actions" from threatening the "priceless human history embodied at the South China Sea site. Invaluable artifacts are at risk due to the maverick actions of the United States navy and air force."

The Director General proceed to throw out the request as unworkable, given the site's apparent undersea location. In an apparent revolt, the the Soviet President of the UNESCO General Conference gathered a majority of votes to confer an emergency session about the site's immediate future. The body will meet in Geneva, contradicting their own director's orders not to attend.

Plenipotentary Xi Li-Shu of China invited "free and open access" to UNESCO member countries who invited scientists to examine relics from the technologically advanced marvel.

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