China Proposes Two-state Solution For Palestinians & Israelis
China wants to guide a peace process plan to establish a two-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis. Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has affirmed his role working towards a negotiated two-state solution, the Wafa news agency has reported.
Wang Yi has announced a four-point proposal for peace and to halt Israel’s apartheid actions in Palestine. He has called for “both parties to the conflict to immediately stop military and hostile actions” and that “Israel must exercise restraint in particular.” He also stressed the need for humanitarian aid, the lifting of the blockade of Gaza, and international support for a “two-state solution” that includes “a fully sovereign and independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as the capital, to achieve the harmonious coexistence of the Arab and Jewish nations and lasting peace in the Middle East.”
During a phone conversation on November 23, with Palestinian Authority Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Abu Amr, the Chinese FM was questioned on the situation in the Palestinian territories and Israel’s apartheid practices such as daily settler aggression, numerous checkpoints, and controls imposed on Palestinians.
Abu Amr emphasized how Israel’s daily violations threaten the existence of the Palestinian people in their homeland and achieve a peace agreement with the Israelis, which requires a comprehensive evaluation.
Wang Yi reaffirmed his country’s intentions to step up its involvement in mediating efforts.
How far does China’s support for the Palestinian cause go?
FM Wang Yi’s statements have raised many eyebrows and confused plenty of people since, over the last two decades, China and Israel have built a close relationship based on investments and economic ties. In fact, Beijing is now Israel’s second-largest trade partner behind the US, and their bilateral trade stands at around $15 billion.
Israel has also been seen as the “research and development lab” of China and both countries have hosted many business events that facilitate cooperation between Chinese and Israeli firms, usually with Israel providing technology to an established Chinese company, according to journalist William Figueroa from the Diplomat.
Although their economic ties remain unbroken, China has given support to Palestine during events such as Israel’s 11-day bombardment of Gaza, which killed more than 250 people including women and children. The country backed the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and denounced the US for obstructing an attempt by the UN Security Council to speak with one voice on Israel’s actions in Gaza.
Over the last few days, China has become critical of Israeli ally the U.S. when it blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire and approved a $735 million dollar arms sale to Israel amid Israel’s ongoing assault on civilian centers in Gaza.
We should understand China’s moves as interest and politically driven. The new peace-directing preposition comes as a remake of the already-made four-point proposal by Xi Jinping in 2017, and the one offered to Mahmoud Abbas in 2013. These plans endorsed the international consensus that calls for a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, condemned human rights violations and aggression on both sides, and called for mediated negotiations. Those earlier attempts failed since Palestinians do not see China as a neutral partner.
Israel has no interest in having China act as a mediator either because they have the United States providing diplomatic support and vetoing any attempts of even moderate diplomatic pressure. The status quo will not be broken because China’s interests in maintaining positive relations with Israel are far more superior than supporting the lives of Palestinians. Its stance for the peace between both parties is rhetorical support and part of its strategy of engagement with the Arab world and foreign policymaking in the region.