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Explanation of Vote by Ambassador Zhang Jun on the UN Security Council Resolution Regarding the Palestinian-Israeli Situation

2023-10-17 17:58

Mr. President,

The latest escalation of conflicts between Palestine and Israel has caused massive civilian casualties and humanitarian disasters, with its spillover effects impacting regional peace and stability. China is deeply concerned about this. We condemn all acts that harm civilians and oppose all acts that violate international law. We support the Security Council in playing a responsible role, support all efforts for deescalating tensions and restoring peace, and welcome all initiatives conducive to protecting civilians and easing the humanitarian crisis. Based on this position, we voted in favor of the draft resolution.

In light of this grave situation, China calls for stopping the fight as soon as possible, preventing it from spreading endlessly, and avoiding further deterioration of the situation. Military means cannot solve the problem. Violence for violence will only lead to an endless vicious cycle. China calls on relevant countries to take an objective and just position, and hit the brakes to avoid a large scale conflict and humanitarian disaster and avoid dealing an even more severe blow to regional and international security.

In light of this grave situation, China calls for observing the international humanitarian law and making all efforts to ensure the safety of civilians. The protection of civilians in armed conflict is a red line under international humanitarian law. Civilians should not be the target of military operations, and the indiscriminate use of force is unacceptable. The maintenance of one's own security cannot come at the cost of harming innocent civilians. The safety of UN staff and humanitarian workers must be guaranteed. China supports diplomatic efforts so that the hostages can be released at an early date.

In light of this grave situation, China calls for the opening of a humanitarian relief corridor as soon as possible to avoid a more serious humanitarian disaster. We are seriously concerned about the consequences of Israel's imposition of a full siege on Gaza and its order of emergency evacuation of the population in Northern Gaza. We hope that Israel will heed the appeal of the international community, resume the water, electricity, and fuel supply to Gaza, and stop the collective punishment of the people in Gaza. We support the opening of a humanitarian corridor at an early date, so that food, medicine, and other humanitarian relief supplies could be delivered in a timely and smooth manner. We appreciate the efforts by Egypt and other countries concerned in this regard. At the same time, China calls on the international community to increase its input and support UN humanitarian agencies in continuing their work in Gaza. China will provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Gaza through the UN and bilateral channels.

Mr. President,

The Security Council has a primary responsibility to maintain international peace and security and should play its due role in resolving the current crisis. It is also the common expectation of the international community for the Council to reach consensus as soon as possible and adopt real measures. In the past few days, Council members have kept close communications on the Palestinian-Israeli situation. The draft resolution proposed by Russia demonstrates the overall direction of the Council's focus on humanitarian concerns and the protection of civilians, which was co-sponsored by many countries, including Arab countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Qatar.

We greatly regret the fact that the Council failed to agree on this draft resolution. Humanitarian issues should not be politicized. The protection of civilians should be a priority for all parties. The Council, in its past dealings with complex issues, usually would start with the humanitarian component. The current conflict is spreading and the suffering is continuing. The Council should not give up its effort in this regard. Brazil also proposed a draft resolution. We welcome that. We hope that all parties, out of the responsible and constructive spirit, continue to seek consensus and take more active actions to ease the tension and avoid a humanitarian disaster, so as to demonstrate in earnest the responsibility and mission of the Security Council and make sure that it is able to stand the test of morality and conscience.

Mr. President,

Chinese President Xi Jinping has highlighted on many occasions that the fundamental way to resolving the Palestinian question is to establish an independent State of Palestine. History has time and again proven that for the Palestinian-Israeli situation, repeated outbreak of crisis is fundamentally due to the fact that the basis of the two-Sate solution keeps being eroded, the Middle East peace process has veered from the right track, and relevant UN resolutions have not been effectively implemented. When dealing with this new round of conflict between Palestine and Israel, the international community must go beyond piecemeal crisis management model, and persevere towards the fundamental direction of the two-State solution and make greater efforts toward the comprehensive and lasting solution to the question.

Since the outbreak of the crisis, China has made active diplomatic efforts to facilitate the easing of tension and actively promote peace talks. Foreign Minister Wang Yi has communicated extensively with all relevant parties to elaborate on China's policy and position. The special envoy of the Chinese government on the Middle East issues will visit regional countries this week to conduct mediation work. China will always stand on the side of peace, on the side of justice, and on the side of international law. We are ready to work with the international community to make unremitting efforts to stop the fight in Gaza at an early date and realize the peaceful coexistence of Palestine and Israel and the lasting peace and security in the Middle East.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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