Israel-Hamas war: Why has the Islamic world flocked to China?

DailyBiteNov 21, 2023 | 08:00

Israel-Hamas war: Why has the Islamic world flocked to China?

China has positioned itself as a key player in West Asia too. Photo: AP

Amidst the ongoing and escalating war between Israel and Hamas, top foreign policy officials from the Palestinian Authority and several Muslim-majority countries are visiting China on November 20 and 21.

The coordinated visit is part of a diplomatic effort to address the impacts of the war in West Asia and seek a just and swift resolution to the Palestinian issue.

Who all are visiting?

  • The delegation includes foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, and Palestine, along with the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), reported by AFP.

China's role

  • China, of late, has positioned itself as a key player in mediating the Israel-Palestine conflict, offering a platform for in-depth communication and coordination with the visiting delegation.

  • The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said that the goal is to "promote a de-escalation of the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict, protecting civilians, and justly resolving the Palestinian issue."

  • China's historic sympathy for the Palestinian cause, its support for a two-state solution, and an anti-American stance have shaped its current diplomatic stance.

  • Foreign Minister Wang Yi, underlining China's support for the Palestinian side, on Monday, November 20, said that Beijing "deeply expresses its sympathy with the Palestinian side."

  • China has consistently called for an immediate ceasefire and a "cooling down" of the situation since the Israelis launched one of the most devastating counter-offensives filling the Hamas surprise attack on Israel.


China's presence in West Asia

  • China's diplomatic presence in the Middle East has expanded in recent years as it aims to play a peacemaking role in longstanding regional disputes.
  • Its efforts resulted in brokering a deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran to restore ties and reopen embassies in March 2023.
  • The visit of Islamic and Arab ministers adds another dimension and establishes China's involvement in the region.

Where is the US?

  • China has openly criticized US support for Israel and denounced the US veto of a UN Security Council resolution, which aimed to acknowledge Israel's right to defend itself.
  • Beijing's growing influence in the region has prompted it to challenge traditional power dynamics and advocate for a more balanced approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Last updated: November 21, 2023 | 08:00
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