Geng Shuang (left, front), China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks at a UN Security Council meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, on March 14, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
UNITED NATIONS – A Chinese envoy on Friday urged the international community to place the Palestinian question on top of the international agenda.
"The international community must always place the Palestinian question on top of the international agenda, and advance the two-state solution with a greater sense of urgency," said Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations.
He made the statement at this year's pledging conference for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).
Geng highlighted that the agency has played “an irreplaceable and vital role” in alleviating the humanitarian plight of Palestinian refugees by providing them with critical relief and protection.
The envoy called for lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip, the cessation of settlement activities in the occupied territory, and the avoidance of unilateral actions that exacerbate Palestinian refugees’ plight
“China fully recognizes and highly commends the work of the agency, and welcomes the adoption by the General Assembly of the resolution on the renewal of the agency's mandate with a majority of votes in December last year.”
China notes with concern that the agency has been in a deep financial crisis in recent years, and its ability to perform its duties has been severely limited, he said.
Beijing called for political support and financial guarantees for UNRWA and necessary help to host countries, including Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, the envoy pointed out.
“We also call for the lift of blockade on the Gaza Strip, the cessation of settlement activities in the occupied territory, and the avoidance of unilateral actions that exacerbate the plight of Palestinian refugees," he said.
Geng said that China has long been providing humanitarian and development assistance to Palestine, and has been providing assistance "within our capacity to support the agency in fulfilling its mandate. This year, China will again contribute $1 million to the agency”.
"China always and firmly supports the just cause of the Palestinian people in restoring their legitimate national rights, and supports the establishment of an independent State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital and on the basis of 1967 borders," he said.
In December 2022, the Riyadh Declaration of the China-Arab States Summit gave prominence to the Palestinian question, demonstrating the solidarity and consensus between China and Arab countries, he added.
"China is ready to work with the international community and make positive contributions to the early achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian question and the realization of lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity in the Middle East," said the envoy.
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