Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, on Friday urged immediate necessary measures to secure a ceasefire between Palestine and Israel.
Addressing the Security Council during its emergency consultations, Zhang, representing China’s position, elaborated on the current grave situation between Palestine and Israel and emphasized the critical need to avert more significant humanitarian catastrophes.
Zhang said that the latest round of conflicts has resulted in “massive civilian casualties and humanitarian crises.” China condemns all violence and attacks against civilians, and opposes all acts that violate international law.
“China reiterates its call on all parties to exercise maximum restraint, and its support for all efforts to realize a ceasefire as soon as possible, so as to prevent a further escalation of tensions and the spillover of the flames of war impacting regional and international security,” he said.
Zhang said that the protection of civilians in armed conflict is “a red line” under international humanitarian law.
“The indiscriminate use of force is unacceptable, and neither Palestinian nor Israeli civilians should be targeted,” he said.
On the safety of UN staff and humanitarian workers, Zhang said that their safety “must be guaranteed.”
The envoy expressed China’s serious concerns about the consequences of Israel’s imposition of “a full siege” on Gaza and its order of a 24-hour emergency evacuation of the population in northern Gaza.
“China calls on Israel to heed the appeals of the international community and the UN secretary-general to stop the collective punishment of the people in Gaza, so as to avoid exacerbating the humanitarian disasters,” he said.
Moreover, Zhang said that China supports active discussions on a humanitarian corridor in Gaza and the conclusion of feasible arrangements at an early date, and appreciates the efforts by Egypt and other countries concerned in this regard.
The ambassador also underscored that China supports diplomatic efforts to ensure that the safety and humanitarian needs of hostages can be guaranteed, and that they can be released and returned home safely as quickly as possible.
Talking about solutions, the ambassador said that the answer lies in “the early resumption of genuine peace talks” to realize the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the peaceful coexistence of the two states, Palestine and Israel.
“While addressing the ongoing crisis, the international community must adhere to the fundamental direction of the two-state solution, work for broader consensus, and formulate a timetable and road map to that end,” he said.
Zhang emphasized that the United Nations must play its due role, and the Security Council must demonstrate its commitment by quickly forging consensus and taking practical measures to promote a ceasefire and prevent humanitarian disasters.