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China urges ‘relevant countries’ to end opposition to Palestine’s UN membership

The results of a vote on a resolution for the UN Security Council to support the full UN membership of Palestine is displayed at UN headquarters in New York City on May 10, 2024. (AFP)

China has warned “relevant countries” against creating further obstacles for Palestine’s membership to the United Nations after the General Assembly voted by a wide margin to grant new “rights and privileges” to Palestine.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday that Beijing calls on “relevant countries not to continue to stand in opposition to the international community's moral and human conscience.”

China urges countries “not to further obstruct resolutions on Palestine's accession to the UN,” the official said.

"The Chinese representative has already comprehensively elaborated our position in the interpretative speech following the voting."

Independent statehood, he said, has been a long-cherished aspiration of the Palestinian people and full UN membership is a crucial step in this historic process.

China supports the UN Security Council in reconsidering Palestine's application to join the UN as soon as possible in accordance with the requirements of the resolution, Wang stated.

"We look forward to Palestine becoming a full UN member and enjoying full and equal rights in the UN like other member states."

On Friday, a UN resolution in support of Palestinian membership passed with a wide margin to grant new “rights and privileges” to Palestine and called on the Security Council to reconsider Palestine’s request to become the 194th member of the United Nations.

The UN approved the resolution by a vote of 143-9 with 25 abstentions. The United States voted against it, along with Israel, Argentina, Czechia, Hungary, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Papua New Guinea.

A General Assembly vote cannot confer UN membership, but the approved resolution grants new privileges to the Palestinian Authority in its current capacity as a non-member observer state.

Last month, the Palestinians officially revived their bid for a full member state in the United Nations.

In a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, UN envoy Riyad Mansour requested "upon instructions of the Palestinian leadership" that an application dating back to 2011 be reconsidered.

Citing Israel’s hostilities in the Gaza Strip, Mansour said that UN membership is a priority for the Palestinians.

The United States has repeatedly warned that it will likely block Palestinian membership -- as it vetoed an earlier Palestinian membership request in April that would have paved the way for full United Nations membership for Palestine.

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