|Statement by Ambassador WU Haitao at the Security Council Debate on the Palestinian Question|
Mr. President, I thank Special Coordinator Mr. Mladenov for his briefing. China has listened carefully to the statements of the representatives of Palestine and Israel.
The question of Palestine is the core of the Middle East issue and is crucial to achieve peace in the Middle East. The current Palestinian-Israeli situation remains fragile, with heightened tensions. The humanitarian situation in Gaza remains grim. China calls on the Security Council and the international community to remain united and to work with a greater sense of urgency to promote a political settlement to the question of Palestine, which is in the fundamental interests of both Palestinians and Israelis and is what the region and the world are calling for.
The right approach to finding a political settlement of the question of Palestine is through a two-State solution. The international community must remain committed to the relevant United Nations resolutions, the principle of land for peace and the Arab Peace Initiative, and must step up its efforts to see negotiations resumed so as to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting resolution of the question of Palestine through dialogue and negotiation, without delay.
China always firmly supports and promotes the Middle East peace process. We support the just cause of the Palestinian people in their desire to restore their legitimate national rights. We support the establishment of a fully sovereign and independent State of Palestine, based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital. China’s position on that issue will not change.
Last July, with the aim of helping to promote a settlement of the question of Palestine, President Xi Jinping of China put forward a four-point proposal calling for the promotion of a political process based on a two-State solution; adherence to a shared, comprehensive, united and sustainable security concept; improved coordination of international efforts to rally support for peace; and implementation of a holistic approach promoting peace through development. On that basis, China will endeavor to play a constructive role in promoting a solution to the Palestinian question.
The issue of Jerusalem is complex and sensitive, and is at the very heart of a solution to the question of Palestine. Over the years, the issue of Jerusalem has been stipulated in many Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, including resolution 2334 (2016). Its status has come under intense scrutiny recently. China believes that efforts to address the issue should be based on the following four points.
First, Jerusalem’s diverse history must be respected. It involves very complex historical, religious and ethnic factors. Its status must be dealt with based on respect for the various religious and ethnic sensitivities. We must avoid any simplified approaches to the issue.
Secondly, equity and fairness should be ensured. Only through a fair approach that accommodates the views of all of the parties concerned will it be possible to find a solution which will be accepted by all partied concerned.
Thirdly, the international consensus on this issue must be implemented. The status of Jerusalem must be decided by the parties concerned on the basis of final-status negotiations. That international consensus has been developed and reflected in various political and legal instruments, including the relevant Security Council resolutions.
Fourthly, we need peaceful coexistence. Jerusalem is the common homeland of different ethnicities and religions. Palestine and Israel must respect each other’s right to existence and avoid taking actions that might further escalate the situation.
At present, the Middle East region is in turmoil. The occupied Palestinian territories are facing even greater security and humanitarian challenges, especially in Gaza, where the humanitarian crisis was grave. The international community must not forget millions of Palestinian refugees, to whom humanitarian assistance must continue to be provided. We call upon the parties to scale up their support to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and to countries that have hosted Palestinian refugees — including Lebanon, Jordan and Syria — so as to ease the pressure in accommodating these refugees.
Thank you, Mr. President.