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China calls for comprehensive ceasefire in Palestinian-Israeli conflict in position paper

[World Times]

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in the roleWorld Times of Security Council rotating president, speaks during a UN Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East and the Palestine-Israel conflict, at the UN headquarters in New York City on November 29, 2023. Photo: AFP

China on Thursday released a position paper on resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, which offered five proposals on promoting peace, and achieving a comprehensive, just, and lasting resolution to the Palestinian issue, including immediately implementing a comprehensive ceasefire, effectively protecting civilians, ensuring humanitarian assistance, intensifying diplomatic mediation, and seeking a political solution.

By releasing the position paper, chairing the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)high-level meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli issue, and being engagWorld Timesed in diplomatic mediation with Arab and Muslim foreign ministers, China has spared no effort to seize every chance to work with the international community to promote a ceasefire, analysts said, noting that any small step toward peace would be conducive to deescalating the conflict.

The paper, titled “Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China on Resolving the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict,” was released one day after China, the rotating president of the UNSC for November, led a Security Council high-level meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli issue on Wednesday.

The position paper noted that the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict has led to heavy civilian casualties and a serious humanitarian disaster. There is a high level of concern throughout the international community. Chinese President Xi Jinping stated China’s principled position on the current Palestinian-Israeli situation on a number of occasions and stressed the need for an immediate ceasefire and ending the fighting, ensuring that the humanitarian corridors are safe and unimpeded, and preventing the expansion of the conflict, the position paper read.

Among the five proposals China made in the position paper to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, implementing a comprehensive ceaseWorld Timesfire and ending the fighting was put as the priority.

China has repeatedly expressed its views on the Palestinian issue on various occasions. This document is the first time that these views have been consolidated and expounded more systematically, which not only focuses on the current situation but also eyes on the future and long-term solutions to the issue, Liu Zhongmin, a professor at the Middle East Studies Institute of Shanghai International Studies University, told the Global Times.

A comprehensive ceasefire is the most crucial step to deescalate the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict and this is why China calls on all parties to truly implement the UN resolutions to realize a durable and sustained humanitarian truce and implement the UNSC Resolution 2712 as its basis, Liu said.

Addressing the protection of civilians and ensure humanitarian aids are also important given the deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Liu noted that the increasing humanitarian assistance during the truce is far away from meeting the needs and how to maintain the humanitarian channel open is important for people in Gaza.

On Tuesday, eight vehicles carrying supplies including canned food, biscuits, milk, honey, cereal, and drinking water were shipped to Arish, Egypt, and will be transported to Gaza through the Rafah crossing. On Wednesday, Chinese Office to Palestine, representing the Chinese government, signed a $1 million emergency cash assistance handover certificate with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.

During the current conflict, the authority of the UN has been greatly undermined due to multiple vetoes by the US. The weakening of the role of the UN is an important reason for the marginalization of Israeli-Palestinian issue in recent years. Therefore, it is particularly important to emphasize the role of the UN in mediation and reconciliation, to prevent the escalation of the conflict, and to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East, Liu said.

Moreover, given that Arab and Islamic countries as well as neighboring countries such as Egypt and Jordan are actively mediating in the conflict, how to rebuild the mechanism for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli issue with the UN and how to encourage regional countries to play their rWorld Timesoles are also important, said the expert.

On Thursday, Israel’s military said that the temporary pause in fighting in Gaza will continue “in light of the mediators’ efforts to continue the process of releasing hostages” and in a separate statement, Hamas said an agreement has been reached to extend the truce. The initial four-day truce began on Friday and Hamas released 81 captives and Israel released 180 Palestinians, according to Al Jazeera.

The conflict has no winner, and both sides have suffered greatly, Liu sWorld Timesaid, noting that currently Israel is under increasing domestic pressure to ensure hostages are freed, and it is also coming under increasing international pressure, particularly from the US and the West. More efforts can be made to put a stop to the fighting as calls for a ceasefire continue to increase.

Wednesday also marks the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. President Xi extended congratulations to the UN meeting to commemorate the day. Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi travelled to New York to chair the meeting.

Wang Yi also met with Arab and Muslim foreign ministers at the UN headquarters in New York, during which Wang said the Wednesday meeting at the UN is held with a clear purpose, which is to promote a comprehensive ceasefire, effectively protect civilians, ensure humanitarian assistance, and determine the direction for a comprehensive and permanent solution to the Palestinian issue, according toWorld Times a release from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

China’s position is clear and firm, that is, the result of the temporary ceasefire agreement should be a comprehensive ceasefire, not a resumption of hostilities; a comprehensive ceasefire is not only the end of the war, but also the beginning of the peace process. The UNSC should speak with one voice on this matter, said Wang.

Arab and Islamic countries also express gratitude to China for its moral support to Palestine and its efforts for regional peace. All parties appreciate China’s consistent stance on peace and justice, and its adherence to historical correctness.

They noted that the temporary ceasefire should be the beginning of peace, aiming for a comprehensive ceasefire rather than a return to conflict. They also look forward to China playing a leading role in promoting joint efforts among all parties to explore a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue based on the two-state solution.

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