Skip to content

Wang Yi Presses for International Peace Conference To End Southwest Asia Conflict

Wang Yi at Wednesday's UN Security Council meeting. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi today restated China’s call for convening “a more authoritative, inclusive and result-oriented peace conference as soon as possible to set a roadmap and timetable for the two-state solution to the Palestine-Israel issue” (in Xinhua’s paraphrase as a vital step towards establishing peace in Southwest Asia. He emphasized that China supports the United Nations in playing a leading role in that effort.

Wang reiterated that call when he addressed the high-level briefing held this morning by the United Nations Security Council on the horrendous humanitarian crisis and war in Palestine. China, as this month’s chair of the Security Council, had convened the briefing, and Foreign Minister Wang flew in to chair it and address it as China’s representative.

Calls for such a conference as the means to turn lipservice for a two-state solution into action, are growing, as evidenced in the calls made to that effect at the briefing by the Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Saudi Arabia, and the Secretary General of the Arab League, minimally.

Wang, speaking in his national capacity, insisted from the outset that history has shown that “dialogue and negotiation is the best way to save lives.” He identified four measures to be taken:

1) Ensure that the current humanitarian pause becomes a comprehensive ceasefire. There is no firewall in Gaza, he warned. If the war resumes after the current pause, that war “will most likely turn into a calamity that encompasses the whole region.” He appealed to all parties and the international community as a whole to ensure the war does not resume.

2) Humanitarian supplies must have unhindered access to Gaza, which requires more crossings than merely the one through Rafah, Egypt. He called protection of civilians “a red line” in international law, and was blunt: the ongoing “collective punishment” and “forced displacement” against the Palestinians must be condemned by everyone.

3) Convoke the international peace conference cited above as the needed path to the two-state solution. The Jewish people have their state; the Palestinians have a right to their home, too, he said. Only a two-state solution can lead to the common development of Israel and Palestine. He called for stepping up international diplomacy towards that peace conference, and expressed China’s support for Palestine being admitted as a full member state of the United Nations.

4) It is the primary responsibility of the UN Security Council to ensure international security and peace, and it is time for the Security Council to speak with one clear voice on resolving the Palestine-Israeli conflict.

Wang met separately with various of the Foreign Ministers also in town for the briefing, to develop ideas on the needed international diplomacy. Xinhua reported that the Chinese Foreign Minister met separately with his Brazilian and Malaysian counterparts, Mauro Vieira and Zambry Addul Kadir, on Nov. 28, prior to the briefing.

Egypt’s Al Ahram daily reported that Wang also met with the Arab-Islamic Ministerial Committee, which showed up in force for the UNSC briefing. As Wang mentioned in his remarks, he and the members of that Ministerial Committee had met in Beijing mid-month. Their New York meeting “marked the second phase of the Arab-Islamic committee’s tour to mobilize international support” for Gaza, Al Ahram wrote.