Israel-Gaza war: French and Chinese leaders say two-state solution is ‘fundamental’ to ending conflict

China was the first point on a whistle-stop tour for the diplomats from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia and the Palestinian Authority, as well as representatives of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. They will later visit the other four permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

Israel expands Gaza operation amid hostage talks; premature babies reach Egypt

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the delegation that Israel must open humanitarian corridors “as soon as possible to prevent a wider humanitarian disaster” and refrain from “collective punishment”.

“We are here to send a clear signal: that is we must immediately stop the fighting and the killings, we must immediately deliver humanitarian supplies to Gaza,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said, according to Reuters.

The war has left more than 11,000 people dead in Gaza, almost 5,000 of them children, according to Palestinian authorities. Israel’s assault is in response to an October 7 attack from Hamas, which killed 1,200 people and resulted in the capture of more than 200 hostages.

Chinese leaders have pushed for an immediate ceasefire in the region, in contrast to some European and other Western countries that backed Israel’s right to retaliate in self-defence.


Premature babies evacuated from al-Shifa after Israeli troops seize Gaza’s biggest hospital

Premature babies evacuated from al-Shifa after Israeli troops seize Gaza’s biggest hospital

The issue will be high on the agenda at next month’s EU-China summit in Beijing. In Bahrain on Sunday, Enrique Mora, chief of staff to the EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell, met the Chinese envoy to the Middle East, Zhai Jun.

“[We] shared deep concern about the situation in the region and explored ways for China and the EU to work together,” Mora wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Last week, during an event in Berlin, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen – who has strongly backed Israel’s position – urged China to do more to end the conflict.

“China states that it is always impartial and favours peaceful solutions, for instance in the Middle East. So, every measure of influence that Beijing has needs to be used to prevent further escalation, and to work on the day after.

“China clearly aspires to play more of a global role. And this new role should come with more responsibility, not less, for global peace and security,” she said.

Dissent over US policy in Israel-Gaza war stirs protests from federal employees

According to the Chinese readout of the call, Xi also thanked Macron for sending a delegation led by former prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin to the r ecent belt and road forum in Beijing.

China “is happy to see more French products entering the Chinese market, welcomes more French companies to invest in China, and hopes that France will … provide a fair and non-discriminatory business environment for enterprises to invest”, Xi said, according to CCTV.

Probes are also in the works over alleged Chinese dumping of titanium dioxide and mobile access equipment used in the construction maintenance sector. Other investigations have been mooted for sectors such as medical devices, solar photovoltaic equipment, metals and wind turbines.


Palestinian death toll over 10,000 in Israel-Hamas war, with Gaza casualty figures in spotlight

Palestinian death toll over 10,000 in Israel-Hamas war, with Gaza casualty figures in spotlight

Xi also urged his French counterpart to push the relationship in a positive direction.

“Facing the current chaotic world, China and the EU should remain partners of mutually beneficial cooperation. It is hoped that France will play a constructive role in promoting the positive development of China-EU relations,” he said.

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