Published: 11:44, November 30, 2023 | Updated: 11:44, November 30, 2023
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China reaffirms peace position over Palestinian-Israeli issue
By Minlu Zhang at the United Nations

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (left) meets with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Nov 28, 2023, at the UN headquarters, in New York. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

On the question of Palestine, China has always stood firmly on the side of peace, human conscience and international law, and has supported the United Nations and the secretary-general in playing a unique and irreplaceable role in resolving the conflict, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Tuesday.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, made the remarks while meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the UN headquarters in New York.

Resolution 2712, the first resolution adopted by the UN Security Council after the Palestinian-Israeli conflict broke out on Oct 7, "has promoted initial steps for a cease-fire and is a good start to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through political means", Wang said.

He emphasized that the key now is whether the temporary cease-fire agreement can be extended and whether fighting will resume in Gaza.

"The war must not be rekindled," Wang said. A comprehensive cease-fire should be realized to avoid further humanitarian disasters, and detainees should be freed.

Humanitarian supplies should be allowed to enter Gaza without hindrance, more crossing points should be opened, and an effective supervision mechanism should be established, he said.

The "two-state solution" should be relaunched as soon as possible, which is the greatest common denominator of the international community and the fundamental way out of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, Wang said.

"China calls for a more authoritative, larger-scale and more effective international peace conference to be convened as soon as possible and to formulate a road map and timetable for relaunching the two-state solution. China supports the leading role of the United Nations in this regard," he said.

Holding the presidency of the Security Council for November, China would host a high-level meeting of the council on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on Wednesday, with Wang presiding over the meeting.

Guterres said he appreciates China for hosting the meeting and noted the "constructive role played by China during its presidency of the Security Council in advancing a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian issue and alleviating the humanitarian situation".

Wang also met with Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira and Malaysian Foreign Minister Zambry Abdul Kadir on the same day.

Key role expected

Vieira said Brazil expects China to play an influential and leading role, and is ready to work closely with China to promote new action by the Security Council and to make a unanimous and clear statement.

Wang said Wednesday's high-level meeting should send a clear message that we must not allow the conflict to rekindle or allow more innocent civilians to be harmed, he said.

Kadir said China has an important influence in the world and has always maintained a fair stance on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. He said he expects China to lead with concrete initiatives aligned with the wishes of the majority of the international community.

Malaysia fully supports China's position, advocates for Security Council action to prevent renewed conflict and calls for the acceleration of humanitarian assistance, he said.

On Tuesday, Hamas and Israel released more hostages and prisoners under the terms of a truce.

A bus carrying 30 Palestinian prisoners departed on Tuesday evening from the Israeli Ofer prison, which is located near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The Israel Prison Service confirmed that 30 Palestinians, including 15 women and 15 minors, were released from Israeli jails in the fifth swap under a truce deal between Israel and Hamas.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, handed over the fifth batch of hostages to the International Red Cross. The Israeli government also confirmed it had received 12 hostages, including 10 Israelis and two Thai nationals, released from the Gaza Strip.

With 60 Israeli hostages and 180 Palestinian prisoners already released and more set to walk free on Wednesday under the agreement, Qatari mediators said they were working on a "sustainable "cease-fire. The truce is due to end after one more exchange on Wednesday night.

Xinhua and agencies contributed to this story.