|Remarks by Ambassador Zhang Jun at UNGA on the Question of Palestine and the Situation in the Middle East|
The question of Palestine is at the very heart of the situation in the Middle East. A comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine accords with the common interest of Palestine and Israel. It is also the shared aspiration of countries and peoples that stand for peace and justice.
The current Palestinian-Israeli situation is still complex and fragile. In particular, in May this year, heavy clashes broke out in Gaza, resulting in the deaths and injury of innocent civilians as well as damage to property. This is yet another reminder to us all that the settlement of the question of Palestine cannot be delayed indefinitely, that the suffering of the Palestinian people and the rights to which they're entitled cannot be ignored, that the Middle East peace process must not continue to be derailed, and that the international community, the UN included, must resume the responsibilities that cannot be shook off.
China is a sincere friend of the Palestinian people, and a staunch supporter of peace between Palestine and Israel. President Xi Jinping has, on multiple occasions, put forward initiatives to promote a settlement of the question of Palestine. This week, President Xi Jinping, for the ninth consecutive year, sent a congratulatory message to the UN meeting in observance of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, reiterating China's unwavering support for the just cause of the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate national rights. On the question of Palestine, China will always speak up for fairness and justice, actively facilitate talks for peace, continue to provide humanitarian, development and pandemic response assistance to Palestine, and support the UN in playing a positive and constructive role.
China supports the full implementation of the two-state solution. History and reality have shown, time and again, that the two-state solution reflects the international consensus, equity and justice. It is the only realistic avenue to address the question of Palestine. The international community must work together to turn the two-state solution from vision into reality, and translate consensus into action. The authority of the Palestinian National Authority should be enhanced and it should be authorized to exercise sovereign functions in security, finance and other areas, so as to gain effective control over the autonomous and occupied territories. The Palestinian factions should be supported for greater unity, whereby they can achieve internal reconciliation through consultation and dialogue, and come to a unified position on talks for the settlement of the question. Palestine and Israel should be encouraged to resume peace talks based on the two-state solution. Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are welcome to conduct direct negotiations in China.
China calls for broader international efforts to promote peace. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Madrid Peace Conference. The land-for-peace principle established by the conference provides energy for the peace process. The international community should take the 30th anniversary as an opportunity, uphold an objective and just stance, encourage tolerance and mutual accommodation, and make greater efforts to further facilitate the resumption of equal-footed dialogue between Palestine and Israel based on the two-state solution. We support the UN, the Arab League, and the OIC as well as countries with significant influence to play a more active role, so that broader and more effective efforts can be directed towards peace. The Security Council bears the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. It therefore must take robust actions to find a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli question. China calls for the holding of an international peace conference under the auspices of the UN, with the participation of the permanent members of the Security Council and all stakeholders in the Middle East peace process.
China supports the improvement of the economy, people's well-being and humanitarian situation in Palestine. The conflict and instability, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, have exacerbated the already difficult conditions the Palestinian people find themselves in. It is incumbent upon the international community to take urgent actions to provide assistance through multiple channels to Palestine to mitigate the financial crisis, to help Gaza recover and rebuild, and to support UNRWA to carry out its work in terms of relief and assistance. The blockade and siege on Gaza should be lifted as soon as possible. The legitimate rights of the people in the occupied Palestinian territory must be upheld. Settlement expansions, evictions, forced demolitions and violence against civilians must stop, as these actions undermine mutual trust and heighten tension. China holds dear to its heart the well-being of the Palestinian people, and actively supports Palestine to develop the economy and improve people's lives. On many occasions, China has sent humanitarian aid to Palestine, including the emergency cash transfers, anti-pandemic supplies and vaccines. And China will continue to provide assistance within its capacity.
China has always been a guardian of peace and a contributor to development in the Middle East. On the question of Palestine, China always stands on the side of peace, reason and justice. We support the establishment of a fully sovereign, independent state of Palestine based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. We support the peaceful coexistence between Palestine and Israel and the common development of the Arab and Jewish nations. China stands ready to work with the international community to practice true multilateralism, push for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine, and achieve security, stability, development and prosperity in the Middle East at an early date.
I thank you, Mr. President.