BEIJING (Reuters) – China condemned on Wednesday an Israeli air strike in south Lebanon that killed four United Nations observers, including a Chinese national, and called for an investigation into the raid.
China’s ambassador to the UN, Wang Guangya, urged Israel to take measures to ensure the safety of peacekeeping personnel and said in comments carried by the official Xinhua news agency that the incident should be investigated.
In Malaysia, where he is attending a regional forum, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said stability must be restored to the Middle East.
“We should all especially step up efforts to stop the conflict and restore the peace process in the Middle East as quickly as possible,” Li Zhaoxing told reporters.
“In the world there is nothing as precious as peace. A Chinese soldier, a son of the Chinese people, already sacrificed his life for peace in the Middle East,” he said.
Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Zhai Jun summoned Israeli Ambassador Yehoyada Haim on Wednesday morning and made “solemn representations”, the Foreign Ministry said in a notice on its Web site (www.fmprc.gov.cn).
The body of the victim, Du Zhaoyu, has been found, Xinhua cited sources with the UN’s Interim Force in Lebanon as saying.
Three other observers killed in the strike were from Finland, Austria and Canada, Xinhua said.
“We feel deep sorrow for the victims and convey sincere condolences to their families,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said.