|Statement by H. E. Ambassador Li Baodong, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, at the Security Council Open Debate on the situation in Middle East|
(April 21, 2011)
I would like to thank Under-Secretary-General Pascoe for his briefing. I, too, have listened carefully to the statements made by the Permanent Observer of Palestine and the representative of Israel.
China has always advocated for the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by political diplomatic means on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Middle East Road Map for peace. The ultimate goal is to establish an independent Palestinian State, with full sovereignty and living side by side with Israel in peace.
At present, the Israeli-Palestinian talks are at a standstill. China opposes Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, which are not conducive to breaking the deadlock or to establishing mutual political trust. We hope that Israel will exercise restraint and caution, and adopt practical measures to create conditions conducive to the early resumption of the talks between the two sides.
China is deeply concerned about the escalating tension in the Gaza Strip. China hopes that the parties will effectively honour the ceasefire commitments they made recently, exercise restraint, refrain from unilateral and provocative actions and avoid unnecessary innocent civilian casualties so as to stabilize the situation and restore calm on the ground.
Without progress, the Middle East peace process will suffer setbacks. In the face of increasing difficulties, the international community should be more coordinated and united as it steps up its efforts to promote peace talks and spare no effort to promote the resumption of talks between Israel and Palestine as soon as possible and to secure the advancement of the peace process. We hope that the Quartet will play an active role in finding a solution that can break the impasse in the Middle East. At this critical juncture, China supports a greater role for the Security Council in finding a solution to the question of the Middle East.
Peace talks on other tracks, including the Lebanon-Israel and Syria-Israel tracks, should also be promoted in parallel. All of the parties concerned should seek to create conditions conducive to a resumption of dialogue and negotiations and to bringing the prolonged confrontation and tension in the region to an end.
China has always supported the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights and has provided assistance, within its abilities, to help ease the suffering of the Palestinian people and assist them in their State-building efforts. China supports all efforts aimed at facilitating the Middle East peace process and will continue to play a positive and constructive role in promoting the achievement of a comprehensive, lasting and just peace in the Middle East.