Caixin
May 17, 2021 04:41 PM

China Slams U.S. for Blocking U.N. Statement on Israel-Palestine Conflict

What’s new: China accused the U.S. on Sunday of blocking the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) from issuing a unified statement calling for a ceasefire in the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict in the Gaza Strip.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who chaired the Sunday UNSC meeting on the escalation of the conflict, urged the UNSC members to “take effective action” on the conflict. “Ceasefire is the current priority,” Wang said. “China strongly condemns violent acts against civilians.”

“Due to one country’s obstruction, the Security Council has so far failed to make a unanimous voice,” he said. “We call on the United States to shoulder its due responsibilities, adopt a fair stand, and support the Security Council in playing its due role in easing the tensions.”

The Chinese foreign ministry also urged the Israeli side to “lift the blockade and siege of Gaza as soon as possible, guarantee the safety and rights of civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory, and provide access for humanitarian assistance.”

Wang also said that China would invite representatives from Palestine and Israel to hold direct talks in China.

What’s more: Without endorsing a joint statement, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfiled said during the virtual UNSC meeting on Sunday that the U.S. has been working “through diplomatic channels to try to bring an end to this conflict.” She said that Washington is “prepared to lend our support and good offices should the parties seek a ceasefire.”

The UNSC meeting came as the conflicts between Israel and Palestinian escalated over the week with hundreds being killed and injured by rockets fired by the Hamas militants against Israeli cities, and airstrikes launched by the Israeli forces on Gaza.

Quick Takes are condensed versions of China-related stories for fast news you can use.

Contact reporter Lu Zhenhua (zhenhualu@caixin.com) and editor Michael Bellart (michaelbellart @caixin.com)

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