Published: 15:36, January 24, 2024 | Updated: 15:36, January 24, 2024
China's envoy: Israel's rejection of two-state solution unacceptable
By Xinhua

Zhang Jun (center), China's permanent representative to the United Nations, speaks during the Security Council emergency meeting on Ukraine at the UN headquarters in New York, Feb 21, 2022. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

UNITED NATIONS - The Israeli leadership's rejection of the two-state solution is unacceptable, said a Chinese envoy on Tuesday.

The two-state solution is the only viable way to achieve peace for Palestine and Israel and also a solemn requirement for the implementation of relevant Security Council resolutions, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.

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"We are gravely concerned about the statements made by Israeli leadership last week, rejecting the two-state solution and denying the right of Palestine to statehood. This is unacceptable," he told a high-level open debate of the Security Council. 

While pushing for a cease-fire in Gaza, all efforts should be made to prevent the spillover to the Red Sea and the wider region. China calls on all parties to exercise restraint and to avoid any actions that will lead to escalation of the tension, he (Zhang Jun) said

"Any discussion of post-war arrangements for Gaza that deviates from the two-state solution is tantamount to building a house on quicksand," he said.

The most important thing right now is to stop further eroding the foundations of the two-state solution, which, first and foremost, requires an end to Israel's forced transfer of the Palestinian population in Gaza, an end to the expansion of settlements in the West Bank, and an end to searches, arrests, and attacks against the Palestinians, he said.

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China calls for intensified diplomatic efforts to convene an international conference and launch meaningful multilateral processes as soon as possible so as to revitalize the political prospect for the two-state solution, said Zhang.

Independent Palestinian statehood must be an irreversible process. China supports, as a first step of the process, Palestine's full membership in the United Nations as soon as possible. Under the current circumstances, the Security Council needs to send a clear and unequivocal signal, reaffirming the urgency of the two-state solution as the sole feasible way out, he said.

An immediate cease-fire must be considered the highest priority for now, said Zhang.

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Protracted war will only cause more deaths and make the prospect of peace even more distant. An immediate cease-fire is not just a restriction on one particular party but rather a requirement for all parties. It is the basic prerequisite for saving lives, rescuing hostages, expanding humanitarian assistance, and realizing peace, he said.

Israel should immediately change course and stop its indiscriminate military attacks on and destruction of Gaza. All relevant parties of the international community should make diplomatic efforts to promote an immediate cease-fire, he said.

While pushing for a cease-fire in Gaza, all efforts should be made to prevent the spillover to the Red Sea and the wider region. China calls on all parties to exercise restraint and to avoid any actions that will lead to escalation of the tension, he said.

Zhang called for efforts to clear obstacles to the expansion of humanitarian assistance in Gaza.

Security Council Resolutions 2712 and 2720 must be fully implemented. And Israel must cooperate fully to that end. The Security Council should stand ready to take further actions to ensure safe, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access to Gaza, he said.