China leads diplomatic push for immediate ceasefire in the Gaza strip

On 20th November 2023, a meeting took place in Beijing between Wang Yi, the Foreign Minister of China and a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, and a delegation comprising foreign ministers from Arab and Islamic countries. The Chinese Foreign Ministry shared a photograph of the event.

21st November 2023 – (Beijing) China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip in a statement made on Monday. His appeal came during a meeting with visiting foreign ministers from Arab and Islamic nations. Wang voiced opposition towards any forced displacement and relocation of Palestinian civilians, asserting that any decisions regarding the future of Palestine should be made with the consent of its people.

The meeting was part of China’s diplomatic efforts to mitigate the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict in collaboration with the UN Security Council’s permanent members. China continues to work closely with Arab and Islamic countries, with a focus on implementing the UN General Assembly and Security Council’s resolutions pertinent to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was in agreement with French President Emmanuel Macron, asserting that it was critical to prevent further deterioration of the situation and the potential emergence of a severe humanitarian crisis. Both leaders endorsed the two-state solution as the primary means of resolving the recurring Palestinian-Israeli conflicts.

On Monday evening, at the invitation of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, President Xi Jinping will participate in the BRICS extraordinary virtual summit on the Palestinian-Israeli issue. Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying announced that President Xi will make significant remarks at the summit.

On the same day, the Chinese Vice President Han Zheng met with the delegation of Arab and Islamic foreign ministers in Beijing. He affirmed that China greatly values the peace efforts and call for justice expressed at the Joint Arab Islamic Extraordinary Summit. Han expressed support for the joint ministerial follow-up committee’s role in the process.

The delegation visiting from Monday to Tuesday includes prominent figures like Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki, amongst others.

The visit aims to foster in-depth communication and coordination with China to deescalate the ongoing conflict, protect civilians, and seek a fair resolution for the Palestinian question. The delegation intends to meet officials representing each of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The UN Security Council, Wang argued, must heed the voices of Arab and Islamic countries and take responsible actions to alleviate the situation. As the current rotating president of the Security Council, China will continue to foster coordination with Arab and Islamic nations, build consensus, and encourage the Security Council to take further meaningful actions regarding the situation in Gaza.

Wang praised the trust and mutual understanding between China and the Arab and Islamic countries. He asserted China’s commitment to upholding the rights and interests of Arab and Islamic nations and vehemently supporting the Palestinian people’s just cause of restoring their national rights and interests.

China’s stance on the Palestinian question aligns with the views of the Arab and Islamic world. This alignment has helped China gain their trust, further exemplified by the restoration of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran under China’s mediation.

The Chinese Foreign Minister stressed the urgency of fully implementing the relevant UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions to achieve an immediate ceasefire and cessation of hostilities. He highlighted that a ceasefire was not merely diplomatic rhetoric; it was a matter of life and death for the people of Gaza.

However, divisions still exist within the Arab and Islamic countries as evidenced by the absence of Turkey and Iran from the delegation. Regardless, Arab-Islamic unity appears to be strengthening as Israel intensifies its attacks on the Gaza Strip.

Israeli officials reported on Monday that progress has been made in the Qatar-mediated talks aimed at freeing hostages held by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. Israel is currently under intense international scrutiny to justify its operations, suggesting a potential “window of legitimacy” for the war to rout Hamas may be closing.