|Statement by Ambassador LIU Jieyi at the Security Council Open Debate on the Middle East|
I thank Special Coordinator Mladenov for his briefing. China listened carefully to the statements by the observer of Palestine and by the representative of Israel.
The question of Palestine is at the core of the Middle East issue and the main source of problems in the region. It is also a gauge for international fairness and justice. The international community should proceed from the need to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East and the world, maintain a long-term vision, promote a political settlement of the question of Palestine by addressing both the symptoms and the root causes of the conflict, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the Palestinian people, keep the situation between Palestine and Israel from getting out of control and prevent the Middle East from sliding into a broader crisis.
China is a staunch supporter of the just cause of the Palestinian people and an active mediator for peace between Palestine and Israel. Last week, China received a visit by President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine. In his talks with President Abbas, President Xi Jinping made a new four-point proposal on promoting the settlement of the question of Palestine under the new circumstances.
First, firmly advance political settlement based on the two-State solution. The two-State solution best fits the reality on the ground and is the most universally accepted option. The parties concerned must continue to work on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the principle of land for peace and the Arab Peace Initiative. They must also persist in negotiations for a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. China firmly supports the two-State solution and supports the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with full sovereignty, based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. We will, as always, play a constructive role for the settlement of the question of Palestine.
Secondly, uphold the concept of common, integrated, cooperative and sustainable security. Palestine and Israel are neighbors that cannot be separated. The security of the two countries requires them to cooperate, work together and support each other so as to build common security through joint efforts. China calls for the earnest implementation of resolution 2334 (2016). There must be an immediate cessation of all settlement activities on the occupied territories and an immediate adoption of measures to prevent violence against civilians. We also call for an early resumption of peace talks in order to expedite a political solution to the question of Palestine, and thereby fundamentally achieve common and lasting security.
Thirdly, further coordinate efforts of the international community and strengthening synergy in the interest of peace. For some time now, the international community has increased its attention regarding the question of Palestine. The parties concerned have conducted active diplomatic efforts to promote the relaunching of peace talks between Palestine and Israel. The international community should further strengthen coordination and come up with peace-promotion measures that entail joint participation. China is willing to join and support all efforts that are favorable to the political settlement of the question of Palestine. China plans to hold a seminar for peace activitists in Palestine and Israel within this year to contribute wisdom for the settlement of the question of Palestine.
Fourthly, take an integrated approach and promote peace through development. While promoting political negotiations, attention should be given to development, especially to the enhancement of the capacities of Palestine for economic development. China views both Palestine and Israel as important partners in the Belt and Road Initiative. China is willing to work under the concept of development for peace in order to promote Palestine and Israel in engaging in mutually beneficial cooperation, keep open channels for such cooperation and continue to support Palestine to expedite is development. That will help strengthen the basis of peace and harmony and reduce factors that disrupt the peace talks between the two sides. China has announced an initiative to launch a tripartite dialogue mechanism among China, Palestine and Israel in order to coordinate the implementation of major projects of assistance for Palestine.
The four-point proposal made by President Xi Jinping represent China’s new endeavor relating to the settlement of the question of Palestine. It takes into account the current situation as well as the international environment. The proposals also represent the overall direction of China’s efforts moving forward regarding the promotion of a political settlement. We hope that the proposals will be met with active responses and support from the parties concerned so that we can work together to achieve a breakthrough in the decades-long unresolved problem at hand.
Recently, the situation in Jerusalem has continued to worsen to the point of becoming extremely dangerous. The top priority now is to ease the tension and confrontations around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and achieve a settlement as soon as possible in order to reduce tension and avoid any escalation of the conflict. The Security Council and States in the region need to carry out emergency diplomatic action and do their utmost to engage with the parties concerned in order to calm things down and avoid an escalation of tensions. Any escalation would cause even more serious consequences. The provisions of the relevant Security Council resolutions must be implemented, including the provision that calls for upholding the unchanged historic status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem. We have taken note of the measures taken by Israel today and we hope that the parties concerned will continue their dialogue and communication so as to re-establish calm at an early date.
China is willing to continue to work with all of the parties concerned to promote an early settlement of the current problems and the relaunching of peace talks between Palestine and Israel so as to realize at an early date a comprehensive, fair and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question and establish peace and stability in the Middle East.