Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Monday, December 17, 2001
China Supports Palestine's Peace Efforts
China said at the United Nations Saturday that it will continue to support Palestine and its leader Yasser Arafat in their continuous efforts to seek peace through negotiation. China backs President Arafat and his Palestine Authority's pursuit of peace through negotiation, said Shen Guofang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations. China strongly condemn the present series of violent attacks on the civilians, Shen reiterated China's stance on the Middle East conflict.
"We believe that the Palestine Authority is the indispensable and legitimate party to any peaceful future and its important role should be completely safeguarded," said Shen Guofang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, when speaking at an open UN Security Council debate on the current situation in the Middle East.
The open debate was held at the request of the Arab nations in the United Nations against the backdrop of the worsened situation in the Middle East.
Peace Shall Be Restored Through Negotiation
China backs President Arafat and his Palestine Authority's pursuit of peace through negotiation, Shen said, adding that Arafat has for many years made great contributions to the restoration of the legitimate rights of the Palestinians and the promotion of the Middle East peace process.
China's Stance on Middle East Conflict
Meanwhile, Shen reiterated the stance of China on the Middle East conflict. "We strongly condemn the present series of violent attacks on the civilians. The retaliation by Israel through military means does not help alleviate the conflict," he said.
"Such events repeatedly taking place between Israel and Palestine prove the futility of a policy of an eye for an eye," he said. "They can only lead to even more violence and further escalation, harming civilians on both sides."
"We call on the two sides to stay calm in handling the serious situation, bringing an end to the cycle of revenge and counter- revenge and settling their dispute through negotiation," he said.
"The only way to solve the question of the Middle East is a cessation of the Israeli military occupation of the Palestine territory on the basis of the principle of the land for peace, the implementation of all peace agreements, and the full restoration of all the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, including their right to an independent state," he said.
Efforts of International Community Expected
Under the current situation, the international community should attach great importance to the tensions between Palestinians and Israelis, and the UN Security Council, which has the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, should make prompt response to the dangerous development in the Middle East situation, he said.
Israeli troops reoccupied the West Bank area and conducted air raids on Palestinian security targets in Gaza as part of a wave of reprisals for recent Palestinian attacks on Israelis.
According to Palestinian sources Israeli troops invaded the Palestinian-ruled West Bank city of Tulkarm and Kalkiliya on October 20, sparking new clashes that resulted in the deaths of a Palestinian security officer and one civilian.
Terrorist Attack Result in Casualties (12.12)
A terrorist attack which occurred near a Jewish settlement on December 12 in the West Bank resulted in a number of casualties. After that, Israeli forces carried out a retaliatory attack on the Palestinian-controlled West Bank.
Israeli helicopters fired at least two missiles at a Palestinian car near the West Bank city of Nablus on December 14, killing two people, Palestinian security sources and medics said in Nablus. An emergency medical team at the scene found two charred bodies in the wreckage of the car which was smashed by the missiles.
China Urges Israel, Palestine to Resume Negotiations
China urges Israel and Palestine to calmly and properly deal with the current crisis, stop repeated retaliations and resume negotiations, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said at a routine press conference on December 13.
China condemned the terrorist attack on December 12, Zhang said. Frequent attacks of the kind obviously show that tit-for-tat policies currently held by the two sides would only worsen the situation.