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China calls for implementation of Security Council resolution on Gaza cease-fire

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-03-26 06:18

Members of the United Nations Security Council vote on a Gaza resolution at the UN headquarters in New York City on Monday. This resolution, which calls for an immediate cease-fire during the month of Ramadan, was passed with 14 out of 15 votes. The US abstained, permitting its approval. MINLU ZHANG / CHINA DAILY

UNITED NATIONS -- A Chinese envoy on Monday called for the implementation of the just-adopted Security Council resolution that demands an immediate cease-fire in Gaza for the holy month of Ramadan.

Nearly six months after the outbreak of the conflict, over 32,000 Palestinian civilians have lost their lives. For those, Monday's resolution comes too late. But for the millions of people in Gaza who remain mired in an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe, this resolution, if fully and effectively implemented, could still bring long-awaited hope, said Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the United Nations.

"Security Council resolutions are binding. We call on the parties concerned to fulfill their obligations under the UN Charter and to take due action as required by the resolution," he said. "We expect the states with significant influence to play a positive role on the parties concerned, including by using all necessary and effective means at their disposal to support the implementation of the resolution."

All harm against civilians must cease immediately and the offensive on Gaza must stop at once. A cease-fire for the month of Ramadan is only the first step. It must serve as a basis for a permanent and sustainable cessation of hostilities, said the Chinese ambassador in an explanation of vote.

At the same time, the blockade of Gaza and the man-made barriers to access of humanitarian supplies must be lifted immediately to ensure that humanitarian supplies can enter Gaza in sufficient quantities expeditiously to reach people in need in a safe and timely manner, said Zhang.

Israel must fully cooperate to open Rafah and other land crossings. The UN agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, is indispensable and irreplaceable for the people of Gaza to receive international humanitarian assistance, he said. "We urge all parties to fully restore funding to UNRWA as soon as possible. We categorically reject Israel's recent vicious campaign of attacks against UNRWA and the UN system as a whole."

The Security Council must continue to follow closely the situation in Gaza and get ready for further action when necessary to ensure the timely and full implementation of the resolution, said Zhang.

China will continue to make unremitting efforts together with all parties to bring an early end to the fighting in Gaza, alleviate the humanitarian catastrophe, and implement the two-state solution, he said.

China voted in favor of the draft resolution. China, together with Algeria and Russia, voted against a draft resolution tabled by the United States on Friday. A comparison of the two drafts shows the differences, said Zhang.

Monday's draft is unequivocal and correct in its direction, demanding an immediate cease-fire, while the U.S. draft was evasive and ambiguous. Monday's draft demands an unconditional cease-fire, while the U.S. draft set preconditions for a cease-fire. Monday's draft reflects the general expectations of the international community and enjoys the collective support of the Arab states, while the U.S. draft was rejected by the Arab states, he said.

"The differences between the two drafts boil down to nothing but whether there should be an immediate and unconditional cease-fire and whether the collective punishment of the people in Gaza should be allowed to continue," he said. "On this issue, China, like most members of the international community, has been very clear from the very outset. Whether we voted against last Friday, or in favor of today, our vote has been based on our consistent position and proposition."

After repeated vetoes of Security Council actions, the United States finally decided to stop obstructing the council's demand for an immediate cease-fire. However, the United States still tried to find all kinds of excuses to make accusations against China. The eyes of the international community are discerning. The accusations by the United States are untenable, said Zhang.

"On the contrary, it is because of China and other countries concerned upholding principles and justice that we forced the United States to realize that it cannot, and is unable to continue to obstruct the efforts of the council to take the decisive step in the right direction. In the end, justice prevails," he said.

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