China’s permanent representative to the United Nations has expressed deep concerns about Israel’s unilateral decision to annex parts of the occupied Palestinian territory, stressing the Palestinians’ “inalienable” right to statehood.
Speaking at a virtual meeting of the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Zhang Jun said the so-called two-state solution is the only viable way forward to resolve the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“We urge relevant parties to stop any unilateral actions and refrain from escalating conflict and tension,” he said.
The Palestine issue is the root cause of the turbulence in the Middle East, he noted, emphasizing the Palestinians’ “inalienable” right to an independent state is not something for trading.
The Chinese envoy also urged the UN Security Council to do its part to prevent Israel’s dangerous move and promote the early resumption of Palestinian-Israeli talks in accordance with relevant UN resolutions, the so-called land-for-peace principle and the Arab Peace Initiative.
He further said the Palestinians can count on China’s continued support for their just cause to restore legitimate national rights, adding that Beijing fully backs an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the basis of the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
Israel’s new coalition administration, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, plans to annex large parts of the occupied West Bank, including settlements which are illegal under international law.
The Tel Aviv regime is expected to initiate the annexation legislation in early July.
Also speaking at Wednesday’s Security Council meeting, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov called on Israel to “abandon threats of annexation” of the West Bank.
“The continuing threat of annexation by Israel of parts of the West Bank would constitute a most serious violation of international law, deal a devastating blow to the two-state solution, close the door to a renewal of negotiations, and threaten efforts to advance regional peace and our broader efforts to maintain international peace and security,” he said.
“The Palestinian leadership is not threatening,” he added. “It is calling for urgent action to preserve the prospect of peace.”
Mladenov also urged Security Council members to support the UN chief’s call against unilateral steps that hurt diplomatic efforts towards the resumption of peace talks.