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China’s Balanced Stance on Palestine-Israel Conflict

Chinese leader Xi Jinping delivered his first public statement on the Israel-Hamas Conflict on Thursday. He urged an immediate cease-fire and reaffirmed that the “fundamental solution” to the conflict lies in establishing an independent state of Palestine through a two-state approach.

“Our foremost priority is ending hostilities promptly, preventing the conflict from spreading, spiralling out of control, and causing a severe humanitarian crisis,” Xi stated during his meeting with Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly in Beijing.

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In addition to restating the importance of the two-state solution, Xi commended Egypt for its endeavours to de-escalate the situation and expressed China’s readiness to enhance coordination with Egypt and other Arab nations in order to expedite a comprehensive, fair, and lasting resolution to the Palestinian issue.

The conflict erupted when the Palestinian militant group Hamas initiated a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, resulting in the death of over 1,400 people and the abduction of nearly 200 Israeli citizens to Gaza. In response, Israel launched airstrikes targeting various locations in Gaza, resulting in the loss of at least 3,500 Palestinian lives.

China Bats for Palestinian Cause

Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi on Monday said- “What the Gaza Strip needs most is peace-making efforts, not geopolitical calculation.” Wang, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, emphasized during a phone call with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki that the people of Gaza require security, sustenance, and medical aid, rather than war, armaments, and munitions.

During their conversation, Al-Maliki conveyed the Palestinian perspective and expressed sincere gratitude to the Chinese government for upholding justice, issuing a resolute statement, standing unwaveringly with the Palestinian population, and offering urgent humanitarian support to the Palestinian side.

Al-Maliki pointed out the solid friendship between Palestine and China, emphasizing China’s support. He made a fervent appeal for an instant cessation of hostilities, the swift delivery of relief supplies to Gaza, and immediate medical attention for the injured. Wang expressed China’s deep sympathy for the distress faced by the Palestinian side, with particular consideration for the people in Gaza.

The UN Security Council must fully embrace its obligations, while the global community needs to promptly respond to the situation. Stressing the importance of international cooperation, Wang urged countries beyond the region, particularly major nations, to maintain objectivity and fairness as they contribute constructively to resolving the crisis.

Beijing Faces Criticism Over Its Response to Israel-Hamas Clash

China has refrained from issuing a public condemnation of Hamas for the attack on Israel, a stance that has garnered criticism from both Jerusalem and Washington. Differing from the stance taken by the United States and its allies, China has asserted that Israeli counterattacks in Gaza exceeded the bounds of acceptability under international humanitarian law.

Can Beijing’s action help bring an end to the conflict?

China’s willingness to voice its stance and take proactive measures to address the conflict underscores a fresh sense of self-assurance in its capability to resolve regional disputes. With Beijing’s support, Iran and Saudi Arabia reached an agreement to mend their diplomatic relations. Subsequently, then-Foreign Minister Qin Gang extended an offer to act as the host for a fresh round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Apart from the Iran-Saudi agreement, Beijing’s growing aspiration to become a global peacemaker has encountered limited success. Its effort to broker a peaceful resolution to the Ukraine conflict has garnered minimal support, primarily because Ukraine views it as biased. Qin’s unexpected disappearance and subsequent dismissal from his role as foreign minister have undermined Beijing’s effort to convey a message of stability.

China’s Foreign Ministry has chosen not to provide a statement regarding whether it intends to utilize its influence over Iran to attempt to mitigate the actions of Hamas, given its limited experience in direct collaboration with the militant group.

What role does this play in China’s broader geopolitical agenda?

The current situation presents China with a prospect to establish its role as a peacemaker in the Middle East, gain leverage over the United States in an unfamiliar domain, and foster stronger ties with both Russia and the Arab world. According to analysts, China’s position may evolve in response to the conflict’s expansion, but at the moment, it seems inclined to seize the current eruption of hostilities as an opportunity to enhance its influence in the region compared to the United States.

“If it remains a Hamas-Israel conflict, China can offer rhetorical support for the Palestinians, criticize Israel, score points on the U.S while they do so, and it’s not going to affect their greater strategic interests in the region”- Fulton said.

In conclusion, China advocates the prompt convening of a more authoritative, comprehensive, and effective international peace conference to expedite the resumption of peace negotiations between Palestine and Israel. They aim to establish a specific timetable and roadmap to achieve this goal.

China has been consistently pushing for a ceasefire and the cessation of violence, while also advocating for a return to peaceful negotiations. China’s commitment to upholding international principles of fairness and justice, pledging to work diligently alongside the global community for a prompt, all-encompassing, equitable, and enduring resolution to the Palestinian conflict.

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China’s Balanced Stance on Palestine-Israel Conflict


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