(15 May 2018) China has called on Israel to exercise restraint along its border with Gaza after 58 people were killed on Monday during protests there.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a regular briefing in Beijing on Tuesday that China “opposes violent acts targeting innocent people” and urges all sides to avoid escalating tensions.
“We call on the relevant sides, especially Israel, to exercise restraint so as to avoid further escalation of the situation,” said Lu.
Lu said China believes in a two-state resolution and that the status of Jerusalem should be resolved through dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis in accordance with relevant UN resolutions.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians have rallied near Israel’s border fence to protest a blockade of Gaza and the move of the US Embassy to contested Jerusalem.
China has long championed the Palestinian cause while also maintaining close economic, diplomatic and military relations with Israel.
Lu also confirmed reports that a North Korean high ranking delegation is visiting the country.
He told reporters that a “friendship visiting group” for North Korea’s ruling Worker’s Party is in China to “inspect and study China’s domestic economic building and achievements in reform and opening-up”.
The Korean Central News Agency said the delegation headed by Pak Tae Song, vice chairman of the Workers’ Party, was greeted on Monday by an official of China’s ruling Communist Party and North Korea’s ambassador to China.
Lu also stated at the briefing that China has “noted” a statement by the US clothing retailer Gap apologising for selling T-shirts with what it says was an incorrect map of China that didn’t include self-ruled Taiwan.
The company took action after photos began circulating on Chinese social media of a T-shirt with a map that didn’t include the self-ruled island that Beijing regards as Chinese territory.
“We sincerely apologize for this unintentional error,” said the company, which issued the statement through its public relations firm APCO after making a similar apology late on Monday on social media.
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