US-led resolution unbalanced, ambiguous, sets up preconditions for ceasefire: Chinese envoy

The US draft sets up preconditions for a ceasefire, which is no different from giving a green light to continued killings, and thus unacceptable, according to China's United Nations envoy in comments made on Friday, after China voted against the US-led UN resolution on Gaza.

The UN Security Council on Friday turned down the resolution proposed by the US, on which China, Russia and Algeria voted no while Guyana abstained, Reuters reported.

Zhang Jun, China's permanent representative to the UN, offered an explanation about China's voting position and relevant considerations after the vote.

Zhang said that more than 160 days have passed since the outbreak of the Gaza conflict. In the face of this human tragedy in which more than 32,000 innocent civilians have lost their lives and has left millions suffering from famine, the most urgent action to be taken by the Council is to promote an immediate, unconditional, and sustained ceasefire, which is the universal call of the international community. But the Council has dragged its feet and wasted too much time in this regard, Zhang said.

The envoy added that the US has always evaded and dodged the most essential issue, which is a ceasefire. The final text remains ambiguous and does not call for an immediate ceasefire, nor does it even provide an answer to the question of realizing a ceasefire in the short term. This is a clear deviation from the consensus of the Council members and falls far short of the expectations of the international community. 

"An immediate ceasefire is a fundamental prerequisite for saving lives, expanding humanitarian access, and preventing further conflict. The US draft, on the contrary, sets up preconditions for a ceasefire, which is no different from giving a green light to continued killings, and thus unacceptable," Zhang noted.

The Chinese ambassador also said that the draft is very unbalanced in many other aspects, in particular, with regard to Israel's recent and repeated declarations of plan for a military offensive on Rafah, the draft does not clearly and unequivocally state its opposition, which would send an utterly wrong signal and lead to severe consequences.

Zhang emphasized China's position on releasing hostages, saying that China has from the outset called for the immediate release of all hostages, which is also a repeated demand in Security Council Resolutions 2712 and 2720. "We welcome the mediation efforts by Egypt, Qatar, and others to this end, and we hope that all detainees will be released at an early date," he said.

China rejects the groundless accusations by the US and the UK against China's voting position, Zhang added, noting that if the US was serious about a ceasefire, it wouldn't have vetoed time and again multiple Council resolutions, and wouldn't have taken this detour and played a game of words while being ambiguous and evasive on critical issues. 

"If the US is serious about a ceasefire, then please vote in favor of the other draft resolution clearly calling for a ceasefire, so that a ceasefire can be finally and immediately achieved, the Palestinians' sufferings ended, and hostages released at an early date," the envoy said.

The Chinese ambassador added that China will continue to work with Council members and the international community to play a responsible and constructive role in order to achieve a ceasefire and put an end to the fighting, alleviate the suffering, implement the two-State solution, and promote a comprehensive, just, and lasting solution to the question of Palestine.

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