China said Sunday that efforts should be made to seek through political negotiations a settlement of the conflicts between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan made the statement while meeting with the Israeli deputy prime minister and foreign minister, Shimon Peres, on the sidelines of the annual high-level debate of the 57th General Assembly session.
It is hoped that the Israeli government can make a decision conducive to further defuse tensions on the ground and resume peace talks with the Palestinians, Tang said.
A permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting the peace process in the Middle East, he said.
The Chinese foreign minister voiced his satisfaction with the development of the Sino-Israeli relations since the two countries established diplomatic ties 10 years ago.
There are huge potentials in bilateral cooperation, and China is ready to strengthen cooperation with Israel in all fields, including economy and trade, he said.
For his part, Peres said that China is a country which stands for peace, and his country attaches great importance to the voice of China.
He expressed his hope that peace can be achieved in the Middle East.
Peres said that Israel will continue to adhere to the "one China" policy and refrain from selling weaponry to Taiwan, an inalienable part of China.
The Israeli foreign minister also voiced his hope that Israel and China will further promote cooperation in economy and trade, agriculture, science and technology.
(Xinhua News Agency September 16, 2002)