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'Two-state solution' is only way forward in Middle East
2021/06/01

By Zhai Jun

The Palestine-Israel clash that broke out in mid-May and is described as the worst since 2014 has incurred heart-wrenching casualties and property loss. On May 20, the two sides reached a cease-fire agreement, a decision that China welcomed.

Seventy-three years ago, when the first Middle East war broke out, the Palestinian people started their arduous journey to seek independence. However, their reasonable demand to establish an independent nation has yet to be fulfilled.

As history repeats itself in a tragic way and the deep-seated Palestine-Israel conflict raises alarms across the world again, the international community is obliged to guard peace and stop the tragic cycle of violence in the Middle East.

Currently, to de-escalate the tension, it is imperative to resolve the humanitarian crisis in the region, heal the wounds, lift the blockade and siege of ravaged Gaza, and respect the historical status quo of the holy sites in Jerusalem. The international community should send humanitarian assistance to Palestine's people and support their rebuilding efforts.

Resuming dialogue between Palestine and Israel is the first step in achieving peace. The relevant parties of the international community should take an unbiased stance and facilitate dialogue between the two sides. The United Nations Security Council should play its role and take the responsibility to promote peace talks and build trust between the two sides.

China supports the Middle Eastern nations and international and regional organizations, including the UN, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League to play a more active role and form a stronger synergy to defuse tensions.

China also firmly supports the "two-state solution" to realize peace and tackle the crux of the conflict. Unfortunately, the Palestine-Israel talks have deviated from the right track of the "two-state solution" in recent years, and thus have failed to prevent bloodshed or stop the escalation of tensions. Ultimately, the Palestine-Israel conflict can only be solved in the long run on the basis of the "two-state solution". China steadily supports the two sides' peaceful coexistence in light of the "two-state solution".

China has done a lot to de-escalate the conflict. On May 16, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired the UN Security Council's open debate on "The Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian Question", and made remarks urging the council to move forward with urgency. As a staunch champion of peace, China will never cease to engage with the two sides and mediate through multilateral and bilateral channels.

There is a worsening humanitarian disaster unfolding on the Gaza Strip, where people are in dire need of international assistance. China will provide emergency humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians and will donate money and COVID-19 vaccines to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. It will continue to push the UN Security Council to review the Palestinian question and reconfirm the "two-state solution", and will also extend an invitation to peacemakers from both Palestine and Israel to hold talks in China.

As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a loyal friend of the Middle East and a responsible major country, China has been working with the international community to promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region. No matter how the international and regional situations change, China will, as always, stand on the side of justice, and advocate the establishment of an independent State of Palestine that enjoys full sovereignty based on the 1967 border, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

People's dream of living a peaceful and prosperous life in this region should be safeguarded.

Zhai Jun is the special envoy of the Chinese government on the Middle East issue.

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