Palestinian-Israeli issue prioritized in China’s UNSC rotating presidency

NEW YORK: Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations Zhang Jun on Thursday said the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has topped the agenda of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in November, when China was the rotating president of the council.

Under China’s presidency, Resolution 2712, the first resolution since the latest round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict broke out on October 7, was adopted by the UNSC on November 15. It was also the first UNSC resolution on the Palestinian-Israeli issue since the end of 2016.

Also under China’s initiation, the UNSC held a high-level meeting on the issue on November 29, which was also the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired the meeting.

“On the Palestinian-Israeli issue, China has always stood on the side of peace, the side of justice, and the side of conscience, and has actively pushed the Security Council to take responsible and meaningful actions,” Zhang said in reviews of the country’s presidency at a briefing.

The UNSC held more than 30 meetings and adopted seven resolutions in November, he said. “These are hard-won outcomes given the current situation.”

During a meeting with the Chinese foreign minister at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed appreciation for China’s constructive role in pushing for a political solution to the Palestinian-Israeli issue and alleviating the humanitarian situation in Gaza during its Security Council presidency.

Guterres thanked China for convening the high-level Security Council meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

FM spokesperson says China and the EU are partners, not rivals

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday reiterated that China and the European Union (EU) are partners, instead of rivals.

“China-EU cooperation should be a positive cycle that enables our mutual success, not a knock-out match which results in only one winner,” said Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson for the ministry.

Wang made the remarks as comments to a recent report by France’s Jacques Delors Institute, which said it is a necessary choice for the EU to leveraging China to realize its own development.

The report also called on the EU to be rational on “de-risking,” uphold a more rational and pragmatic China policy, and enhance mutually beneficial cooperation in energy, the green sector and technology with China.

Wang said the report reflects that people with insights in Europe are positive about the prospect of growing China-EU relations and that the relationship enjoys solid foundation in the people.

“Certain individuals selectively emphasize on competing aspects between China and the EU, deliberately overlook partnerships and hype up ‘de-risking’ with China and reducing dependence on China,” he noted.

Such misconception on China not only will reinforce misunderstanding and erode mutual trust, but also goes against the EU’s long-held position of upholding free trade and WTO rules and disrupts the growth of China-EU relations, which does not serve anyone’s interests, added Wang.

“China believes that the risk that we need to get rid of the most is confrontation and rivalry caused by politicizing all issues and the dependence that needs to be reduced the most is the act of resorting to protectionism,” he stressed.

The spokesperson described China and the EU as important parts of the global industrial and supply chains and staunch force in building an open world economy.

“We hope that the EU side can listen to rational voices, steer clear of politicizing all issues or overstretching the concept of security,” said Wang.

He urged the EU to work with China to maintain two-way opening up instead of erecting walls and barriers, and promote trade and investment liberalization instead of trade protectionism, so as to create a fair, equitable, and non-discriminatory business environment for companies of both sides.

Efforts should also be made to advance sound and steady growth of China-EU relationship and inject more stability and certainty for a volatile and turbulent world, said the spokesperson.

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