|Remarks by Amb. Zhang Jun at Security Council VTC on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question|
I thank Special Coordinator Mladenov for his informative briefing. I also thank Dr. Shikaki and Mr. Levy for their presentations.
Over the past few months, the international community has been following the situation in Palestine with growing concern. It is very unsettling that the planned annexation may provoke a new round of tensions and put the Middle East peace process in jeopardy.
The international community has been loud and clear in voicing its rejection to annexation. During the open VTC in June, the Secretary-General warned the Council that we are at a watershed moment. As he put it, the annexation would constitute a most serious violation of international law. China shares his sentiment and supports his call for abandonment of the annexation plans.
China is also deeply concerned about reports of the plan to annex part of the occupied Palestinian territory.
Such a plan, if implemented, will seriously violate international law and relevant UN resolutions, and imperil the “two-state solution”. We urge the relevant party to refrain from taking any unilateral actions, and do its best to de-escalate conflict and tension. It’s also our firm position that no country should support unilateral actions.
It is equally imperative to stop settlement activities, the demolition of Palestinian structures, and the violence against civilians. The Security Council should discharge its mandate, and play its part to ensure that its decisions, including Resolution 2334, are fully implemented.
It’s a critical moment to advance the Middle East peace process and resume equal and meaningful peace talks between Palestine and Israel.
International agreements such as relevant UN resolutions, the “land for peace”principle and the two-state solution are important parameters in the Middle East peace process. They embodied the wisdom and hard work of several generations, and should be observed and implemented.
China supports President Abbas’s call for an international peace conference and an enlarged multilateral mechanism for peace, and will positively consider participating in appropriate ways.
It is important for us to heed the voice and concerns of the Palestinian people as well as countries in that region. We call on the international community, especially countries having influence on Palestine and Israel, to stay impartial and just in promoting peace talks.
We should never lose sight of the humanitarian situation in occupied Palestinian territory and the hardship Palestinian people are suffering.
Continued blockade of Gaza Strip have aggravated the humanitarian situation on the ground. The suspension of bilateral agreements and coordination in response to the annexation plan have brought consequences felt by ordinary Palestinians. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic further added up to Palestine’s economic and social fragility.
We commend UN agencies including WHO and UNRWA for helping Palestine to address the humanitarian challenges. We call on the international community to provide more support to Palestine including through UNRWA. We also call for promptly lifting of the blockade on the Gaza Strip.
China is a sincere friend of the Palestinian people. The Palestinian people can always count on China’s support to their just cause to restore legitimate national rights. During a phone talk with President Abbas Yesterday, President Xi Jinping reiterated China’s firm support for Palestine’s just demands, the “two-state solution”, as well as all efforts conducive to resolving the Palestine question.
President Xi also assured that, China will continue doing what it can in providing material and technical support, and keep on implementing the projects that are conducive to advancing Palestine's economy and improving people's livelihood.
To help Palestine with the fight against COVID-19, we have provided medical supplies and sent a team of experts to Palestine. We will deliver soon our financial contribution of US$1 million to UNRWA, and through UNRWA, provide PPEs to Palestinian refugees in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
The Middle East is now at a crossroads between peace and turbulence. Shouldering the primary responsibility for maintenance of international peace and security, the Security Council should and must stand with peace and justice, with righteousness and conscience, and play its active role in bringing about a comprehensive, just and enduring solution to the Palestine question.
Thank you, Mr. President.