China Assumes UN Security Council Presidency, Prioritizes Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Resolution
China has commenced its role as the rotating president of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) starting from November 1st. Ambassador Zhang Jun, China’s Permanent Representative to the UN, chaired the council’s internal consultations, successfully passing the working plan for the month. Zhang emphasized that the Israeli-Palestinian situation is the most important issue on the agenda for this month’s Security Council discussions. He stressed the urgent need to promote a ceasefire, prevent further civilian casualties, avert a larger-scale humanitarian disaster, and prevent the escalation of the conflict. As the president of the Security Council, China will respond to the international community’s call and work with relevant parties to promote responsible and meaningful collective action by the Security Council.
The presidency of the Security Council rotates among its 15 member states on a monthly basis. China last held the presidency in August 2022. During the previous presidency of Brazil, none of the draft resolutions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were adopted. The closest to success was a resolution drafted by Brazil, which received 12 votes in favor, 2 abstentions, but was vetoed by the United States, citing the absence of Israel’s right to self-defense in the text.
On the same day, Wednesday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with the Omani Minister of Foreign Affairs, Badr Albusaidi, as scheduled, exchanging views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Albusaidi highly praised China’s consistent call for restraint among all parties involved in the conflict, its support for a ceasefire, and its vote in favor of the Arab-led resolution at the UN General Assembly. He expressed his expectations for China to play an important role as the president of the Security Council this month. Wang Yi stated that China supports the prompt convening of a more authoritative, inclusive, and effective international conference to promote the Israeli-Palestinian issue’s return to the track of the “two-state solution.” He emphasized that the root cause of the Palestinian issue lies in the failure to restore and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the Palestinian people, and the way to resolve this issue is by implementing the “two-state solution.”
China and Kazakhstan to Implement Mutual Visa Exemption Agreement
On November 2, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced that the Agreement between the Government of China and the Government of Kazakhstan on Mutual Visa Exemption is set to take effect on November 10, 2023.
Under this agreement, Chinese citizens holding regular passports for official business, ordinary passports, and travel documents, as well as Kazakhstani citizens holding ordinary passports and return certificates, will be granted visa exemption privileges. This exemption applies to various purposes, including entry, exit, or transit for private affairs, business activities (such as negotiations, contracts, consulting services, and other related business endeavours), tourism, medical visits, international transportation, and transit.
Qualified individuals will be allowed a single stay of up to 30 days, commencing from the date of entry. Additionally, the accumulated duration of their stays within every 180-day period should not exceed 90 days.
The implementation of this mutual visa exemption agreement aims to facilitate smoother travel and enhance bilateral relations between China and Kazakhstan. It is expected to benefit individuals engaged in various sectors, including business, tourism, and cultural exchanges, further promoting mutual understanding and cooperation between the two nations.
China Inaugurates 22nd Free Trade Zone in Xinjiang, Advancing Belt and Road Goals
On 1 November, China formly established its 22nd Free Trade Zone (FTZ) in Xinjiang, the westest province, marking a pivotal step in the region’s open. Rooted in President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the new FTZ is positioned to play a central role in connecting China with Eurasia countries through a network of economic corridors.
The announcement stated, the Xinjiang FTZ is set to bolster the region’s economic stature by fostering an environment that encourages trade liberalization and investment, improved infrastructure, and cross-border industrial and technological collaboration. Situated at a strategic crossroads, bordering eight countries, Xinjiang is envisioned as a crucial node on the revived Silk Road, pivotal for Eurasian trade and integration.