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Home > China-UK Events > 2007
Yang Jiechi Expounds China's Position on the Middle East Issue at the Peace Conference

On November 27, 2007, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi delivered a speech to the Middle East peace conference held in Annapolis, Maryland and expounded the position of the Chinese government on the Middle East issue.

After years of stagnation of the Middle East peace process, the international community once again gathered together to express its aspiration for peace and explore the road to peace, which should be attributed to the joint efforts of all the parties concerned, said Yang. China welcomes the document of common understanding on solving the Palestine-Israel conflict through negotiations issued on the morning and highly admires the positive efforts of all the related parties.

Yang pointed out that the Middle East issue has bearing on peace, stability and development of the region and the world at large. China is committed to maintaining world peace and building a harmonious world. We always hold that related parties handle the Middle East issue through political negotiations and with mutual trust on the basis of related United Nations resolutions and the principle of "land for peace". China is a firm force for reconciliation and the peace talks and a positive player in the efforts of promoting peace in the Middle East; pays close attention to the livelihood of the Palestinian people and has tried its best to offer assistance and support for their reconstruction; faithfully implements its responsibility for peace and has participated in peacekeeping operations in the Middle East.

He stressed that as a permanent member to the Security Council China stands ready to contribute to the success of the conference and will take an active part in related follow-up activities so as to continue to play a constructive role of realizing peace in the Middle East.

He raised five proposals on bringing the Middle East peace process out of the deadlock. First, respecting the history, taking each other's concern into account and following the direction of peaceful negotiations. Israel has enjoyed independence for almost 60 years, but the aspiration of the Palestinian people of establishing their own state has yet to come true. Against fundamental changes in the Middle East situation, all the parties concerned should face the reality and step forward bravely. To launch the negotiation on the final status issue, solve the border, refugee and water resource problems and establish an independent Palestinian state not only comply with the fundamental interest of the Palestinian and Israeli people but also mark historic progress of the peaceful coexistence of the Arab and Jewish nations.

Second, giving up violence, removing interference and believing in peaceful negotiations. It is impossible to build lasting peace by force. Only patience, dialogue and even necessary concession can bring peace. Parties concerned should undertake their due obligations, demonstrate courage and wisdom and take measures to build mutual trust. China hopes that Palestine realizes internal reconciliation. Only with national solidarity can the Palestinian people enjoy real peace.

Third, pushing forward the peace process in an all-round and balanced manner and creating a favorable atmosphere for peace talks. The Palestine issue interweaves with other issues in the Middle East. The peace talks between Syria and Israel and between Lebanon and Israel should restart at the appropriate date so as to advance the Palestine-Israel peace talks. Meanwhile, other hot problems in the region should be handled carefully from the perspective of pushing forward peace and stability throughout the Middle East in order to create a sound external environment for the peace talks.

Fourth, promoting development, strengthening cooperation and consolidating the foundation of peace talks. Related parties and the international community should facilitate the economic and trade exchanges in the region and make the Israeli and Palestinian people truly benefit from peace. China appeals to the international community to increase the humanitarian and development assistance to Palestine and admires the regional economic cooperation plan suggested by related parties. An independent and prosperous Palestine will become a firm force for regional security.

Fifth, reaching consensus, increasing input and strengthening guarantee for the peace talks. The international community should enhance cooperation and develop a participatory, balanced and effective multilateral mechanism of peace promotion, monitoring and execution so as to provide guarantee for peace. China welcomes all the efforts conducive to the peace process.

The main themes of the Annapolis conference include the support of the international community for the Palestine-Israel peace process, the building of Palestinian mechanism and an extensive settlement to the Arab-Israel issue. Delegates of more than 40 countries including Palestine, Israel, the four parties on the Middle East issue, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the G8 members and the members of the follow-up committee of Arab Peace Initiative as well as representatives of regional and international organizations attended the conference.

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