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Statement by Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Ambassador Wang Guangya at General Assembly on Palestinian Question and Middle East Situation
(2 December 2003)


Mr. President,

Over the past year, the situation in the Middle East has witnessed ups and downs. The official proclamation of the "Road Map" had once brought new opportunities to the Israel-Palestine peace process. Later, regrettably, there have occurred serious differences on how to implement the "Road Map" between Israel and Palestine. To make things worse, there have been incessant violent clashes between the two sides. This has not only led to huge losses of life and property and cast a shadow over the peace process, but also poses a grave threat to the regional security and stability.

The question of Palestine is at the core of the Middle East question. Whether the legitimate national rights can be realized for the Palestinian people is the key to the comprehensive and reasonable settlement of the Middle East question. The history of Israel-Palestine conflicts shows that the only correct choice for realizing lasting peace in the entire Middle East region is to settle disputes through political talks. "To counter violence with violence" will only deepen the mutual hatred. It neither conduces to Palestinian's noble objective of founding their own state, nor helps to ensure Israel's security.

Recently, the new government of Palestine has been formally established and the Security Council resolution has been adopted to endorse the "Road Map". The international conference on the Geneva Accord held yesterday has reflected the strong desire for peace from both the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. All these are favorable conditions for breaking the deadlock of Israel-Palestine peace talks and reducing the tension. We urge Israel and Palestine to seize the opportunity, resume peace talks as soon as possible, and restart the implementation of the "Road Map". The international community should also make greater efforts to promote the peace process.

To achieve peace in the entire Middle East, proper solutions have to be found to Syria-Israel and Lebanon-Israel disputes. We hope to see early and meaningful talks between Syria and Israel and between Lebanon and Israel so as to seek mutually acceptable solutions based on the principles of the Madrid Conference.

The United Nations shoulders major responsibilities in maintaining world and regional peace and security and should therefore play its due role on the Middle East question. Security Council Resolutions 242, 338 and 1397 and the principle of "land for peace", which have laid a solid foundation for the political solution of the Middle East question, are important guidelines to ensure the correct direction of the Middle East peace process.

As a permanent member of the Security Council, China has followed closely the development in the Middle East and taken an active part in promoting the Middle East peace process. In mid-December this year, the United Nations Asian Meeting on the Question of Palestine will be held in Beijing. We will, as always, continue to support the efforts for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Middle East question. We are ready to work with the rest of the international community and continue to make our own contributions.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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