Published: 13:57, December 9, 2023 | Updated: 19:26, December 9, 2023
Chinese envoy urges support for UNSC efforts to save Gaza lives
By Xinhua

Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun speaks at the UN Security Council emergency meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli situation at the UN headquarters in New York, Nov 10, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

UNITED NATIONS — A Chinese envoy on Friday underscored the need for all members of the UN Security Council to support the council's efforts to save lives in Gaza.

"China strongly calls upon all members to adopt a responsible approach, support the council to make the right decision between war and peace and between life and death. We must act for peace and act to save lives," Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, said at the Security Council briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.

He expressed his gratitude to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter and brought to the attention of the Security Council the situation in Gaza, "which may aggravate existing threats to international peace and security."

READ MORE: China releases paper, stating five proposals on Gaza conflict

Zhang stressed that the situation and tasks in front of the council are very clear and definitive, that is "to act immediately to achieve a ceasefire, protect the civilians, and avoid a human catastrophe on a larger scale."

"The draft resolution tabled by the United Arab Emirates on behalf of the Arab states reflects the universal call of the international community and represents the right direction for the restoration of peace. China fully supports this and has joined in co-sponsoring this draft resolution," he said.

Children are seen at a temporary shelter in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, Dec 8, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

The ambassador underscored that at this juncture, "only a ceasefire can save lives and avoid a bigger human catastrophe."

"With the constant bombing and shelling, there is no safe zone there. The war in Gaza has claimed the lives of over 17,000 innocent civilians. Over 1 million people have fled from the north to the south, only to find there's nowhere to hide and nowhere to go. This human catastrophe is too great for words to describe, and any waiting or delay means more death," said Zhang.

He further said that "only a ceasefire can avoid a regional havoc. The negative effect of the conflict is spilling over in an accelerated manner."

"The West Bank, the Lebanese-Israeli border, and the Syrian-Israeli border have frequently sounded the alarm. The crisis with a greater scope of impact is imminent, and tolerance or connivance is pushing regional peace and security towards a precipice," the envoy added.

Children are seen at a temporary shelter in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, Dec 8, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

"At this juncture, only a ceasefire can create the necessary conditions for reviving the political prospects for the two-state solution. The two-state solution is the fundamental way toward the peaceful coexistence of two states, Palestine and Israel, and the lasting peace in the Middle East," he said.

READ MORE: Xi calls for immediate cease-fire in Gaza

"Any action that allows the current conflict to drag on will only sow the seeds of hatred between the two sides and make the situation further deteriorate, and do more damage to the political prospects of the two-state solution," he said.

People are seen at a temporary shelter in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, Dec 8, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Zhang underscored that only a ceasefire befits the due role of the council. "The international community eagerly looks to the council to assume its primary function in the maintenance of international peace and security."

"The council has no other option but to act urgently without any procrastination to bring about a ceasefire and protect civilians. Any hesitation or excuse would be irresponsible," he stressed.