China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi has taken a firm stance on the Israel-Gaza conflict, asserting that Israel’s actions in the region have gone “beyond the scope of self-defense.” Wang’s remarks, made during a call with his Saudi Arabian counterpart Prince Faisal bin Farhan, highlight China’s increasing concern over the situation in Gaza.
As Israel appears poised for a potential ground offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza, Wang Yi conveyed his strong condemnation of Israel’s actions. “Israel’s actions have gone beyond the scope of self-defense,” he stated, as per a foreign ministry readout. Wang also emphasized that Israel should heed the calls of the international community and the United Nations Secretary-General, urging the immediate cessation of its collective punishment of the people of Gaza.
Wang’s comments represent China’s most robust stance on the ongoing conflict, and they come at a critical juncture as tensions continue to escalate. The situation has become increasingly dire, with more than one million people in the northern part of the densely populated Gaza Strip ordered to flee, leading to concerns of a looming humanitarian catastrophe.
The Gaza Strip, a small and impoverished territory where 2.3 million residents live in cramped conditions, has been under a land, air, and sea blockade since 2006. The latest escalation in violence erupted after Hamas fighters breached the heavily fortified border between Gaza and Israel, resulting in a retaliatory bombing campaign by Israel targeting the Islamist group. Tragically, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 2,200 people, with a significant number of casualties being civilians.
Wang Yi’s call to Prince Faisal emphasized the need for de-escalation and the swift return to the negotiating table by all parties involved. The Chinese Foreign Minister is urging diplomacy as a means to bring an end to the ongoing violence.
In a separate conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday, Wang Yi called upon Washington to “play a constructive and responsible role” in the conflict and advocated for the prompt convening of an international peace meeting to facilitate the consensus-building process.
China’s official statements on the conflict have been criticized for not specifically naming Hamas in their condemnations of violence, with some Western officials deeming them insufficiently robust. However, China has taken action to mediate and promote peace, with plans for its special envoy, Zhai Jun, to visit the Middle East in the coming week in a bid to push for a ceasefire and facilitate peace talks.
China’s state broadcaster, CCTV, has announced Zhai Jun’s mission to coordinate with various stakeholders to protect civilians, alleviate the crisis, and advance peace negotiations. Zhai expressed deep concerns about the potential for further spillover of the conflict into neighboring regions, emphasizing the urgency of finding a peaceful resolution.
Zhai Jun recently met with the Arab League’s representatives in China, expressing Beijing’s support for the group’s role in addressing the Palestine issue. China is committed to making ongoing efforts to help bring the Middle East peace process back on track, underlining its commitment to promoting stability and dialogue in the region.
Sources By Agencies