China calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

A Chinese envoy on Friday urged Israel and Palestine to immediately achieve a ceasefire, avoid any military ground operations and other actions that may lead to further escalation in the Gaza Strip.

Liu Jieyi, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, made the appeal at an emergency meeting of the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East.

“In spite of repeated calls from the international community, Israel has continued with its large scale aerial bombardments against Gaza and has launched a ground invasion into Gaza leading to heavy civilian causalities including those of women and children,” said Liu, expressing China’s deep concern and sadness at this development.

“China condemns any abuse of force, whatever the excuse is, any action that causes heavy causalities among innocent civilians is unacceptable,” he said. “Instead of solving problems, force will only lead to more bloodshed and destruction and greater hatred.”

Liu also voiced China’s disappointment that the humanitarian truce did not lead to a sustained ceasefire.

“We urge parties concerned to immediately cease hostilities, withdraw their ground troops from Gaza, completely lift the blockade against Gaza and give access to UN and other international humanitarian aid agencies so as to ease the misery of the local population,” Liu stressed.

Reiterating the issue of Palestine remains the core of the Middle East issue, the Chinese diplomat pointed out that the re- emergence of conflict in Gaza highlights the importance and urgency of a solution of the Palestinian issue in the current situation.

“As the dominant force, Israel must take proactive actions and create necessary conditions for the re-launch of peace talks,” Liu said, calling on the international community to redouble its efforts to push for meaningful initiatives on both sides so as to re-establish mutual trust, resume dialogue as soon as possible and achieve substantial progress.

“The imperative at this stage is that Israeli and Palestinian parties must respond positively to the international community’s ceasefire initiative and good offices, immediately achieve a ceasefire and avoid any military ground operations, rocket firings and other actions that may lead to further escalation and tension, ” he noted.

Liu also expressed China’s firm support to Palestine’s cause of restoration of their legitimate national rights.

“We support the Palestinian people’s efforts to establish an independent state of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty, with East Jerusalem as its capital and based on the 1967 border,” he said. “We support the admission of Palestine into the UN and other international organizations.”

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