|Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at UNGA on the Question of Palestine and the Situation in the Middle East|
The question of Palestine is at the core of the Middle East issue. A comprehensive and justice solution is critical to regional peace and stability, as well as international fairness and justice. The peaceful coexistence of the two states, Palestine and Israel, and the joint development of the two peoples, Arabs and Jews, are the long term interests of both sides and represent the common expectations of the international community.
Since the beginning of this year, the situation in the OPT has continued to be volatile, renewed fight in Gaza has resulted in hundreds of civilian casualties and extensive infrastructure damage, violent clashes have flared up in the West Bank, the peace and tranquility of the holy sites in Jerusalem have been repeatedly shattered. Facts once again prove that piecemeal crisis management cannot replace a comprehensive and justice solution. And that economic and humanitarian assistance as a temporary measure cannot close the entrenched political and security deficit. What’s needed now is firm political will and effective diplomatic action and the collective efforts of the entire international community including the Security Council.
China is a sincere friend of the Palestinian people and a staunch supporter of peace between Palestine and Israel. On this issue, China has always stood on the side of peace, justice and righteousness.
China encourages Palestine and Israel to pursue common security. Israel and Palestine are inseparable neighbors with interdependent and indivisible security. If one party’s security is based on the other's insecurity, the cycle of violence will not be broken and the security dilemma cannot be overcome. The international community should pay equal attention to the security concerns of both sides and encourage them to find the greatest common ground through dialogue and cooperation to achieve common security. The occupying party should also effectively fulfill its obligations under international law to ensure the security of the people in the occupied territory. The legitimate security concerns of Israel should also be respected.
China calls for upholding international rule of law. Settlement activities violate international law and Security Council Resolution 2334, encroach on Palestinian land, expropriate Palestinian resources and squeeze the living space of the Palestinian people. We urge Israel to immediately fulfill its Security Council resolution obligations, cease all settlements activities, stop unilaterally changing the status quo in the occupied territory and delineate the final borders through peaceful negotiations.
China supports improvement of the Palestinian economy and the people’s livelihood. We call on Israel to ease unreasonable restrictions on land use and the movement of people in the occupied territories, create conditions for the development of Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and lift the blockade on Gaza as soon as possible. The international community should provide assistance to Palestine through multiple channels to help ease its financial crisis and guarantee public services. China supports the renewal of the mandate of UNRWA and supports the agency in continuing to provide relief and assistance to Palestinian refugees. China will, as always, provide humanitarian and development assistance to Palestine to help it develop its economy and improve people’s livelihood.
China urges the full implementation of the two-State solution. The question of Palestine remains unresolved for more than 70 years and several generations of Palestinian refugees have been displaced. The search for lasting settlement on the basis of the two-State solution is both the international consensus and the only way forward, which must be firmly adhered to. The international community must translate the two-State solution from consensus into action and from vision into reality. China advocates strengthening the authority of the Palestinian National Authority, supports greater unity among Palestinian factions and welcomes the reconciliation agreement reached by Palestinian factions in Algiers in October this year. We advocate the resumption of peace talks as soon as possible and call for the convening of a larger scale, more authoritative and more influential international peace conference. We advocate placing this issue high on the international agenda and hope that the Security Council will play its part and take substantive steps to advance the two-State solution and support the restoration and exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people. On issues that affect the future of the Palestinian people, no one has the right to veto.
Yesterday marks the 45th International Day of solidarity with the Palestinian People. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the UN commemorative meeting for the 10th consecutive year, stressing China’s support for the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate rights, hoping that peace talks will resume as soon as possible and the Middle East peace process will return to the right track.
I wish to reiterate China’s support for the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent State of Palestine based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and for the peaceful coexistence of Palestine and Israel and the joint development of the two peoples, Arabs and Jews. As a permanent member of the Security Council and a responsible major country, China will continue to work with the international community to practice true multilateralism and actively contribute to the achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question and enduring peace, universal security and common prosperity in the Middle East.
Thank you, Mr. President.