NEW YORK, Feb 22 – Following the U.S. veto on a Security Council draft resolution that would have demanded an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza, China’s United Nations envoy said Tuesday that objection to a cease-fire in Gaza is no different from giving the green light to the continued slaughter.

The draft resolution won 13 votes in favor among the 15 members of the Security Council. The UK abstained.

Zhang Jun, China’s permanent representative to the United Nations, voted in favor of the draft resolution and made an explanatory statement on China’s position, Xinhua News Agency reported on Wednesday.

China expresses its strong disappointment and dissatisfaction with the U.S. veto, said Zhang.

Algeria, on behalf of the Arab states, put forward the draft resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, the immediate release of all hostages, guaranteed access to humanitarian supplies, and the rejection of forced displacement. The resolution, based on minimum humanitarian requirements, is urgently required by the situation on the ground and deserves the support of all Security Council members, he said in the explanation after the vote.

Algeria, demonstrating reason, sincerity, and an open attitude, held lengthy and extensive consultations with all parties on the draft resolution and took on board many constructive ideas, which made the draft resolution more balanced, he said.

“The outcome of today’s vote clearly shows that on the issue of a cease-fire to halt the fight in Gaza, it is not that the Security Council does not have an overwhelming consensus, but rather it is the exercise of veto by the United States that stifles the council consensus.”

The U.S. veto sends a wrong message, pushing the situation in Gaza into a more dangerous phase, said Zhang.

Also on Wednesday, Mao Ning, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, made similar remarks at a press conference. Mao stated that China had voted in favor of the Security Council draft resolution but the U.S. once again vetoed it, pushing the situation in Gaza to a more dangerous stage, noting that all relevant parties, including China, had expressed strong disappointment in the development.

The U.S. claim that a resolution would interfere with the ongoing diplomatic efforts is totally untenable. Given the situation on the ground, the continued passive avoidance of an immediate cease-fire is nothing different from giving the green light to the continued slaughter, he said.

While the draft resolution has been vetoed, the spillover of the conflict is destabilizing the entire Middle East region, leading to rising risks of a wider war. Only by extinguishing the flames of war in Gaza can the world prevent the fires of hell from engulfing the entire region. The Security Council must act quickly to stop this carnage, Zhang noted.

The Security Council must take action to push for a cease-fire. This should not be a matter of debate, but rather a moral obligation that the council cannot shy away from. It is a legal responsibility that the council must assume. Even more so, this is a political requirement that the council must fulfill in accordance with the UN Charter, he said.

“The veto cannot muffle the strong call for a cease-fire and an end to the war. The Security Council cannot stop its work to uphold justice and fulfill its responsibilities just because of the veto,” he said.

China urges Israel to heed the call of the international community, abandon its plans for a Rafah offensive, and stop the collective punishment of the people of Palestine. China expects countries with significant influence to have fewer political calculations, but rather to be truly impartial and responsible, and to make the right choice to push for a cease-fire in Gaza. China calls on the international community to pool all diplomatic efforts to give the people of Gaza a chance to survive, give the people of the entire Middle East region a chance to have peace, and a chance for justice to be upheld, said Zhang.

Mao said that China will continue to work with all parties in the international community to push the Security Council to take further responsible and meaningful actions and make unremitting efforts to end the war in Gaza at an early date, ease the humanitarian situation, promote the implementation of the two-state solution and realize lasting peace and stability in the Middle East.

Since the outbreak of a new round of large-scale Israeli-Palestinian conflict in October 2023, Israel’s military operations in the Gaza Strip have killed nearly 30,000 people, according to Xinhua.

The international community has formed an overwhelming call for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, but a UN Security Council draft resolution calling for a cease-fire has been repeatedly blocked by the U.S..

Xinhua noted that this is the fourth time the U.S. has vetoed a cease-fire in Gaza, after vetoing a draft resolution proposed by Brazil in October last year, a draft resolution proposed by the United Arab Emirates in December, and an amendment proposed by Russia.


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