At Security Council Meeting, China Warns Israel Against West Bank Annexation

At Security Council Meeting, China Warns Israel Against West Bank Annexation

The Chinese Ambassador to the Unite Nations joined Wednesday a growing voice in the international community expressing opposition to Israel's planned annexation of West Bank territories.

China is "deeply concerned about reports of the plan to annex part of the occupied Palestinian territory," said Ambassador Zhang Jun at a Security Council briefing on the situation in the Middle East.

"Such a plan, if implemented, will seriously violate international law and relevant UN resolutions, and imperil the two-state solution. We urge the relevant party to refrain from taking any unilateral actions, and do its best to de-escalate conflict and tension. It’s also our firm position that no country should support unilateral actions," said Jun, adding that "It is equally imperative to stop settlement activities, the demolition of Palestinian structures, and the violence against civilians."

Jun said that President Xi Jinping had recently spoken to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and that China, "a sincere friend of the Palestinian people," supports the Palestinian call for internationally-mediated negotiations and is willing to consider taking part in them. "The Palestinian people can always count on China’s support to their just cause to restore legitimate national rights," he said.

Jun spoke after UN Special Coordinator Nickolay Mladenov, who briefed the member states on the latest development in Israel's plans to annex West Bank territories. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had set July 1 as the date to begin procedures but postponed his plan after coming across international and domestic resistance.

Netanyahu's government is currently grappling with a dramatic resurgence of coronavirus infections, a mounting economic crisis and mass popular protests against his leadership.

"With unemployment in Israel surging to over 20 percent, and with thousands of Israelis taking to the streets to demand greater financial support from their Government, many have highlighted the staggering financial and, potentially, human cost of moving forward with potential annexation plans.

"I reiterate the Secretary-General's call on the Israeli Government to abandon plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank," said Mladenov.