China is continually paying efforts to mediate the ongoing Palestine-Israel conflict as the Chinese special envoy for Middle East affairs spoke with Palestinian and Egyptian officials and will also reach out to other parties including Israel, Russia and the EU, with a former Chinese diplomat saying that China is trying to offer a new type of mediation and to find a fairer solution to the decades-long conflict.
Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry, said at Thursday’s routine press conference that “Since the outbreak of the Palestine-Israel conflict, China has played the role of a responsible major country and done a lot of constructive work. As the rotating president of the UN Security Council, China has given top priority to addressing the current Palestine-Israel conflict.”
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired an open debate on the issue at the Security Council and put forward China’s views and proposals. China has made efforts to urge the Security Council to speak with one voice and take concrete action. However, because of US obstruction, the Security Council has yet to reach a consensus.
Zhai Jun, Special Envoy of the Chinese Government for the Middle East, had telephone conversations with officials of the Palestinian and Egyptian foreign ministries and conducted active mediation. He called for an immediate ceasefire and a stop to the violence, urging more assistance to Palestine, and reaffirmed the firm commitment to the “two-state solution,” Zhao said.
Hua Liming, former Chinese ambassador to Iran and an expert on Middle East affairs, told the Global Times on Thursday that China is trying to offer a new type of mediation and seeking a fairer and more effective solution for the long-existing Palestine-Israel conflict.
“Unlike the US and other major powers, China has no conflict with any party and China has no colonial history in the region. Today, China is becoming the biggest energy buyer from the region and one of the most important trade partners to many Middle East countries, so many regional countries are expecting China to make more contributions to solving their problems,” Hua said.
The Chinese special envoy will also have telephone conversations with people from Israel, Russia, the UN and the EU, Zhao said. “As long as the conflict in the Middle East continues, China will not stop its efforts to promote peace talks. In the future, China will also host seminars for Palestinian and Israeli peace advocates and welcome representatives from Palestine and Israel to come to China for direct negotiations.”
In the past, the US was a key mediator to solve the problem for Palestine and Israel, but the solutions that it offered won’t last very long, and the issue has fallen into a cycle of conflicts which is bad for both Palestine and Israel, Hua noted.
“China will never copy such a solution. But the case is very complicated, so China needs time to find the new path together with all relevant parties in the region. The current situation is unlikely to escalate but it also won’t stop immediately,” Hua said.
China appreciates the mediation efforts for a ceasefire by Egypt and other relevant parties. We stand ready to strengthen communication and coordination with all parties to make concerted efforts for peace, and to do our best to provide humanitarian and other assistance to Palestine, Zhao noted.