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Remarks by Ambassador Geng Shuang at Security Council VTC on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question

2021-02-26 11:42

Mr. President,

I thank Special Coordinator Wennesland for his briefing and youth representatives of Palestine and Israel for their statements.

The question of Palestine has remained unresolved for over 70 years. In the occupied Palestinian territories, young people, one generation after another, have suffered deeply from conflicts, violence, historical grievances and poverty. The international community is obligated to show courage in honoring commitments, demonstrate conscience in upholding justice and find a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to this question at an early date, thus giving young people a peaceful home and a bright future. Here, I would like to stress three points on this question.

First, the right direction of the two-state solution must be adhered to. Independent statehood is the national right of the Palestinian people that cannot be denied. The two-state solution is a bottom line of international justice that cannot be compromised. The relevant UN resolutions and the principle of "land for peace", among others, are the basic tenets that cannot be deviated from in solving Palestinian-Israeli conflict. It is on the above basis that the international community must join hands to seek an early solution.

For some time, the issue of settlement activities has been fermenting, severely weakening the prospect of the two-state solution. All acts undermining mutual trust must cease immediately, and Council resolution 2334 be implemented tenets in earnest. China calls upon Israel to end its settlement activities in the OPT, stop demolition of Palestinian houses and destruction of Palestinian property, and take measures to prevent violence against civilians. That said, Israel's right to survival and its legitimate security concerns must also be fully respected and guaranteed.

Second, international synergy in promoting peace talks must be forged. Currently, new changes are on the horizon for the Middle East. The international community must seize this opportunity to act with a greater sense of urgency and conduct a new round of diplomatic efforts in order to vigorously advance the Middle East peace process, and the effort that is conducive to the political settlement of this question will have China's active participation and support.

The international community must explore and establish a multilateral mechanism with broad participation, so as to generate robust synergy in promoting peace talks. Parties that have major influence on Palestine and Israel must uphold an objective and impartial standard, and sincerely help the two parties narrow the differences and build up mutual trust. The Council should play its due role by working actively towards relaunching Palestinian-Israeli dialogue on an equal footing. China supports early holding of an international conference on peace in the Middle East, an initiative from President Abbas.

At the ministerial meeting of the Arab League on February 8, foreign ministers emphasized the core status of Palestinian statehood, and reaffirmed their common position on the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative. This reflects the spirit of unity and justice of Arab states, to which China expresses its appreciation.

Third, stronger support must be given to boost unity and development in Palestine. The general elections this year represent an important political agenda in Palestine. Two weeks ago, Palestinian political parties successfully held dialogue in Cairo, where they agreed on election arrangements, thus making a major stride in intra-Palestinian reconciliation. China welcomes such results and commends Egypt for its positive role. The international community must work together to support and ensure the smooth holding of the elections, with a view to strengthening intra-Palestinian unity and safeguarding and promoting the interests of the Palestinian people. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected socioeconomic development in Palestine. The international community must continue its assistance to Palestine in combating the pandemic, growing economy, and improving livelihood. Concrete actions must be taken to support UNRWA.

Mr. President,

As a sincere friend of the Palestinian people, China firmly supports the legitimate demands of Palestine and supports the establishment of an independent state of Palestine with full sovereignty on the basis of the 1967 border and with East Jerusalem as its capital. This month, through UNRWA, anti-epidemic supplies donated by China have been officially distributed to the 141 health centers located in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. China has also decided to donate COVID-19 vaccines to Palestine, and these vaccines will be delivered very soon. We will continue to do our best to help Palestine fight the pandemic. And we will actively contribute to seeking a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine at an early date.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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