From Xinhua News Agency, June 27, 2023. Complete text:

United Nations – A Chinese envoy on Tuesday [June 27] called for efforts to break the cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians and strive for common security.

Palestine and Israel are neighbors that cannot be moved away from each other. No party should pursue absolute security at the expense of the security of the other party, said Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations.

The international community must give equal attention to the legitimate security concerns of both sides and promote a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security. Both sides must be encouraged to achieve common security through dialogue and negotiation, he told the Security Council.

It is important to break the cycle of violence, he said.

The UN secretary-general’s latest report on the Middle East situation provided an alarming account of violence and Palestinian casualties in the occupied territory, as well as civilian casualties on the Israeli side, said Zhang. “I wish to reiterate China’s opposition to unilateral actions that exacerbate tensions in the occupied territory, all violence against civilians, as well as irresponsible provocation and incitement. The occupying power must fulfill its obligations under international humanitarian law and guarantee the security of people and their property in the occupied territory.”

It is important to uphold the international rule of law and stop unilateral actions to change the status quo, he said.

The construction of settlements in the occupied territory violates international law and runs counter to the requirements of Security Council Resolution 2334. Israel recently approved amendments that would streamline and expedite the settlement approval process, and approved plans to build thousands of new settlement housing units. China is concerned about the development, said Zhang.

“Every inch of settlements expansion represents a further squeeze on the living space of Palestine, a further encroachment on the land and resources of the occupied territory, and a further weakening of the two-state solution. We once again urge the cessation of all settlement activities and unilateral actions to change the status quo of the occupied territory,” he said.

It is important to honor political commitments and advance the two-state solution, said Zhang.

It should be noted that the crisis and instabilities in the occupied Palestinian territory today are rooted in the occupation and settlement expansion for over half a century and in the protracted stalemate of the Middle East peace process. The fundamental solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the Palestinian question lies in the resumption of peace talks and the implementation of the two-state solution, he said.

The international community must always place the Palestinian question high on the international agenda and take practical steps to advance the two-state solution. The Security Council must demonstrate a sense of urgency and be prepared to take meaningful action, and provide oversight and safeguards for the implementation of the political commitments, he said.

The Palestinian question is at the heart of the Middle East issue and bears on the lasting peace, stability, and security in the Middle East. China has always been upholding fairness and justice on the Palestinian question, and has all along firmly supported the Palestinian people’s just cause of restoring their legitimate national rights. China stands ready to work with the international community to actively contribute to a comprehensive, just, and lasting solution to the Palestinian question, the realization of the peaceful co-existence of Palestine and Israel, the common development of the Arab and Jewish peoples, and the lasting peace and stability of the Middle East at an early date, said Zhang.