China on Tuesday called for a more influential international peace conference to address the Palestinian issue.
"China calls for a larger, more authoritative, and more influential international peace conference, in which permanent members of the Security Council and all stakeholders in the Middle East process are invited to participate in exploring effective ways and means to politically resolve the Palestinian issue," Geng Shuang, China's deputy permanent representative to the United Nations (UN), told the UN Security Council briefing on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question.
Geng underscored that the Middle East peace process is "still at a standstill" and relevant UN resolutions have not been implemented for a long time, and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people have been continuously violated.
"The question of Palestine is the core of the Middle East issue that bears on regional peace and security. It should not be marginalized, much less forgotten," he said.
Geng called for reversing the situation on the ground, noting that Israel continues to expand its settlement activities in the occupied territories, thus continuing to squeeze the living space of Palestinian people and undermining the continuity of the occupied Palestinian territory and the prospect of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state.
"We urge Israel to abide by international law, implement Security Council Resolution 2334, and immediately stop all settlement activities," he said.
Geng highlighted the importance of achieving common security as well.
Since the beginning of this year, violent incidents have occurred one after another in occupied territories and it is disturbing that clashes happened in Gaza, he said.
"The security of Israel and Palestine is interdependent and indivisible. The two sides should uphold the common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security concept, and find a way to live side by side in peace," he said. "Seeking absolute security by using one's advantageous position can only lead to greater security dilemma."
"Advancing the two-state solution brooks no delay," said Geng.
"The question of Palestine has dragged on for more than 70 years. Piecemeal crisis management is no substitute for a comprehensive and impartial solution. The international community should work earnestly to promote the Middle East peace process," he said.
"Countries that have influence on Palestine and Israel should shoulder the due responsibilities, uphold an objective and impartial position, and play the due role in promoting the early resumption of peace talks between the two sides," he said.