Israel-Gaza war: only a two-state solution can bring real peace, China president says in first public speech on conflict


Xi called for the convening of an international peace conference with the authority to build an international consensus to work towards a resolution to the conflict and the question of Palestine as soon as possible.

He also said China had sent humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, including 15 million yuan (US$2 million) in food and medical supplies transported into the war zone with the help of Egypt.

“China will provide more supplies and assistance according to the needs of the people,” Xi said.

It is the first public speech the Chinese president has made about Gaza since the conflict between Israel and Hamas erupted more than a month ago.


Where China stands on the Israel-Gaza war

Where China stands on the Israel-Gaza war

But he has addressed the issue in talks with various other leaders on the international stage, including in his meeting with US President Joe Biden in San Francisco last week.

Over the past 50 days, Beijing has repeatedly called for de-escalation and for both parties to pursue a “two-state solution” for an independent Palestine.

In sharp contrast to Western support for Israel, China has avoided condemning Hamas, and instead criticised Israel’s attacks in Gaza, saying they violated international law.

Palestinians inspect the rubble of a building belonging to the Rabie family, following Israeli bombardment amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Photo: dpa

China’s positions on Gaza dovetail with its strategy to deepen alliances with non-Western led multilateral groups such as the Brics, while strengthening ties with the Global South.

It has become a more active player in the Middle East, brokering the normalisation of diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran in March.

Throughout the Gaza conflict, it has also highlighted its preference for diplomatic negotiations as the solution, countering the Western narrative of China being a “revisionist power” that undermines the “rule-based international order”.

The delegation – including diplomats from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Indonesia, the Palestinian Authority and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation – was in the Chinese capital on the first stop of an international trip to enlist support from the members of the United Nations Security Council for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

“[China] has always firmly supported the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights and interests,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the delegation on Monday.


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

Tuesday’s Brics virtual summit was hosted by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who holds the presidency of the group, and attended by leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, and UN secretary general António Guterres.

Leaders from Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have been accepted to join the bloc next year, were invited to take part in the discussions.

Brics is a group of emerging economies formed to pursue economic cooperation as well as diplomatic and political dialogue.

Israel recalled its ambassador to South Africa on Monday after the ruling African National Congress, headed by Ramaphosa, said it would support a parliamentary motion to shut down the Israeli embassy in South Africa.

South Africa recalled its diplomats from Israel earlier this month.

Brazil and Russia have both proposed ceasefire resolutions in the UN Security Council. India is the only one of the five Brics members to take a strong pro-Israel stand.


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