China says US ignoring Palestinians' plight by blocking UN meet

Photo taken on May 14, 2018 shows a general view of United Nations Security Council meeting on its mission to Bangladesh and Myanmar, at the UN headquarters in New York. (Photo: Xinhua)
  • Agence France-Presse
  • May 14, 2021 10:04 AM

Beijing, China | China on Friday accused the United States of "ignoring the suffering" of muslims, after Washington blocked a scheduled UN Security Council meeting aimed at addressing an intensifying conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

The US, Israel's diplomatic shield at the UN, blocked an originally scheduled Friday session despite the deepening bloodshed -- but eventually agreed to move it to Sunday, diplomats said.

As the crisis has unfurled, China has taken up the Palestinian cause at the Security Council, a venue where it frequently plays its veto card to block motions against its allies. 

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters the US had single handedly obstructed the Security Council from speaking out on the crisis, "standing on the opposite side of the international community".

"What we can feel is that the US keeps saying that it cares about the human rights of Muslims... but it was ignoring the suffering of the Palestinian people," Hua added.

She contrasted America's reluctance at the Security Council with calls by the US, Britain and Germany for China to end repression of its Uyghur Muslim minority -- an incendiary issue in US-China relations.

"The US should realise that the lives of Palestinian Muslims are equally precious," she said.

The US, Israel's key ally, has defended the Jewish state's deadly offensive, which comes in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip.

But President Joe Biden's administration has also voiced alarm over civilian casualties and earlier pushed Israel to hold off on evictions of Palestinians in Jerusalem, the immediate trigger for the flare-up.

Hua said Friday that efforts should be made to lower temperatures and prevent the crisis from escalating.

She restated that China will push the Security Council to take action soon, as well as reiterate its firm support for a two-state solution.

Security Council sessions, held by videoconference due to the pandemic, require support of all 15 members.

© Agence France-Presse

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